Chief of Staff at the presidential office, Moeldoko, has suggested that head of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) Rizieq Shihab should return to this country of his own free will.
“Return home on your own. I’ll buy you the flight ticket myself if you don’t,” said Moeldoko.
Moeldoko also expressed his surprise at the public’s negative perception of the government, claiming that Rizieq was ousted by them. Some people had even urged the government to bring him back.
“So who left and who’s going to bring him home? He left by himself, didn’t he? Why are there requests to accommodate him back home? We didn’t oust him, did we? Of course not,” the former military leader added.
Earlier, Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, a spokesman of Gerindra party, said that reconciliation after the 2019 presidential election will only happen after the government brings Rizieq back to Indonesia. Dahnil claims that Rizieq had been a victim of criminalisation, just like most of Prabowo and Sandi’s supporters.
Rizieq had flown to Saudi Arabia after he was named as a suspect by the police for lewd text messages he exchanged with a woman named Firza Hussein. While the case was dropped in June 2018, Rizieq never returned home. Prabowo had earlier promised that he would bring Rizieq back to Indonesia if he won the presidential election.