Horrific acts of atrocity


When President Obama delivered his speech at Universitas Indonesia in 2014, he mentioned Sarinah mall was the only high rise building in Indonesia in the 1960s. But now, Obama said Jakarta has many sky scrappers and shopping malls. Malaysian loves to visit and shop in Jakarta. If you have been to Jakarta, Sarinah is one of the shopping malls that you definitely don’t want to miss.

Sarinah shopping mall is located at the intersection of Jalan Kyai Haji Wahid Hasyim and Jalan MH Thamrin. It is renowned as a place where you can buy souvenirs especially handicraft for your family members and friends back home. Located at Central Jakarta,the area is home to many embassies, offices, and glizzy hotels.

It was near this complex that the attack was launced by the Islamic State and the Levant (ISIS) on 14 January. At least eight people, including four attackers were killed, and 30 others were injured. IS has put claims it has inspired or directed attacks in more than 15 countries, killing around 1,000 people.

Indonesia has experienced several attacks by Islamist militants in the past. Hundreds have been killed over the last two decades including the Jakarta bombings by Jemaah Islmiah in 2009. Since the Bali bombings in 2002, Indonesia has upped the ante. Indonesia learned a big lesson when 200 were killed in that Bali bombings. Indonesian police have actually received warnings from ISIL that there would be an attack in the capital city of 12 million people.

In the recent attack, Bahrun Naim was the mastermind. Bahrun was adamant in attacking his homeland. In fact, Indonesian police arrested him in Solo in November. Two days after the attack, Indonesian security forces arrested twelve people linked with him, and they were were accused of plotting further attacks against the government.

Joko Widodo better known as Jokowi called the attacks “acts of terror” in a televised statement. The President said. “Our nation and our people should not be afraid. We will not be defeated by these acts of terror. I hope the public stays calm. We all are grieving for the fallen victims of this incident, but we also condemn the act that has disturbed the security and peace and spread terror among our people.

Indonesias took his statement to the social media. “We are not afraid” with the hashtag #KamiTidakTakut, which was widely used on Twitter in posts offering condolences to the victims or for expressing defiance.

Sarawak stands in solidarity with the people of Indonesia. Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, on behalf of the government and people of Sarawak, has expressed sympathy and condolences for the people of Indonesia and family members of the victims. Adenan joined worldwide leaders in condemning the attacks, calling them ‘horrific acts of atrocity against innocent people’.

With the attack so close to Malaysia, we can understand why Malaysians are jittery. The big question, after the Jakarta attack: Is Kuala Lumpur going to be the next target? Are we prepared? The militant groups were targeting popular tourist destinations and shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur.

A Malaysian man was detained just hours before planning to blow himself up at an entertainment venue in Kuala Lumpur after authorities raised the alert level following bombings in neigbouring Indonesia.

So, it seems we cannot take it for granted and stay in our comfort zone. In short, we cannot rest on our laurels. Security should be increased at potential targets such as tourist spots and shopping malls. But it is heartening to know that the police have raised the security alert to the highest level following the deadly attacks in Jakarta. We should not allow the militants to destabilise our country.