Avoid issues that imperil Indonesia's unity during regional polls: VP

Avoid issues that imperil Indonesia's unity during regional polls: VP

Vice President Ma'ruf Amin gave a press statement at the Vice Presidential Office in Jakarta on Wednesday (Jan 22, 2020). ANTARA/Fransiska Ninditya

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin urged all partaking in this year's simultaneous regional election to promote a peaceful fiesta of democracy and avoid inflammatory statements and spread of hoaxes that may impinge upon national unity.

"We are optimistic of no issues of ethnicity, religion, race or societal group (SARA) and hoaxes arising that may become a source for triggering conflicts," Amin informed journalists at his office here on Wednesday.

Amin stressed on the need to enforce stringent legal sanctions on violators to prevent the surfacing of conflicts, triggered by factors linked to ethnicity, religion, race, or societal group.

He emphasized that political elites, especially those involved in the regional election, to be held simultaneously in nine provinces, 224 districts, and 37 cities on Sept 23, 2020, should not provoke their supporters.

"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). Hence, please avoid the issues of SARA. To this end, legal sanctions should be enforced," he stated.

Vice President Amin also highlighted the significance of imparting political education to the public at large as part of the combined efforts to build harmonious communities in Indonesia.

Political education can be disseminated at schools and discussion forums that can be accessed by community members to prevent them from being easily provoked by hoaxes and issues of SARA, Amin stated.

The proliferation of hoaxes, hate speeches, and slander has indubitably become a grave problem in Indonesian politics.

To address this problem, Head of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Advisory Council Din Syamsuddin has also reminded all societal elements of the importance of respecting diverse opinions held by citizens.

Syamsuddin opined that holding different perspectives and political preferences is acceptable, though he requested that none should spread blasphemy.

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