TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Vice President Jusuf Kalla, popularly known as JK, said he was shocked by the shootings in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. JK said he had long perceived New Zealand as an exceptionally safe and tolerant country.
“I would like to offer my condolences for the passing of 40 people,” he said at the Vice President’s Office on Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara, Central Jakarta, Friday, March 15, 2019.
JK said he had been at mosques in New Zealand twice—the latest was in January 2019.
“When I went there, in January, Paspampres [the Presidential Security Detail] asked for their consent to bear firearms, which they turned down. The vice president is safe,” JK said.
The ban on firearms at mosques in New Zealand has been effective for a long time. At the time, Paspampres personnel adhered to the ban and nothing happened until the end of prayers.
JK called on Indonesians in New Zealand to exercise caution in the wake of the shootings. Reports said six Indonesian nationals were on the scene.
Three Indonesian nationals managed to escape the scene and have been contacted, while the other three remained unaccounted for. The shootings took place at the An Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Center.