President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ordered National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian and Indonesian Military, or TNI, chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo to take “firm action” against any instances of hate speech or provocative actions.
Speaking at the 19th Congress of the Indonesian Islamic Students Movement (PMII) in Palu, Central Sulawesi, on Tuesday (16/05), Jokowi said, “I have ordered the heads of the National Police and TNI to not hesitate in taking firm action against all speech.”
The president met with Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) chairman Said Aqil Siradj, Indonesian Churches Conference head Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, Council of Indonesian Churches (PGI) chairman Henriette Hutabarat Lebang and other leaders from the Buddhist and Hindu communities to encourage societal unity at Tuesday’s congress.
Jokowi noted that freedom of speech and religion are guaranteed by the constitution and should be upheld by all religious and ethnic communities in the country.
“However, I have to affirm that freedom of speech and religion must respect the laws and values of our society,” he added.
The president also called on the public to cease all insults against any religious or ethnic group and to work to resolve differences peacefully.
“Do not insult each other, as we are brothers,” he said. “Do not protest against each other, as our energy will be wasted for unproductive activities.”
Jokowi did not provide any specific details on what actions the police or TNI might take in eradicating hate speech, or what role the military would have in such a campaign.