Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Wiranto Apologizes for Saying Earthquake Refugees Burden Govt

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto speaks to journalists about the riots in Manokwari, Papua, at his ministry building in Jakarta, Monday, August 19, 2019. TEMPO/Subekti

    Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto speaks to journalists about the riots in Manokwari, Papua, at his ministry building in Jakarta, Monday, August 19, 2019. TEMPO/Subekti

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto, has made an official apology for his heartless remarks on the refugees of the Maluku earthquake. Earlier, Wiranto said the refugees’ eagerness to return home and remain in refugee camps would burden the government. 

    “If there are words, sentences that I said, and if they offended those taking refuge following the earthquake in Maluku, I officially and profoundly ask for your apology,” said Wiranto in a press conference held at his office today.

    On September 30, 2019, Wiranto made a statement calling for victims of the Maluku earthquake to disregard hoaxes regarding unconfirmed aftershocks or a possible tsunami. The people’s fear, said Wiranto, had prevented refugees from returning home and would eventually increase the government’s burden. 

    His statement suggesting it would be costly to continue to accommodate refugees has created quite a  backlash from the people of Maluku. They deemed Wiranto to be inconsiderate and urged him to issue a formal apology. 

    Following the protests against his comment, Wiranto gathered a number of Maluku figures to his office. After issuing the apology, he called on people to continue focusing on aiding fellow Maluku residents who were still affected by the earthquake. 

    EGI ADYATAMA