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Security Bill Will Be Approved: Democrat  Tapol
 Oct 21, 2012 09:40 PDT 

From Joyo

Security Bill Will Be Approved: Democrat

October 20, 2012

The Jakarta Globe
by Ezra Sihite

Despite being previously rejected by the House of Representatives, one
Democratic Party politician says that the much-scrutinized national
security bill will likely be approved by the ruling coalition parties,
but other politicians disagree.

Lawmakers previously rejected the bill because it was deemed to
conflict too heavily with other laws and did not guarantee protection
of civil rights.

“We have agreed on something that serves the interest of the country
and we will continue to discuss it,” said senior Democrat Syarief
Hasan, coalition secretary, at the legislative building on Thursday.

Syarief said that the coalition parties have agreed that the security
bill is important for the protection of the country, adding that
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is also the chairman of the
Democratic Party’s board of advisers, had not played a role in
pushing the bill through the legislature.

Previously, Deputy Defense Minister Sjafrie Syamsuddin made attempts
to lobby the coalition parties to accept the security bill as it
currently stands.

The coalition includes the Democratic Party, Golkar Party, the
Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the
United Development Party (PPP) and the National Awakening Party (PKB).

The government has resubmitted the bill to the House without any
revisions and asked for time to be able to explain all the points.

However, Hidayat Nur Wahid, the chairman of the PKS faction at the
House, refuted Syarief’s claim that the coalition parties had
reached a common position on the security bill.

“It’s never been discussed, let alone approved. Commission I
[members] have [previously] agreed to reject the security bill, except
for the Democratic Party,” Hidayat said.

Hidayat criticized Syarief for claiming that the coalition parties had
reached an agreement, adding that the Joint Secretariat for the
coalition parties (Setgab) had no right to speak for its members.

“What’s the logic that [we] have to support [the draft] if it’s
still the same as the one that was rejected by Commission I. How dare
Pak Syarief Hasan speak [on behalf of us],” Hidayat said.

However, Hidayat confirmed that the coalition parties did hold a
meeting at Syarief’s house on Saturday night to discuss the bill,
but stressed that no agreement had been made.

He added that Commission I, which oversees defense and foreign
affairs, will reject the bill if the government doesn’t revise it.
The government will be given the opportunity to explain the draft next
week, he said.

“We already made our stance, which was to reject it and from what I
heard it hasn’t been revised,” he added.

Hidayat called on the government to revise the points that did not
guarantee the protection of civil rights.

Legislators have raised objections to the bill’s granting of
exclusive rights to certain agencies to conduct arrests and
wire-tapping of phone conversations.

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