News World Almost 90 per cent of Indonesians want harsher action

Almost 90 per cent of Indonesians want harsher action

Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Almost 90 per cent of Indonesians want their government to deliver an even harsher warning to Australia over spying revelations, although less than eight per cent support a military strike.

A survey published by Indonesia’s biggest selling national newspaper, Kompas, also shows 63 per cent of people agree with the decision to recall ambassador Nadjib Riphat Kesoema from Canberra.

Mr Nadjib, who said in an interview also published on Monday that the decision to recall him was necessary to send a strong message to Australia, is yet to return to Canberra.

“We’re now showing that there’s something going on that does not please Indonesia,” he said.

“There are lots of diplomatic instruments that can be used … and the ambassador being called back for consultation, that shows that something’s happening.

“I don’t want to talk about the relationship degradation because the Indonesian embassy is still there (and functioning) and the Australian embassy is also still here.

“But I was recalled to express (our anger).”

An official with the Indonesian Foreign Ministry confirmed to AAP on Monday that Mr Nadjib would remain in Jakarta until after the spying issue was resolved.

The Kompas poll, published on Monday, comes in the wake of relations between Jakarta and Canberra slipping to their lowest level since the East Timor crisis in 1999, following revelations Australian spies bugged the phones of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife.

According to the poll of Indonesians in 12 of the largest cities across the archipelago, 89 per cent of people support Australia being given a “harsh warning”, while 39 per cent of people want further cuts to diplomatic ties.

The poll also showed 7.6 per cent of people would support some sort of military action, while an overwhelming majority of 91.5 per cent were against such a move.

The vast majority of those surveyed (87 per cent) also believe Indonesia’s intelligence capabilities have been proven to be weak as a result of the eavesdropping revelations.

Indonesia has already suspended military co-operation with Australia, as well as calling a halt to joint efforts in the areas of law enforcement and measures aimed at combating people smuggling.

Dr Yudhoyono is yet to respond to a letter from Prime Minister Tony Abbott, written in response to demands for an explanation of Australia’s spying activities and delivered to him in Bali on Saturday.