Parliamentary speaker rejects New Order methods to combat terror

Source – October 17, 2005
House of Representatives Speaker Agung Laksono (JPPN)
House of Representatives Speaker Agung Laksono (JPPN)

Anton Aliabbas, Jakarta – Many people have been shocked by the government’s plans to imitate the New Order regime in combating terrorism. They believe it will kill off the democracy which only just been built.

“Because of this we oppose steps by the government’s to apply New Order methods in combating terrorism”, explained house of representatives speaker Agung Laksono at a press conference at the parliament on Jalan Gatot Soebroto in Jakarta on Monday October 17.

A colleague of Vice President Jusuf Kalla in the Golkar Party, Laksono said it would be better if the government improve the intelligence functions which are assisted by networking and professional work methods rather than looking to the methods used by the New Order. “But don’t allow it be accompanied by [human rights] being trampled on like the past”, he asserted.

All coordination to combat terrorism continued Laksono, should be headed directly by the intelligence agency. He also warned the government against reviving the TNI’s social and political function in handling terrorism.

“No longer [can] they go along with determining which pesantrens [traditional Islamic boarding schools] or schools which must be closed down. Don’t imitate the measures that were used by the New Order”, asserted Laksono.

As has been reported, the discourse on reviving New Order’s methods to combat terrorism came from the mouth of the vice president during an event by the Islamic Student Association’s Corps of Alumni on October 15. This was precipitated after looking at the development of terrorist activities in Indonesia. “Like it or not the government must take measures which are tough and resolute, no different from what was done during the New Order era”, explained Kalla at the time.

Kalla, the chairperson of Golkar, is of the view that the growth in the radical movements was triggered by the overthrow of former President Suharto. It was also due to the policies of former President B.J. Habibie who allowed the development of thinking and activities that caused radical groups to return to Indonesia. (umi)

[Translated by James Balowski.]