Saturday, 22nd July 2017

Indonesia`s endless war on drugs

14th July 2017 | 2.392 Views
Indonesia`s endless war on drugs
Illustration. One Ton of smuggled shabu. The joint team of Polda Metro Jaya and Depok Polresta in collaboration with the Taiwan Police succeeded in foiling a one ton smuggling of drugs from Taiwan packed in 51 packages wrapped in paper, Thursday (13/7/2017). Police arrested three suspected smugglers, one of them dead. (ANTARA/Asep Fathulrahman) ()
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian polices success in foiling an attempt to smuggle 1 ton of crystal methamphetamine from Taiwan into the country on Thursday is an achievement that needs to be appreciated.

The police were appreciated because their success in seizing the illicit drug, with a street value of several trillions of rupiah from a hotel in Banten Province, has saved the lives of many Indonesians.

This extraordinary success was made when the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) commemorated the 2017 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking by holding an event in East Jakarta on Thursday.

What a beautiful coincidence! The United Nations, governments, non-governmental organizations, media, and citizens around the world actually observed this international day on June 26, 2017, but on that day, Indonesian Muslims celebrated Idul Fitri festivities.

During the event which took place in the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) cultural park, BNN Chief Commissioner General Budi Waseso underlined the importance of raising peoples awareness about the dangers of drug abuses and illicit trafficking of drugs.

The peoples awareness is significant because BNN has recorded that around 50 Indonesians die of the illicit drugs every day, while the total number of drug users in the country may have reached 7 million.

Therefore, crystal meth and other kinds of illicit drugs have indeed become a very serious threat to Indonesia amid fierce competition among nations, considering the value of illicit drug trades in the country.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, former Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, had even predicted that the value of drug trades in Indonesia reached at least Rp66 trillion, of which 75 percent of the drug trafficking were directed from inside the prison.

Considering the real threats of the illicit drugs that is said to have affected around 7 million Indonesians, Pandjaitan urged all regional leaders in the country to undergo urine tests as part of their seriousness in backing the countrys war on drug trafficking.

"Please undergo a urine test. Why should you be afraid of taking it if you are clean," Pandjaitan told heads of districts and mayors from all over Papua Province, who attended a working meeting in Jayapura on March 30, 2016.

He also called on all regional leaders in Papua Province to be part of the drug-free community members, considering the fact that the victims of drug traffickers can be anybody regardless of their religious, racial, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Pandjaitans message should be accepted by all Indonesian citizens, including school students and university students who have huge potential of becoming leaders and technocrats of the country in the future.

The future of Indonesia is indeed in the hands of its healthy, skilled, and well-educated people, but it is obviously threatened by both local and international drug rings.

In dealing with this problem, the Indonesian police and BNN cannot work alone. Instead, they need the supports of both community members in the country and their foreign counterparts.

The United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are aware of the importance of this international cooperation for winning the war on drugs.

Indonesias success in foiling several Taiwanese citizens effort to smuggle 1 ton of crystal meth into the country is a good example of how an international cooperation is implemented in fighting a cross-border drug trafficking.

Indonesia still applies death penalty to punish drug traffickers. Among the drug convicts that it had executed over the past few years were Ang Kim Soei (Dutch citizen), Namaona Denis (Malawian), Marco Archer Cardoso Mareira (Brazilian), Daniel Enemua (Nigerian), Andriani alias Melisa Aprilia (Indonesian), Tran Thi Bich Hanh (Vietnamese), as well as Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (Australians).

The capital punishment remains maintained in Indonesias judicial system, but the deaths of those drug convicts are yet to be able to deter other drug dealers.

Despite the absence of deterrent effect on the drug dealers, this death penalty needs to be maintained because it seems to be the best option to bring justice to the victims of their crimes, families of the victims, and to this nation.

Of course, Indonesias way of handling this very serious crime is not similar to that of the Philippines. More than 7 thousand alleged drug offenders were put to death in Philippines thanks to President Rodrigo Dutertes war on drugs.(*)