Stronger anti-terror laws 'to be put to Indonesia's Parliament'

A banner that reads "Reject Terrorist's Body" hanging over the entrance to Kedungwungu, home village of Ahmad Muhazin, one of the militants involved in last Thursday's terror attack in Jakarta.
A banner that reads "Reject Terrorist's Body" hanging over the entrance to Kedungwungu, home village of Ahmad Muhazin, one of the militants involved in last Thursday's terror attack in Jakarta.PHOTO: REUTERS

An amendment to beef up anti-terrorism laws in Indonesia following Thursday's terror attack in Jakarta could be passed within this year, said Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan yesterday.

"It includes pre-emptive arrest and longer detention of suspects if more information is required, so we can better prevent possible attacks," he told reporters after a meeting with President Joko Widodo at the Presidential Palace.

Mr Luhut, however, said the Bill will still have to be debated in Parliament. When asked when it will be raised in the House, Mr Luhut said: "As soon as possible. This morning the President discussed it."

Separately, Mr Agus Santoso, deputy head of PPATK which is Indonesia's anti-money-laundering agency, yesterday appealed to money-transfer companies to tighten their scrutiny of wire transfers.

This comes after tens of millions of rupiah were detected to have been illicitly wired from overseas to Indonesia and later paid to an arms supplier in the Philippines.

Mr Luhut had previously revealed that firearms used by the militants during the Jakarta attack were made in the Philippines, but Mr Agus did not make the link.

Meanwhile, some residents of Kedungwungu village in West Java are trying to prevent the family of one of the four militants who died during last Thursday's attack from burying him in his hometown.

Metro TV news said several banners have been put up in the village to campaign against accepting the body of Ahmad Muhazin.

"We are tolerant people. We are not radical or even murderers. What (Muhazin) did has tainted Islam," said village elder Nasrullah on Sunday. "Leaders in Kedungwungu have agreed to refuse (the) body, even though the parents plan to use their private land to bury his body."

Village chief Ahmad Fuadi, however, said he will try to mediate between the villagers and Muhazin's family.

Francis Chan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2016, with the headline 'Stronger anti-terror laws 'to be put to Indonesia's Parliament''. Print Edition | Subscribe