TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Democrat Party politician Andi Arief has asked the government to release former health minister Siti Fadilah Supari and use the latter’s knowledge and experience in combating the bird flu pandemic in the country’s fight against the COVID-19.
“We are all targets of the coronavirus pandemic, so we must fight together as opposed to feeling more powerful and capable in facing the pandemic,” he said in a written statement on Monday, May 25, 2020.
Andi also questioned the decision of Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly to return Siti Fadillah to the Pondok Bambu Penitentiary despite the existence of COVID-19 positive inmates in the prison. He said this was proof of discrepancy in the view of urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He suggested Yasonna exercise his discretion to discharge Siti as she is now over 70 years old and suffers from comorbid diseases, thus susceptible to the coronavirus.
“Siti Fadilah is not a graft convict or a big villain. She had rendered great services to Indonesia’s health system,” Andi said.
Andi also slammed the Penitentiary Directorate General for making a big fuss over Siti’s recent interview with presenter Deddy Corbuzier while she was in hospital. Andi said the contents of the interview comprised knowledge and information beneficial to the public in battling the coronavirus.
“We can still remember when convicted murderer Antasari Azhar could speak freely in an interview with a TV station,” Andi Arief said.
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