Indonesian president calls for unity to face extremism threat

August 17, 2017

Jakarta: President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday that Indonesia needs to strengthen unity to confront the threat of radicalism and extremism, and safeguard the country's constitution that preserves diversity. 

Delivering a speech ahead of Thursday's Independence Day, President Widodo said it is necessary for the nation to reduce inequality and stop spread of radicalism. 

"We're facing extremism, radicalism and terrorism. But I believe that we can address all of those with unity. The strong Indonesian unity must be continuously preserved and boosted," Widodo said at the parliament. 

On Tuesday, Indonesian police foiled a plot to explode the Presidential Palace with five militants arrested in West Java province. 

President Widodo asked all parties and elements in the country to step up cooperation in facing those challenges. 
"We insist on working together not only in establishing equitable economy, but also in ideological, political, social and cultural development," he said. 

"In the field of ideology, we must continuously strengthen our national consensus in safeguarding Pancasila (state ideology), the 1945 constitution and the unity of the nation," said the president. 

Indonesia has been facing the threat of radicalism, which emerges through cyber media and clandestine cells in nearly all provinces of the archipelagic country. 

The nation has witnessed a spate of suicide attacks in recent years that left dozens of casualties.