Some time ago, the Special Anti-Terrorism Detachment of the Indonesian National Police, known as Densus 88, apprehended an employee of a state-owned enterprise (BUMN) with the initials DE. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that DE had been exposed to radical ideology even before working for the state-owned enterprise, specifically during their time in high school.

According to the police, DE, who was 28 years old at the time of arrest, had been a member of the Indonesian West Mujahideen Council (MIB) since 2010, when they were still in their teens. They were highly active in spreading calls for amaliyah (militant actions) or acts of terror through various social media accounts, often using false identities.

I’ve observed that what DE did is not a new phenomenon because they are not the first government servant to be exposed to radical beliefs. According to data from the Indonesian National Police, there have been 33 government servants from various institutions who have been exposed to radical beliefs and involved in terrorism. This is ironic because being a government servant inherently involves loyalty to the state.

What is concerning here is that these individuals are not easily identifiable. There are no physical characteristics that can be used to determine if they have been exposed to radical ideology. If I may borrow a term commonly used during the pandemic, they are like “asymptomatic carriers.” They are not visible externally, and there are no obvious symptoms. It’s only revealed through testing, and by the time it’s detected, they may have already influenced others, and some may have been affected.

The analogy is similar to someone infected with the coronavirus but showing no symptoms. They appear healthy and go about their daily activities as usual. It’s only when specific circumstances arise, in this case related to their ideology, that their true colors become apparent.

These “viruses” are radicalism, which, if we look at history, has existed since Indonesia’s independence. These ideologies aim to replace the Pancasila ideology, reject diversity, are exclusive, and believe that they and their like-minded group are superior. Furthermore, they may consider themselves and their group as inhabitants of heaven, while those who disagree or oppose them are deemed unworthy of heaven and are often labeled as infidels.

These “viruses” are not microorganisms, but in the end, they serve as the cause of potential diseases that can disrupt the existing ideological framework in our country, which is Pancasila. The diseases here are certainly not ones that can be cured with prescription medication or over-the-counter remedies. However, like other viruses, there is a remedy for these “viruses,” which I refer to as the five vaccines.

These five vaccines are: a transformation of national spirit, the implementation of Pancasila values, religious moderation, the strengthening of traditional and cultural values, and counter-terrorism based on welfare.

Returning to the terrorism case involving DE, the government has initiated screening measures to prevent asymptomatic individuals from becoming government servants. This is not due to discrimination but to prevent wider “infection.” This has been referred to as the national insight test.

The implementation of the national insight test in entrance exams and promotions in state institutions remains a subject of debate. The test used to measure an individual’s understanding of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) is seen by some as questioning their nationalism.

There was controversy when the national insight test was administered to employees transitioning to state institutions. Many were declared ineligible, and it was suspected that they had already been exposed to destructive ideologies that could harm national unity. The test content was seen as unrelated to their duties and performance and was considered subjective with double standards.

In my view, I understand why this national insight test might not be easily accepted. Some feel that it questions their Indonesian identity and the relevance of the test content to their future duties.

Therefore, I believe that this test is just the beginning. To assess someone’s nationalism, we must consider not only their knowledge but also their daily behavior, how they reflect the values of unity and togetherness within themselves.

How do they work? Are they only concerned with their salary and not performing their duties well? Are they frequently late to the office? Do they come to the office as they please and instead of working, influence and provoke their colleagues to adopt their ideology? They may disguise this under religious practices and appear highly knowledgeable about religion, strictly adhering to Sharia law, but in reality, they have been exposed to radical beliefs.

It is not impossible that in the future, there will also be a need for social media checks. Based on cases like DE and others, in their daily lives, they may appear normal and harmless. However, when their social media is investigated, they often post content criticizing the government as oppressive. Physically, they participate in flag-raising ceremonies and acknowledge the NKRI, but their online activities steer towards intolerance and calls for jihad with impatience, even though the essence of jihad is patience.

Regardless of the questions and the parties that still don’t understand why such tests are necessary, the national insight test has a noble purpose. Besides assessing an individual’s insight into their nation, it also serves as a vaccine, an antibody against unseen viruses.

Furthermore, we can adopt a soft approach, encouraging them not to consume content that promotes radicalism. We can create content that piques their interest in religious moderation, the beauty of diversity, and the strength of the Pancasila ideology in preserving unity and togetherness amid Indonesia’s diversity.

In this effort, we need the cooperation of various parties because, in my opinion, asymptomatic carriers are more dangerous than those who exhibit clear symptoms and can be dealt with directly. If they are part of our families, we should enlighten them, engage in dialogue to break their indoctrination. If they are our neighbors, we should report them to the authorities for guidance. These radicalism viruses must be eradicated because, directly or indirectly, they extinguish the spirit of nationalism in individuals.