The country’s self-appointed morality police says they would rather be praying and worshiping during Ramadan, instead of raiding restaurants and nightclubs, if only the National Police did its job.
“We ask the [police and public order agency] to strictly enforce the law and we’ll only provide information,” Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) Jakarta chapter chairman Salim Alatas said according to Tempo.co, after meeting with the National Police on Thursday.
“If they can do their jobs well, then we don’t have to be bothered [with raiding] and can instead focus on praying and worshiping,” he added.
Salim further said that if the government was orderly, if there were no disturbances to houses of worship, no immoral places, then the FPI can relax.
“There’s no need to disband us, we will disband ourselves,” he said, according to Merdeka.com.
The Jakarta chapter of the FPI, he added, has not carried out any raids in the past three years, as they realize it is not their work. However, they’re not sure whether the same will continue this year.
Salim said he would monitor how the police are carrying out their work. He said he has already received several reports of violations tainting the holy month of Ramadan, and has forwarded these to the police.
“We’ll see later, depending on the results of our investigation and field monitoring,” he said.
National Police Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo has earlier warned mass organizations against raiding nightclubs and other entertainment places, as well as saunas and massage parlors, that remain open during Ramadan.
In Jakarta, nightclubs, bars, discotheques, massage parlors and saunas are completely banned from operating during the fasting month. Karaokes and other entertainment facilities can operate from 8:30 pm to 1:30 am. Entertainment places in star-rated hotels are exempted from the restrictions.
But all are prohibited from operating a day before Ramadan, on the first day of fasting, the 17th night of Ramadan, and a day before until a day after Idul Fitri.
“We realize that every one should be protected,” Timur said as quoted by state news agency Antara. “So, if there are such activities [raiding nightclubs], we will deal with it according to the law.”
But even after Timur’s warning, National Police intelligence and security chief Comr. Gen. Pratikno said was told that FPI still planned to conduct sweeping activities.
“I heard from FPI’s Salim Al Attas that they will sweep restaurants and nightclubs during the fasting month,” Pratikno said. “We have to prevent this because it has high potential for conflict.”