JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, has blamed the loss of more than 130 lives in the Kanjuruhan Stadium stampede, Malang, East Java province on Oct. 1, on the use of tear gas by the police.
"Now, I don't care how much of the deadly chemical is [contained in tear gas], it doesn't matter. Because it wasn't the chemical that caused it, but the [use of the tear gas itself] that caused people to panic and then the stampede and die," the chief minister said on Thursday, Oct. 20.
The police and the Indonesian Football Association are equally responsible for the incident.
"Perhaps the tear gas itself did not cause immediate death, but throwing it into certain places caused people to panic, have short breath, then ran to the same place, getting squeezed, and died. So, the cause was tear gas," Mahfud said.
The joint fact-finding team's recommendation was debated by the community, which questioned its usefulness, he noted.
"Because of this, regarding the world of football, arrangements, organization, and others have been regulated by FIFA [Football's world governing body] and PSSI (Indonesia Football Association). We must not interfere in that, but the government has spoken with the FIFA president and will do the transformation together," he said.
Other recommendations, such as stadium renovations, have been pursued promptly.
“Then, the arrangements for the police to make new rules and begin to make new permanent procedures for football security and so on are now being carried out. I think that is quite the maximum, what has been done by the joint fact-finding team," he said.
The results of a survey conducted by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) have shown that most people hold the police and the league’s organizers the most responsible for the Kanjuruhan tragedy.
A total of 24.3 percent of the survey’s respondents held the league’s organizers and 29.4 percent held the police responsible for the incident.
"Police officers and then the league organizers are considered the most responsible according to most respondents," executive director of LSI, Djayadi Hanan, said when presenting the results of the survey.
Others held different entities responsible for the incident: the National Football Association (6.7 percent), the National Defense Force (2.6 percent), and supporters (13.6 percent). Meanwhile, 5.9 percent said everyone was responsible for the incident, 0.8 percent assigned the responsibility to others, and 16.7 percent did not provide an answer or said they did not know.
The survey was conducted from Oct. 6-10 and involved 1,212 respondents.
Sample selection was done through the random digit dialing (RDD) method. RDD is a technique of selecting a sample through a random telephone number generation process.
The margin of error in the survey was about 2.9 percent, with a confidence level of 95 percent.
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