Directives of President of the Republic of Indonesia to Regional Police Chiefs, 3 December 2021, at The Apurva Kempinski Hotel, Badung Regency, Bali Province

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 3 Desember 2021
Category: Directives
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Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Good Morning,
May prosperity be upon us,
Shalom,
Om swastiastu,
Namo buddhaya,
Greetings of virtue.

Distinguished Cabinet Ministers, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Minister of State Secretary;
Distinguished Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and personnel of the TNI;
Distinguished Chief of the Indonesian National Police (Polri) and high-ranking officials of the Polri, Deputy Chief of the Polri;
Distinguished Police Regional Chiefs and Police City Chiefs who attend the meeting in person or through virtual conference;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

The [COVID-19] pandemic has affected many sectors, including security and public order. The pandemic has also resulted in energy shortage in several countries. The pandemic has also caused container shortage. We must be aware that the container shortage means that the distribution of goods to countries, to islands, to cities and to provinces may be disrupted. We must pay our attention to this.

The pandemic has also resulted in rising inflation. It means that the public will have lower purchasing power. Be careful about inflation. Personnel of the Polri must be aware of this.

The pandemic has also increased the producer price. It means that the price of goods produced in factories, in manufacturing sector, and in industries increase. If the producer price increases, it will increase the consumer price. The public will have a lower purchasing power. The pandemic does affect every sector.

Thank God, COVID-19 situation in Indonesia is getting better compared to the situation in mid-July (2021) with 56,000 daily cases. On this auspicious occasion, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the personnel of the Polri and the TNI who have made the best effort in provinces, cities, and regencies. I have ordered the National Police Chief to discharge Regional Police Chiefs if the number of cases continue to increase in their respective regions. Today, the number of cases continues to decrease.

The 56,000 [daily] cases have decreased to 311 [daily cases]. This is a great achievement and not all countries can achieve this. Indonesia is at Level 1 now, together with China, India, Japan, and Taiwan. Our country is a big country, and thank God we can handle [the COVID-19 cases].

The threat [of COVID-19] is not over. We may be grateful and we may be proud [of the achievement in handling COVID-19] but we must be aware that the fourth wave [of COVID-19], the Omicron variant, is a real threat. We must stay vigilant. This morning I got the report that [the Omicron variant] has emerged in Singapore. All personnel posted in Regional Police Offices in our country’s borders must have more awareness [on Omicron variant] considering the national borders are places of entry and exit for foreign nationals and Indonesian citizens, especially our migrant workers.

We must be aware that the Omicron has spread to 29 countries. The new variant, according to the ongoing research, is more contagious than the Delta variant. Remember that the Delta variant spreads in Indonesia within 2 to 3 weeks. [The Omicron] spreads more rapidly, approximately five times more infectious, and there is a strong possibility that it has immune escape characteristics.

We must stay vigilant because this could have an impact on various sectors, including the economic sector, as I have previously stated. Health protocols must continue to be disseminated to the public, because this pandemic can have an impact on the economy and politics.

We learned that in South Africa, 87 percent of patients were those who are unvaccinated. In South Africa, 70 percent of those infected [with the Omicron variant] were children under four years and most of those who died were over the age of 60. That is the report from the ongoing research.

To that end, I order the Chief and all personnel of the Polri, the Commander and all personnel of the TNI that the vaccination drive must be completed as early as possible. As of today, 240 million doses of vaccine have been administered; with 67.8 percent rate for the first dose and 46.9 percent rate for the second dose. This achievement is still far from our target, namely 70 percent vaccination rate for the first dose and the second dose. We must do our best. There are 15 provinces with vaccination rate under 60 percent, namely South Sumatra, West Sumatra, East Nusa Tenggara, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Riau, West Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, North Maluku, Southeast Sulawesi, West Papua, Maluku, North Sumatra, Aceh, and Papua, particularly for the elderly.

Second, testing, tracing and isolation measures must be strengthened. We must be vigilant because 17 regencies/cities in eight provinces reported an increase [in COVID-19 cases] in last two or three weeks. If the number of cases increases, we must be ready to handle it, even if the increase is in a small number, because it will affect security and political affairs, as well as public order. It will affect every sector.

Our experience over one and a half years in solving on the ground problems shows that our strategies are changing, from the PSBB, to the micro PPKM, to the emergency PPKM, to the PPKM Level 1 to the Level 4.

Some people ask ‘Why did the Government impose different policies?’ The answer is the fact that the virus has changed and mutated. If we use the same strategy, our strategy will not be able to solve the problems.

