New crisis center to be piloted by President: Luhut

A new crisis center being created to address national and international security issues will reportedly be piloted by the President and thus not lead to inefficient "multi-pilot" governance of national security.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan says the crisis center will be an organizational framework allowing an immediate response to every critical situation. The decision-making process for incidents such as kidnappings, deadly virus outbreaks, natural disasters and border disputes will be faster thanks to the new center, he claimed.

"There is only one pilot here. The decision-making will be under the direct orders of the President," Luhut said as quoted by Antara news agency on Monday, rebutting suggestions that the new body would create multi-pilot governance for addressing national security issues.

The organization will comprise the office of the coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister, the Defense Ministry, the Indonesian Military ( TNI ) commander, the National Police chief and other ministries, Luhut explained. Non-permanent members, he added, would include ministries related to particular issues in the spotlight.

The plan comes on the heels of 14 Indonesian sailors being held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf militant group in the southern Philippines following the hijacking of their Indonesian-flagged vessels this month and last.

According to Luhut, the idea of establishing a crisis center has been around since he was still active in the military, but the plan was suspended. It was the President who ordered the formation of crisis center after the idea was brought up two weeks ago. ( afr/ags )

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