TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Jakarta governor-elect Anies Baswedan has denied that he had planned to issue sharia bylaws. “The sharia bylaw or sharia-compliant Jakarta is not our program,” Anies told Tempo yesterday, April 20.
In the build up of Jakarta runoff election, banners were displayed in support of the implementation of sharia bylaws in Jakarta under Anies-Sandi ticket. The campaign also reached social media platforms. Jakartans had raised concerns over such plans, more so because conservative Muslim organizations had endorsed the pair.
Anies said that he opposes the proposal to implement sharia bylaws in Jakarta for fear of rising tensions among Jakartans due to the election. Therefore, he has called on his supporters to unite the divided. “It’s our moral obligation,” the governor-elect said.
Anies-Sandi campaign team manager Mardani Ali Sera said that the political parties supporting the pair had no plan to adopt sharia law in Jakarta. According to him, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the National Mandate Party (PAN) have moderate and inclusive Muslim base. Moreover, Gerindra Party has a nationalist ideology and upholds the Bhinneka Tunggal Ika [Unity in Diversity] principle. “No one can eliminate diversity in Jakarta. It’s the prevailing condition,” he said.
Mardani went on to say that Anies-Sandi had not agreed on any political promise with any community member, including its Islamist backers. The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) was one of the most infamous supporters of the pair. “There is no political contract with FPI. [The support] was given voluntarily,” Mardani said.
Philips J. Vermonte, politics and international relations researcher with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), believes that Anies-Sandi will abide by the constitution. “People may have different opinions, but they should not act exclusively, intimidate others,” he said.