Regarding the economy, thank God, our economy has started to grow. We remember that in the fourth quarter of 2020, our economic growth was minus 2.19 percent. In the first quarter of 2021 it started to grow to minus 0.74 percent, so there was some improvement. In the second quarter of 2021, our economy grew significantly to 7.07 percent because of the increasing mobility. In July (2021), due to the emergence of Delta variant (of COVID-19), we imposed emergency restrictions policy, and the national economy in the third quarter dropped to 3.51 percent. We hope that in the fourth quarter, our economy can grow in the range of 4.5 to 5.5 percent.

If the situation is under control, in 2022 the economic recovery will be visible. In the current circumstances, the driving force of the economic growth is the investment. The [investment] target for this year is Rp900 trillion, while the target for 2022 is Rp1,200 trillion.

I order personnel of the Polri from the central level to regional level to safeguard investment. The key is the investment, not the State Budget. The State Budget only contributes approximately 15 to 18 percent to our economic growth. The 85 percent of money circulation and economic growth come from the private sector and State-Owned Enterprises. Therefore, if there are any problems in the investment sector, you must play a role in solving them and in safeguarding the investment realization because investment is the key to our economic growth.

Today, thank God, in 2021, the investment is not only realized in the island of Java, but also outside the Java. [The investment value] outside the Java is higher. In Java, the investment constitutes 48 percent [of the national investment], while outside Java the number is 51.7 percent. The shifting is a good indicator. In the past, more than 60 percent of investment was in Java. The existing investment, new investment, and the prospective investment must be supported.

I have ordered the National Police Chief to reprimand and even discharge Regional Police Chiefs who are not able to support our strategic national policies.

Our next agenda is the G20 Presidency. It reflects the image of Indonesia as the first developing country to hold the G20 Presidency. Remember that the G20 consists of countries with the highest Gross Domestic Product in the world, including the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Korea and Japan. We have become part [of the G20], so we must really maintain the trust and the privilege that Indonesia has. Once again, we must ensure that there is no disturbance to our G20 Presidency. We have 150 big meetings during our G20 Presidency.

Third, related to public approval of law enforcement. We must be aware that (the public approval rating) increased in 2019 and 2020, but decreased slightly in 2021. The law must be enforced in a non-discriminatory manner. The public watches our performance, and the public approval is reflected in surveys. I have mentioned several times that the law must be firmly enforced to anyone proven to have committed crime against the state or the society.

We must pay attention to the decline in Freedom of Expression Index. Once again, it is related to public perception. We must strengthen the persuasive approach. Take mural erasure for example. I know that the order (to erase mural) did not come from National Police Chief, Regional Police Chiefs, or City Police Chiefs. This matter is under the domain of Sector Police. Therefore, Sector Police Chiefs must be aware of this.

I once visited a region and there was a fuss about mural erasure. I’m accustomed to any insult or slander, so why should I be afraid of a mural? That is part of freedom of expression, while public order obstruction is another thing. I applaud the National Police Chief who organized a mural making competition that has resulted in a positive impact.

Do not summon those who express any criticism. If they obstruct public order, you may summon them, but otherwise do not summon them. Our country is a democracy. We must respect freedom of expression and pay attention to the public aspirations. In the meantime, the Pori must also maintain its authority.

I have learned about Regional Police Chief, City Police Chief who visited the leaders of the mass organization that often violates the law.

I asked the City Police Chief “Why did you do that?’ and he answered that the visit aimed for maintaining order in the region. That was not right. Do not diminish your authority by visiting mass organization that often violates the law. I’ve heard about this issue several times. You must not diminish your authority. The Polri must always maintain its authority.

Second, we must protect and help disadvantaged and marginalized groups. We must protect street vendors. We must be careful about this, because it has something to do with public perception. Perhaps it is not under domain of City Police Chief, but the domain of Sector Police Chief. However, it is also City Police Chief and Regional Police Chief’s responsibility to control this kind of thing. You must avoid discriminating against disadvantaged groups.

Finally, since Polri is currently in the top three in terms of public approval rating, I hope you can maintain the trust. Maintaining the trust is no easy task. We must pay attention to the small things. The 80 percent is a very high number, based on the survey report I got three days ago. We must maintain the trust. The number is very high. You must give thoughtful attention to the things I have previously mentioned.

That concludes my remarks on this auspicious occasion.
I thank you.

Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (RI/MMB)

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