Jabbar Ramdhani, Jakarta – Students from the Trisakti University and their colleagues from other campuses plan to hold demonstrations if President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo does not make a statement on issuing a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to annul the recently revised Corruption Eradication Commission Law (UU KPK) by October 14.
The All Indonesia Student Executive Council (BEM SI) meanwhile says that there has not yet been any communication related to the planned demonstrations.
“In the case of the BEM SI there hasn’t been any communication with our campus friends on the October 14 deadline”, said BEM SI Coordinator for Greater Jakarta and Banten (Jabodetabek Banten) Muhammad Abdul Basit when contacted on Wednesday October 9.
Abbas – as he is known by his friends – said that the BEM SI has not yet been able to decide whether or not it will join the demonstrations. He added that the BEM SI must consolidate first with regional campuses.
Basit said that the BEM SI itself is already planning to take to the streets during Widodo’s inauguration on Sunday October 20. He said that the BEM SI will be conveying the same demands as they did at previous demonstrations.
“The other day we also held a consolidation in Kalimantan. And the results were that we will monitor the president’s inauguration. We will demonstrate at the inauguration. There hasn’t been any discussions [about protests] on October 14. We will continue demanding the same thing from the president, like the earlier demands, one of which is issuing a Perppu on the KPK Law”, he said.
Basit also spoke about the discourse on holding a dialogue with Widodo saying that the BEM SI is ready for a dialogue but only if it open and televised live on national television.
“We are still agreed on the original position... if Pak [Mr] Jokowi wants to meet with students it must be held openly and televised live”, said Basit.
Earlier, students from the Trisakti University and their colleagues asked Widodo to issue a statement on his position regarding a Perppu by Sunday October 14. If he doesn’t, the students will take to the streets in even greater numbers.
“We have given a time limit, at a minimum [we want] a statement on the current situation and also a statement on issuing a Perppu KPK. If there is no (statement on the Perppu), we will ask for a rational reason. If there is no response (from President Jokowi), we will take to the streets again”, said Trisakti University student president Dino Ardiansyah when contacted on Wednesday October 9.
If counted from today, five days are left until the deadline given to Widodo by students to provide a response. Ardiansyah said they have been consolidating with other campuses and all that is left is to set a day for the protests. He said that the massive demonstrations do not necessarily have to be held on October 14.
“We are currently in the process of consolidating with our other campus friends and the direction is to take to the streets together again, jointly. The hope is to be able to take to the streets together, in large numbers. The hope is that our friends from other campuses can take to the streets with us, in even bigger numbers. All that’s left is to set the day”, he said. (jbr/fjp)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “BEM SI Tak Ikut Deadline 14 Oktober: Kami Aksi di Pelantikan Presiden!”.]