Political parties will exploit demos against fuel price hikes: BIN

Media Indonesia – September 27, 2005
Banner reads 'Fuel prices go up the people are screaming' (Sumugah)
Banner reads 'Fuel prices go up the people are screaming' (Sumugah)

Henri Salomo Siagian, Jakarta – Although political parties are expected to exploit demonstrations against fuel price hikes, as a whole the atmosphere in the lead up to the price increases is conducive.

“It is certain there will be those who will exploit [the situation]. They say that this will create difficulties for the people, all kinds of things, of course the political parties in the framework of supposedly defending the people [do so] for [their] future interests”, National Intelligence Agency (BIN) director Syamsir Siregar told reporters on Monday September 26 following a closed meeting at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta.

The meeting which began at around 5pm and continued until around 6.30pm was attended by the coordinating minister for political, legal and human rights affairs (sic) Widodo AS, coordinating economic minister Aburizal Bakrie, Indonesian police chief General Sutanto and Siregar. “Yeah, we will look at the situation as it develops later when the increases are announced”, said Siregar.

When asked which political party will exploit the actions, Siregar said “You and I [can] make a guess, it could be anyone. Yeah [but] it’s certain the political parties which turn up [are the one’s] wanting to be in power”.

Siregar said that the government has not prepared any special measures in relation to the demonstrations. “Why, what kind of measures. That’s democracy okay [you are] allowed to demonstrate, as long as it’s in accordance with the law go ahead. But if they stir things up and are identified, yeah they can be punished. Certainly yeah, if they mobilise definitely there are those that will fund it”, he asserted.

According to Siregar, on the whole, the demonstrations will not disrupt the situation in the lead up to the fuel price increases. “Yeah, [as] I said before there will certainly be a reaction. The situation is secure. Yeah, there will definitely be demonstrations in response [to the price increases]”, he said.

When asked about the scale of the actions, Siregar said “Perhaps small, if they continue perhaps large. But so far they are not dangerous”, he said. (Hnr/OL-06)

[Translated by James Balowski.]