TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly apologized for his statement about Tanjung Priok residents that were being compared to Menteng residents.
According to Yasonna, media and the public have interpreted his statement differently and eventually offended Tanjung Priok's society.
"Please accept my apologies," said the minister at a press conference in his office, Kuningan, South Jakarta on Wednesday, January 22.
Yasonna stated that he did not mean to offend Tanjung Priok society, hoping that his apology could reconcile him and the people as fellow countrymen.
"I'd like to spare my time to keep in touch with the people of Tanjung Priok," he said.
Hundred of Tanjung Priok residents held a demonstration today at the Law Ministry office. They protested Yasonna for his statement during his visit to the Class IIA narcotics penitentiary in Jatinegara, Jakarta, on Thursday, January 16. At the time, he said that most crime comes from the slum areas.
The PDIP politician made an example of a child born in Tanjung Priok, which is known to be a vulnerable area in Jakarta, to another that is born in the upper-class area of Menteng. He compared the fate that faces the two children growing up.
"Crime is a social product, a social problem. And we are responsible for the problem. That's why most crimes produced in slum areas and it is not in Menteng. Go to Tanjung Priok, the criminals are there as the result of poverty," said Yasonna Laoly.
That statement went viral and sparked protests from Tanjung Priok residents. They demanded a public apology from the 66-year-old man.
Lani Diana Wijaya | Safira Andini (Intern Translator)