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President committed to respecting freedom of expression: KSP

Criticism is legitimate and is protected by law in democratic countries, as long as it does not become defamation or hate speech. Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Presidential Staff Office (KSP) has reiterated President Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi’s) commitment to respecting the freedom of speech and expression of residents, including those criticizing development progress.”Criticism is legitimate and is protected by law in democratic countries, as long as it does not become defamation or hate speech. Hence, (the authorities) should not avoid criticisms or inputs. President Jokowi and the KSP firmly believe that criticisms must be welcomed,” KSP main expert staff Joanes Joko said, according to a statement released here on Saturday. Joko made the remarks in response to the alleged intimidation of the family of Bima Yudho Saputro–a resident from Lampung who criticized the lack of progress in development in his home province via social media–by the regional authority and local police. President Widodo will always filter all inputs from all parties to improve the public services provided by the government, the KSP official affirmed. He added that KSP will always work with law enforcers in responding to public inputs and criticisms to prevent the recurrence of intimidation and harassment of residents who speak up to criticize the authorities. “Never be tired of loving your hometown, never be tired of loving Indonesia. Continue presenting your inputs or criticisms, and never be afraid if your criticisms are legitimate. KSP, through its appropriate avenues, will provide support,” Joko said, directing his remarks to Saputro. The expert staff said that a resident who presents their criticism means they are not ignorant of the conditions surrounding them, hence, the authority needs to embrace such criticisms and accept their input instead of silencing them. He added that his agency will continue its KSP Mendengar (KSP Listening) program to hear public inputs and criticisms, adding that KSP will never become an anti-critic institution. “Because such criticisms are needed for the common good,” Joko remarked. baca-jugaRelated news: Disbanding parliament, parties will cause more harm than good: MahfudRelated news: Election will mark an important milestone for democracy in Kazakhstan

Source: Antara News Agency