Indonesian president warns political abuse could jeopardize nation’s unity

Indonesian president warns political abuse could jeopardize nation’s unity

Joko Widodo voices concerns over insults, political discourse against him

By Alperen Aktas

ISTANBUL (AA) – Expressing regret over a series of insults and derogatory comments aimed at him, Indonesian President Joko Widodo Wednesday warned the political abuse could “jeopardize the nation’s unity.”

In his penultimate State of the Nation address, Jokowi said decreasing political decorum “challenges the nation’s core values,” daily Jakarta Globe cited him as saying.

“What makes me sad is that the cultural values and moral standards of this nation seem to be eroding. The principles of freedom and democracy are being misused to propagate hatred and slanderous language," Jokowi, donning traditional wear, told lawmakers of the bicameral parliament.

He said: “People may label me as ignorant, unintelligent, clueless, or even a Pharaoh, and I’m not allowing myself to be disturbed by such remarks.”

However, Widodo added that not everyone “may share his resilience against verbal mistreatment.”

He also warned of “rapid dissemination” of insults “in an era dominated by pervasive information technology.”

“Such abuses could escalate and, if left unchecked, jeopardize the nation’s unity,” he warned the lawmakers.

Jokowi’s term as president ends next year.

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