We hope there will be no issues of ethnicity, religion, race or societal group (SARA) and hoaxes that may become a source for triggering conflicts
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin has urged all participants of this year's simultaneous regional election to promote a peaceful fiesta of democracy, and avoid provocative statements and proliferation of hoaxes that may harm national unity. "We hope there will be no issues of ethnicity, religion, race or societal group (SARA) and hoaxes that may become a source for triggering conflicts," Amin told journalists at his office here Wednesday.

In getting rid of conflicts, triggered by factors related to ethnicity, religion, race or societal group, it is essential to enforce fierce legal sanctions for violators, he said.

The political elites, particularly those involving in the regional election due to be held simultaneously in nine provinces, 224 districts, and 37 cities on September 23, 2020, should not provoke their supporters, he said.

"I think the political elites have been aware of the fact that we all belong to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). So, please avoid the issues of SARA. In this regard, legal sanctions need to be enforced," he said.

Vice President Ma'ruf Amin also highlighted the importance of imparting political education to the people as part of the collective efforts to build harmonious communities in the country.

Political education could be presented at schools and discussion forums that could be accessed by the community members so that they could not easily be provoked by hoaxes and issues of SARA, Amin said.

The proliferation of hoaxes, hate speech and slander has become a serious problem in Indonesian politics.

In addressing this problem, Head of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Advisory Council Din Syamsuddin has always reminded all elements of society about the importance of respecting diversity of opinions among citizens.

Having different perspectives and political preferences is acceptable, but please do not spread blasphemy, he opined.

Spreading blasphemy contravenes the true value of religions. Therefore, everybody should avoid the proliferation of hoaxes, he said.

In connection with this year's simultaneous regional election, on October 8, 2019, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, General Elections Commission (KPU) Chairman Arief Budiman, and the KPU chairpersons and officials from 11 districts had launched this 2020 simultaneous regional election in Jayapura, the capital of Papua Province.

Eligible Papuans will vote on September 23, 2020, as violence and ongoing security threats by notorious armed Papuan rebels continue to pose a challenge to this province. (INE)

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Translator: Fransiska N, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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