See More on Facebook

Politics

Indonesia steps up cyber patrols, security preparations ahead of elections

Security is an important issue as Indonesia heads to polls.


Written by

Updated: April 17, 2019

Indonesian police have stepped up cyber patrols, targeted potential conflict hot spots and prepared contingency plans to ensure security ahead of Wednesday’s (April 17) elections.

It is the first time the country is holding simultaneous presidential and legislative elections, in which more than 192 million people are eligible to vote.

Incumbent President Joko Widodo is seeking his second and final term in office, squaring off with only rival former army general Prabowo Subianto in a rematch of their 2014 contest. Indonesia holds a general election every five years.

Among the 34 provinces, Jakarta, Central Sulawesi, Papua, and West Java are among the most prone, according to Brigadier-General Dedi.

By towns or regency, Tangerang Selatan of Banten province, North Jakarta, West Jakarta, Pidie Raya of Aceh, and Tanah Datar in West Sumatra are among the most prone.

Some 272,880 police personnel, assisted by 68,854 military officers, will help to provide security at polling stations across the world’s largest archipelagic state, and patrol vital national installations such as power plants and airports as well as any places where crowds gather, such as shopping malls.

More than one million civilian security guards will also be deployed to some 810,000 polling stations.

  • 10 areas most prone to social conflicts, disputes

  • By province: North Maluku, Papua, Aceh, West Nusa Tenggara, West Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, West Papua, Jakarta, Central Kalimantan, North Kalimantan. Note: the most populous West Java is 11th most prone.

    By regency/town: South Tangerang, North Jakarta, Pidie Raya of Aceh, Banggai of Central Sulawesi, Donggala of Central Sulawesi, West Jakarta, Mempawah of West Kalimantan, Tanah Datar of West Sumatra, East Jakarta, Yogyakarta.

Some elements in both Mr Joko’s and Mr Prabowo’s camps have repeatedly issued appeals to fellow supporters to turn out and try to crowd out the polling stations in a show of force to raise the morale of other voters in their respective camp.

Police have appealed to local election supervisory officers in the regencies and towns to work together with local campaign teams of both camps to tell supporters to exercise restraint and to not be easily provoked.

“We are also stepping up cyber patrols, working with the communication and information ministry and the cyber body and national encryption agency (BSSN) to take down and block any content, anonymous accounts that carry hoaxes, provocative, agitative messages that threaten unity,” Brig-Gen Dedi said. “Social media has potential to change public opinion, to agitate people and encourage them to take to the streets. This is dangerous.”

Officers guarding the elections are being deployed into seven assignment areas, with each area covering several provinces.

If an incident breaks out in one place, personnel from the surrounding places within the same assignment area as well as from neighbouring assignment areas could be redeployed to the problem spot, according to Mr Dedi.

“Let’s say we have a situation in Aceh, then the surrounding places within the same assignment area such as North Sumatra and Riau would first help to mitigate and curb any developing social conflict. Each of those places would redeploy 100 of its troops to Aceh,” Mr Dedi said.

He added that a 10,000-strong police mobile brigade on standby outside Jakarta that could also be redeployed.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

The Afghan prism in Pakistan – US relations

Despite their best efforts, the Afghan question still clouds US – Pakistan relations. Despite the Indian media’s assumptions of a US strategic volte-face, Islamabad would do well to acknowledge that the Trump administration still views its relations with Pakistan largely through the prism of Afghanistan. President Donald Trump’s desire for an early end to America’s longest war is the principal reason for his invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan. Pakistan has played a key role in facilitating the Afghan peace process and the US-Taliban talks. These have reportedly made encouraging progress over the past few months. An agreement on the withdrawal of US-Nato troops has evidently been reached between the US and the Afghan Taliban, although no timetable for the withdrawal has been finalised and it is not clear if the troop withdrawal would be commenced before, during or after a political settlement i


By Dawn
July 21, 2019

Politics

Ruling bloc set to keep majority in Japan

The move has significant impact on any attempts to rewrite Japan’s pacifist constitution. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito are set to win the majority of the 124 seats up for grabs in the House of Councillors election, according to tallies by The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday night after polls closed at 8 p.m. The ruling bloc is expected to maintain its majority in the 245-member upper house, taking into account the 70 seats it holds that were not up for election this year. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is on the verge of securing his sixth successive national election victory, is expected to move forward on issues concerning the consumption tax rate hike and the amending of the Constitution. Abe’s current term as LDP president expires in September 2021. Some LDP members were concerned that the Abe administration wo


By The Japan News
July 21, 2019

Politics

Pro-independence group forms political party in Taiwan

The move will unlikely improve cross strait relations. The pro-independence Formosa Alliance formed a political party on July 20, saying that it hoped to field at least 10 candidates in the legislative election next January and give independence-leaning voters an alternative to the current ruling party. The Formosa Alliance will not compete in the 2020 presidential election, said Lo Jen-kuei, a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, who was elected chairman of the new party. He said the Formosa Alliance was formed not out of dissatisfaction with the performance of President Tsai Ing-wen but rather to give pro-independence voters a choice other than her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). In fact, Lo said, it would be a blessing for the Taiwanese people if the DPP won the 2020 presidential election. He said he hoped to see Tsai team up with former Premier William Lai on the DPP pres


By Asia News Network
July 21, 2019

Politics

Beijing wants implementation of Rohingya repatriation deal

The deal was presumed dead after Myanmar failed to meet certain conditions. Outgoing Chinese Ambassador Zhang Zuo today said Beijing wants implementation of the Bangladesh-Myanmar agreement on Rohingya repatriation. “We want execution of the deal signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar on the repatriation of the Rohingyas,” he said while paying a farewell call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official Ganabhaban residence here this afternoon. After the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters. In response, the prime minister said if the repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas starts, even on a small scale, it will be good for all. The prime minister congratulated the Chinese envoy for successfully completing his tenure in Bangladesh. “The diverse field of activities has given momentum in raising our bilateral relations to a new height,” she said. Referr


By Daily Star
July 19, 2019

Politics

Civilian rule officially restored as King swears in Prayut II govt

The government is made up of many of the same advisors and ministers as the previous military government. The new Prayut Chan-o-cha government was sworn in on Tuesday during a ceremony overseen by His Majesty the King, signalling the return of civilian rule after five years following the military coup in 2014. The ceremony took place at 6pm in the Amphorn Satharn Throne Hall, where all 36 ministers were present. In a break with tradition, however, television cameras were not on hand to record the event. The historic occasion marked the first time that HM the King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua, as head of state, together with Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana, has overseen the advent of a new government – the King’s first event of such kind after his Coronation in May. Also new was the venue for the ceremony, which has previously been held in the


By Cod Satrusayang
July 17, 2019

Politics

ANN Network editor wins press freedom award

Committee to Protect Journalists honours Editor Dawn Zaffar Abbas with press freedom award. Editor Dawn Zaffar Abbas has been awarded the 2019 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) for “extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom”, the body announced on Tuesday. CPJ’s Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award, previously known as the Burton Benjami Memorial Award, was renamed in 2017 to honour a veteran journalist and former board member who died in 2016. “The award is presented annually to an individual who has shown extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom,” notes the CPJ website. Notable past recipients of the award include


By Dawn
July 17, 2019