JAKARTA, Indonesia – A senior Indonesian cabinet minister says the government is not losing the fight against radicalism despite the success of hardline Islamic groups in attracting hundreds of thousands of people to protests against the capital's Christian governor.
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, who is close to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, said Thursday the government needs to reinforce Indonesia's founding ideology "Pancasila" which has been neglected since the fall of dictator Suharto in 1998 ushered in democratic rule.
Pandjaitan told a Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club event: "We are not losing control."
The Jakarta governor, Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, is on trial for alleged blasphemy and faces five years in prison.
The minister said the government has "detailed data" about radical protest leader Rizieq Shihab and "we know what we are going to do."