Defense Minister on May 22 Riot: Don't Make Me Personally Step In

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said that the May 22 riot can still be considered as a social order issue and could yet be considered as a disturbance toward state sovereignty.

    “But I will have to interfere with this matter personally if it eventually disrupts Indonesia’s sovereignty. Remember, there will be no negotiations once I speak out,” said the minister at his headquarters in Jakarta on Thursday, May 30.

    Ryamizard considers the general elections as a democratic festivity that should be celebrated. He maintains that handshaking should be done once people reach the end of the celebration and that it is the norm to do so.

    He stresses that his statement is in the capacity of his position as a Defense Minister and not as a supporter of either presidential candidate that raced in the 2019 presidential election. He also urges those that do not accept the elections’ result to take the legal route already provided by the law such as via the elections supervisory board (Bawaslu).

    “It’s just a matter of presenting compelling data on what was not done right,” said Ryamizard. He views that police have handled the riots fairly and that police are also drained by the event, especially after so many fallen victims because the only party that is harmed is the people.

    “My hope is to not witness an event like that again. If the Armed Forces (TNI), a national defense element handles it, remember, there will be no more negotiations,” he said.

    M ROSSENO AJI