Political researcher Hermawan Sulistyo expressed his concern over a recent bill proposed, which pushes for the involvement of military soldiers in fighting terror operations, as it will likely create more resistance.
The special committee evaluating the bill at Parliament agreed with the demand of the Indonesian Military Law to have soldiers involved in critical operations against terrorism. The special anti-terrorism bill committee regards terrorism as “a serious threat to state sovereignty.”
Following months of extensive deliberation on the issue, the House of Representatives finally approved six conditions under which soldiers should be allowed to step in and be authorized to make arrests.
Chairman Muhammad Syafi’i of the special committee tasked with the anti-terrorism law revision explained that the issue was beyond deliberation and that “we need military involvement.”
It’s no secret that human rights activists and police have long opposed the bill. Several stakeholders have vehemently argued that there is no need to have the government resort to a ‘war model’ in its approach to fighting terrorism.
While the government considers terrorism to be an ‘extraordinary crime,’ political expert Sulistyo from the Indonesian Institute commented that “it is still just a crime.”
Sulistyo added that no justification has been founded for the country to turn to a war model in the same way that the US and many European countries have.
The public is aware that the archipelago has been on heightened alert after Islamic State sympathizers committed violent attacks on the streets in Central Jakarta earlier this year, killing several innocent people.
This led to the government asking lawmakers to make the necessary amendments to the country’s anti-terrorism bill, allowing for the implementation of heavier penalties for alleged terrorists. Counterterror measures added in the proposition included the involvement of military, revoking citizenships if needed and implementing longer arrest and detention terms for those apprehended for the crime.
Also a former special personnel of the Indonesian National Police under the chiefship of Gen. Timur Pradopo, Sulistyo pointed out that the war against terrorism is not merely about involving the soldiers or bringing in weapons. He believes that it involves the argument on what is considered good or bad – and “waging war can’t solve that,” the political analyst concluded.