By Erric Permana
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) – Following violations at several mass gatherings last week, Indonesia has ramped up efforts to ensure local governments strictly implement coronavirus measures.
Home Minister Tito Karnavian issued a decree on Thursday instructing local governments to consistently enforce health protocols in their respective areas.
“Local government leaders have to be the role models for society in complying with the COVID-19 health protocol by not participating in crowds that most likely violate health protocols,” read the decree.
Karnavian also warned that governors, mayors, and other officials found to have been lenient on protocol violations will face heavy penalties, including possible dismissal from office.
The order came after a series of public gatherings were held to welcome back Rizieq Shihab, leader of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), who returned from self-exile in Saudi Arabia on Nov 10.
The controversial cleric also attracted huge crowds at religious events over the weekend.
Anies Baswedan, governor of the capital Jakarta, was summoned by police on Tuesday for questioning over alleged breaches of virus restrictions at the public gatherings.
* Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency's Indonesian-language service in Jakarta