To that end, law enforcement officers serve as an important force to help the government protect public safety, he said in Jakarta on Saturday.
He made the remarks in response to a rally planned in Jakarta to protest against the enforcement of emergency community activity restrictions (PPKM).
"The government is making an endeavor to handle COVID-19. In implementing the policy to handle the pandemic, it sticks to the substance of our constitution, namely to protect the people's safety," the minister noted.
He said the government will not ban any activity held to express aspirations during the COVID-19 pandemic, provided it is carried out in accordance with the health protocols.
"In principle, the government is open and responsive to all aspirations of the public. However, in the midst of the pandemic, it would be better to convey the aspirations through communication channels, in accordance with the health protocols," he added.
The government listens to all public aspirations and is responsive to all proposals, Mahfud assured.
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"The government listens to all the aspirations and takes them into account in making various decisions. Nothing has gone unheeded," he said.
For example, the government has taken swift action to respond to citizens' proposals related to self-paid vaccinations and foreign workers, he added.
He called on the public to stay alert for certain groups trying to capitalize on public unrest.
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"The government knows a group of people who are intent to capitalize on the situation. There is a pure group and a non-pure group. They only want to challenge and capitalize on the situation. Therefore, we must exercise caution," the minister said.
In anticipation of the rally, Jakarta Metropolitan Police's Traffic Directorate has stationed 350 traffic police officers to guard roads around the State Palace.
"There are 350 personnel (deployed)," Jakarta Police's traffic director, Senior Commissioner Sambodo Purnomo Yogo, confirmed here on Saturday.
Responding to posters urging the public to join a march from Glodok to the State Place to protest against the PPKM, which have gone viral lately, the Jakarta Police has appealed to the public to not participate in protests on the streets to express their reservations to PPKM.
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