Sat, 23 Aug 2003

Buildings must apply standard security

Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The city administration has given building managements a Sept. 7 deadline to improve security in an effort to prevent further terrorist attacks.

Governor Sutiyoso said on Friday if the building managements failed to meet security standards set by the administration by the deadline, the city would publicly announce that the buildings were "not safe".

"I think one month is long enough for them to buy metal detectors and other security equipment," the governor said after officially closing the media center at the Sari Pan Pacific Hotel in Central Jakarta.

The media center was opened on Aug. 10, following the bombing at the JW Marriott Hotel in South Jakarta which killed 12 people and wounded 150 others. The center was used by police and officials to brief journalists about the investigation into the bombing.

Sutiyoso warned building managements that if the administration pronounced their buildings to be unsafe, it would harm their credibility.

The governor ordered buildings to improve their security standards several days after the Aug. 5 Marriott bombing, when he and top security officials met with the managements of hotels, restaurants, office buildings, shopping malls and other commercial buildings.

Explaining the security standards being sought by the administration, Sutiyoso said buildings should have adequate security equipment, particularly metal detectors, as well as trained personnel.

Adequate numbers of security officers are important because vehicles approaching buildings should be physically observed, he said.

He stressed the need for building managements to meet security standards to provide a sense of secure to visitors.

Sutiyoso, a former Jakarta Military commander, also said he would go forward with plans to deploy military personnel to assist the police in providing security in the city.

He said the soldiers would be deployed at strategic spots like government offices, shopping malls, private buildings and commercial centers.

He said he had officially discussed the matter with both police and military officers.

Asked about the number of soldiers to be deployed, he said that would be discussed by the military and police.

Sutiyoso corrected a previous statement that soldiers would only be attached to police units. "Apart from being attached to police units, the soldiers might also establish security units to guard certain areas."

He stressed the need for the military involvement in providing security in Jakarta due to the limited number of police officers.

He did not say for how long the military personnel would be deployed, indicating it depended on the security situation.

Critics have said deploying soldiers in the city would frighten visitors away from public places.