October 6, 2020, 12.21 AM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian Police Chief General Idham Azis has issued orders to counteract a wave of labor demonstrations and strikes that are expected to flare up following the ratification of a controversial jobs creation bill.

Indonesian Police spokesman Inspector General Argo Yuwono confirmed that Idham gave the 12 sets of orders issued in a telegram dated October 2.

Also read: Indonesian Government Coalition Set to Pass Controversial Jobs Bill

“The orders emphasized [one of our principles,] namely Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto or ‘the safety of the people is the supreme law',” said Argo in a written statement on October 5. 

"In this sense, it is carried out in line with health protocols dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia. It does not detract from [the protesters’] right to protest and voice their aspirations.”

“To be exact, the orders are designed to prevent and defuse the protests to keep them from spreading Covid-19 and converging in groups, in defiance of health protocols on social distancing."

Argo added that the orders included using intelligence as well as early detection to check protests and strikes that might cause unrest and social tensions.

Also read: Indonesian Police Criticized for Reviving Infamous Paramilitary Group

“We will carry this out simultaneously with cyber patrols on social media and reach out to the press to mobilize public opinion against the protests,” he said.

“We will also refrain from shutting down traffic on toll roads to keep the demonstrations from becoming nationwide or international news. But most of all, we ask for the public’s compliance with these regulations.”

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