Government considering involving TNI in ‘war on drugs’

CNN Indonesia – February 13, 2019
Arsul Sani speaking to reporters in Jakarta – February 13, 2019 (CNN)
Arsul Sani speaking to reporters in Jakarta – February 13, 2019 (CNN)

Jakarta – House of Representatives (DPR) Commission III member Arsul Sani says that the government’s planned revisions to the 2009 Narcotics Law could open the way for the involvement of TNI (Indonesian military) personnel in combating the drug trade.

“Yes, we’re open to the possibility [of the involvement of the TNI]”, said Sani at the parliamentary complex in Senayan, Jakarta, on Wednesday February 13.

The Islamic based United Development Party (PPP) politician said that Law Number 34/2004 on the TNI (UU TNI) states that TNI personnel can be involved in non-warfare duties.

“Right, in the UU TNI Number 34/2004 it does indeed [allow for] the TNI’s involvement outside of its wartime duties”, he said.

Sani himself said that the TNI’s involvement in non-wartime duties is not something new in Indonesia.

He went on to cite Law Number 31/2004 on Fishing (UU Perikanan) which also gives authority to the navy to enforce the law in Indonesian territorial waters.

“We’ll see, if in legislative terms it allows for this or not, but the TNI’s involvement in law enforcement is not something new, because for example in the UU Perikanan the TNI is also involved, specifically the navy, in law enforcement”, he said.

Sani said that revisions to Narcotics Law were already included in the 2018 National Priority Legislation Program (Prolegnas). Nevertheless, he said that the government has yet to present an academic paper or draft revision of the law to the DPR.

“So the DPR’s position is one of waiting. Waiting for (the law) to be submitted by the government, but as far as I know it hasn’t been reached the DPR yet”, he said.

The Narcotics Law is being revised because it is seen as being unable to provide a deterrent effect on the drug trade. Aside from this, the law is also considered to be irrelevant to the current situation given that Indonesia is experiencing a drug emergency. (rzr/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “DPR Buka Peluang TNI Ikut Berantas Narkotika Lewat Revisi UU”.]