Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has declared an emboldened position on the nation’s war against drugs and related crime.
During a recent speech, Widodo stated,
“I have told you, just be firm, especially with foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist. Gun them down. Give no mercy.
We are indeed in an emergency situation in dealing with drug trafficking”.
Currently the drug problem in South East Asia is responsible for countless crimes including multiple homicides, rape and associated human trafficking.
Indonesia has executed 14 convicted drug dealers since 2014 and looks set to become even stronger in a crackdown on the drugs trade.
In the summer of 2016, Philippines elected President Rodrigo Duterte who campaigned heavily on his tough law and order approach to the drug crisis.
In spite of recent tensions over the death of 7 Indonesian sailors by non-governmental Philippine gangsters, relations between Manila and Jakarta seem to be on an upwards trajectory. It is becoming clear that in the war against drugs. Jakarta and Manila will need each other to jointly police the blood-soaked narcotics trade in the region.
Due to their large maritime borders, it is furthermore becoming increasingly necessary for joint Philippine, Indonesian and Malaysian cooperation against drug traffickers. Although Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur continue to have tensions, Philippines retains good working relations with both states on many important issues.
Because the problem is international, one country cannot do it alone. There is now hope that due to Widodo’s Duterte like statement, such a thing could transpire if diplomatic efforts are increased on all sides. This is all the more important as the drugs trade is becoming increasingly important as a financial bedrock of ISIS style terrorism in South East Asia and throughout the world.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.