Tue, 26 Aug 2003

Counterterror agency needed

It sounds like a myth when one hearkens back to the way the Dutch, who colonized what is now known as Indonesia for about three centuries until the end of World War II, used to describe the population of Indonesia as being the friendliest/most passive people on earth.

It is shocking to discover that the world is now wondering why many Indonesians after they gained independence, have become so "barbaric", resorting easily to violence, preferring to use bombs to achieve their aims. Worst, why do so many choose to use terrorist methods to express their dislike of foreign interests and foreigners living in the country in spite of the fact that their religious beliefs forbid such sinful murders.

The situation has now become almost unbearable and uncontrollable, so much so that the government is proposing the establishment of a team to work on the revision of the existing anti-terrorism law (no 15/2003), which is now suddenly considered inadequate to deal effectively, with the spate of bombing incidents in recent months. The country's economic recovery will be in danger if the threat of terror prevails. The government believes that stronger measures should be taken to combat internal terrorism. The government is now considering the adoption an Internal Security Act (ISA) a la Singapore and Malaysia. However such stern measures are opposed by a number of legislators and human rights groups, who say it runs against the spirit of the reform era after the replacement of the former repressive regime by, supposedly, a more democratic administration.

Senseless massacres of innocent people does not weigh a bit in the conscience and minds, let alone hearts, of these men- and women-cum terrorists. Half measures therefore, will not stop their heinous practices. Terrorists have no fear or feelings of remorse. Whatever law is in force it will instill no fear or respect in them. Therefore, the terror they unleash must be met with "a counterterror machine" to preempt their crimes. It is the task of the government agencies to devise a secret professional organization to spread such "counterterror" and fear amongst those inclined to accept terror as their way of life. Human rights considerations should be secondary or put temporarily aside, in suppressing devilish designs perpetrated by invisible enemies.