See More on Facebook

Current affairs, Politics

Jokowi issues stern warning as riots rock Jakarta for second night

Jokowi issues stern warning as riots rock Jakarta for second night.


Written by

Updated: May 23, 2019

Police in full protective gear clashed with rioters at election supervisory agency Bawaslu’s headquarters in Jakarta for a second consecutive night yesterday, with similar stand-offs in other parts of the capital continuing even as President Joko Widodo warned that the authorities would crack down on those seeking to disrupt the democratic process.

As of press time last night, police officers stood in a tight riot-control formation as their full body-length shields took on a barrage of Molotov cocktails, rocks, firecrackers and other projectiles thrown by rioters in downtown Jakarta.

Elsewhere, in West Jakarta, a separate battalion of troops, supplemented by marines from the Indonesian armed forces (TNI), camped out along a narrow street as the chief provocateurs of another riot there stalled negotiations with the authorities.

“That is not an option – the military and police will take firm action in accordance with the appropriate laws,” he said.

Mr Joko’s victory has been marred by public protests against the results, amid allegations of electoral fraud by his challenger, Mr Prabowo Subianto.

Many in the capital Jakarta woke up yesterday to scenes of black smoke billowing from burnt vehicles and policemen in stand-offs with provocateurs on the outskirts of the city – leading to fears of a repeat of the 1998 unrest in Indonesia prior to the fall of the Suharto regime.

Chief Security Minister Wiranto, who like some Indonesians go by just one name, said “paid thugs” were behind the unrest that broke out yesterday morning.

“Based on our investigations, we are aware of the masterminds behind this unrest… and our security forces will take stern action based on the law,” he said.

National police chief Tito Karnavian yesterday confirmed that his officers had seized envelopes stashed with cash from the rioters who were arrested during the clashes, which caused damage to 25 vehicles, including some belonging to the police.

“We found separate envelopes with a total of nearly six million rupiah (S$570) in cash,” said the police general, adding that the suspects claimed they were paid to riot.

At least 257 men, including those suspected to be provocateurs of the violence, have been arrested so far and investigations are continuing, said General Tito.

Six people were reportedly killed and more than 200 sent to hospital for treatment during the riots, local media reported, quoting Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.

Mr Wiranto yesterday defended the actions of the police, saying a country should always protect its people, after some had criticised the use of force.

He also said that the authorities will partially restrict social media usage for two to three days to prevent the spread of hoaxes that may provoke further violence.

“To avoid provocations, the spread of fake news among the people, we will limit access to certain features on social media,” he added.



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

Current affairs, Politics

Haze: Ministry urges bosses to allow workers to work from home

The haze has affected Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The Human Resources Ministry has recommended employers to implement flexible work policies during the ongoing haze period and allow workers to work from home. The ministry said the matter was raised at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday (Sept 18), where it is the responsibility of employers to ensure the safety and health of workers. “It is important for employers to carry out risk assessments, take appropriate measures and to determine the need to come to work to ensure risks can be minimised,” the ministry said in a statement Thursday (Sept 19). “Labour laws in Malaysia do not prohibit employers from specifying a place of em


By The Star
September 20, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

After 19 yrs, polio back in PH

The anti-vaxxer movement has done it again. The Philippines is in the midst of a polio epidemic 19 years after it was declared polio-free, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced on Thursday. Polio is a crippling and at times fatal infectious disease. (See In the Know.) Duque said a single confirmed case signaled an epidemic in a once polio-free country. He said a 3-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur was diagnosed with a vaccine-derived polio virus type 2. The Department of Health (DOH) is awaiting confirmation of a suspected case of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). Rabindra Abeyasinghe, country representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), noted that the type 2 polio virus had not been in circulation for many years and was certified eliminated in the Philippines. Metro Manila, Davao “[S]o the vaccination program that the DOH and other co


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
September 20, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

Over 2 million students affected as haze reaches critical levels in Malaysia

Over 2,000 schools have been closed as a result. Close to two million students in over 2,000 schools will be affected by school closures in several states this week, following the worsening haze condition. A total of 2,459 schools in Selangor, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan and Sarawak are scheduled to be closed, following the Air Pollutant Index (API) exceeding 200 in these areas on Wednesday (Sept 18). The school closure affects a total of 1,732,842 students, said the Education Ministry in its latest statement on Wednesday night (Sept 18). The schools in Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan and Sarawak will only be closed on Thursday (Sept 19), whereas those in Selangor, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Penang will be closed on Thursday (Sept 19) and Friday (Sept 20). Selangor has the most number of schools closed at 939, and also the largest number of students involv


By The Star
September 19, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

Challenges loom for Asia’s digital landscape

An overview of digital strategies across Asia in light of the first ever annual Digital Economy Report released by UNCTAD last week. Last week, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its first ever annual Digital Economy Report (2019). It came at a time when countries across Asia have been grappling with a complex digital future. Digital technologies help cut costs, enable delivery of services without leakages, reduce opportunities for graft, promote ease of doing business, leverage an increasingly non-tactile world, grow economies, have the potential to create millions of new jobs and, it appears, even help fight fake news. On the flip side, there are concerns of the cost of the emerging digital economy in terms of loss of traditional employment sectors, eroding the right to privacy, abetting authoritarian state-control of citizens’ lives, causing a s


By Ishan Joshi
September 19, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

Rohingyas in Voter List: EC staffers, fraud ring behind it

Electoral fraud sees Rohingya on voting list. A nexus of brokers and some dishonest staffers of the Election Commission’s Chattogram office provides forged national identity cards to Rohingyas, an EC investigation team has found. Three members of the syndicate were arrested on Monday. An EC laptop, used in the forgery, was recovered from their possession, EC Deputy Director (NID) Iqbal Hossain, head of the three-member team, told The Daily Star yesterday. The arrestees are Jainal Abedin, 35, office assistant of Double Mooring Election Office under the Chattogram EC office, Bijoy Das, 23, a driver, and his sister Sima Das alias Sumaiya Jahan, 26, said Mohammad Mohsin, officer-in-charge of Kotwali Police Station. Yesterday, Double Mooring Thana Election Officer Pallabi Chakma filed a case against five people, including the three, with the police station under the Digital Security Act, the OC said


By Daily Star
September 18, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

S.E. Asian manufacturing sees opportunity in U.S.-China row

By Shingo Sugime and Yoichiro Tanaka / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondents. Southeast Asian countries are intensifying their efforts to attract companies planning to move production bases outside China, as the United States and China have become entrenched in tit-for-tat sanctions and retaliatory tariffs. To attract the needed outside investment, they are offering tax incentives and other benefits. ‘Thailand Plus’ “We see the U.S.-China trade frictions as an opportunity to expand our efforts to attract foreign companies,” Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak told reporters after a Cabinet meeting on Sept. 10. On that day, the Thai government adopted what it calls the “Thailand Plus” package of preferential measures for companies that relocate factories and other facilities from China. A corporate tax deduction of up to 50 p


By The Japan News
September 18, 2019