The business community on Friday praised the police operation in Solo, Central Java on Thursday that led to the death of Noordin M Top, Asiaâ€™s most wanted terrorist, predicting that it would significantly boost the confidence of foreign investors doing business in the country.
Malaysian-born Noordin, a former accountant, had been held responsible for a series of bombings in Indonesia in recent years that struck at the heart of the countryâ€™s economic well-being. These included the July bombings of the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, the bombing of the same Marriott in 2003, the Australian Embassy in 2004 and the Bali bombings of 2005.
â€śItâ€™s been greeted with approval by the foreign business community here,â€ť said Ian L Betts, an adviser at risk-management consulting firm Hill and Associates.
â€śIt was a job well-done. It came as a surprise, and itâ€™s being greeted with optimism. If you ask about confidence about doing business in Indonesia, I think it will boost it and I think it will assist Indonesia in creating a more conducive environment for foreign investment.â€ť
Peter Fanning, chairman of the International Business Chamber, also praised the police operation, saying it reassured the business community.
â€śSecurity is actually not an issue for investment, but as regards personal security for investors, it definitely makes us more comfortable,â€ť Fanning said. â€śI donâ€™t think it will necessarily bring more investment, but it will have a positive effect.â€ť
However, Betts warned that the risk of terrorism remained, as the ideology that drove Noordin was still alive and others would no doubt follow in his footsteps.
â€śIdeally, the government should encourage Muslim organizations to be wary of the content of published materials,â€ť he said. â€śOther governments have laws and regulations to prevent the incitement of hatred - all that should be regulated to preserve peace and stability.â€ť
Betts said there was a lack of control over published materials in the country.
â€śIf the government can monitor and possibly look into restricting materials containing very radical content, that might help,â€ť he said. â€śIt wonâ€™t help to police the mosques, or to monitor what they say, but they must look at the media.â€ť
Meanwhile, Sofyan Wanandi, chairman of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), said political stability was essential for business stability.
â€śThe raid means that more travel warnings will be lifted,â€ť he said. â€śForeign business people will also feel safer coming to Indonesia. After the recent bombings, I had to meet an overseas business partner in Singapore, as he was afraid to meet me in Jakarta.â€ť
Bambang Soesatyo, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), said the tourism sector would also probably benefit from Noordinâ€™s death.
Many countries issued travel warnings on Indonesia in the wake of the first Bali bombings in 2002, a large number of which have remained in effect ever since.