The Indonesian government has threatened to take harsh measures against its own citizens as long as they refuse to accept the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus vaccine (COVID-19). In the face of the pandemic, it ranks as one of the most populous island nations in the world has implemented one of the most aggressive campaigns.
Reuters reported that in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, residents are being forced to pay fines of up to US$360, for not complying with new regulations on compulsory vaccination.
In addition to receiving fines, those who do not submit could also lose welfare benefits. According to Jakarta Gov. Ahmad Riza Patria, authorities were only following up on the regulations, indicating that the penalties were intended as a “last resort” to vaccinate the population.
“If you reject it, there are two things, social aid will not be given, (and a) fine,” Patria told reporters.
Indonesia is dealing with one of the most persistent outbreaks of the virus in Asia and so far plans to inoculate 181.5 million of its 270 million people within 15 months under a vaccination program that began last month.
According to Reuters, Indonesia’s capital currently accounts for a quarter of the country’s more than 1.2 million infected. In January, authorities reported a high infection rate of more than 1 million, making it the No. 1 infected nation in Southeast Asia.
Earlier in the month, a presidential order decreed that anyone refusing vaccinations could be denied welfare or government services or be required to pay a fine. Penalties are determined by regional health agencies or local governments.
The regulation comes amid skepticism and doubts that have simmered for months among citizens about the effectiveness and safety of CCP Virus vaccines, or whether they are permitted by Islam.
According to a survey published in December last year by pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting, only 37% among 1,202 respondents were willing to get vaccinated, while 40% said they were undecided and 17% of respondents said they would refuse.
Meanwhile, Minister Usman Hamid, director of Amnesty International Indonesia, rejected the move and said that imposing the vaccine was not the right response to the infection crisis facing the country.
“A blanket mandate on vaccination, especially one that includes criminal penalties, is a clear violation of human rights,” Hamid said, according to Reuters.