Youth Pledge Day rally in Jakarta rejects Jokowi’s New Order regime

CNN Indonesia – October 28, 2019
Protesters march toward Horse Statue Monument in Jakarta – October 28, 2019 (CNN)
Protesters march toward Horse Statue Monument in Jakarta – October 28, 2019 (CNN)

Jakarta – Students and other civil society organisations come together on Monday October 28 under the banner of the People’s Border (Borak) to demonstrate not far from the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta to commemorate the momentum of Youth Pledge Day.

Borak representatives and Atma Jaya University student Natado Putrawan said that the group is making four demands, one of which is rejecting efforts to weaken the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

He referred to the KPK for the period 2019-2023 under the leadership of new KPK Commissioner Police Inspector General Firli Bahuri as “The Kuningan Police Office”, referring to Jl. Kuningan, the street where the KPK building is located.

“There are four demands. First, we reject the ‘Kuningan Police Office’. We reject the KPK being weakened”, Putrawan told CNN Indonesia on Monday.

Borak is also demanding a reshuffle of the new cabined which was announced by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Wednesday last week. They referred to the new cabinet as the “Bloody Indonesian Cabinet”.

The student group also rejected the revival of Suharto’s New Order during Widodo’s presidency. Putrawan said that democracy in Indonesia is in retreat at the moment and those who criticise the government are intimidated as they were during the Suharto era.

Fourth, the students are demanding that the government forms a Fact Finding Team (TPF) to investigate the repressive actions by police in handling the protest actions in late September.

“We are also taking up seven demands plus #ReformasiDikorupsi [Reform Corrupted] and the four demands of Time to Save Democracy (Patut Selamatkan Demokrasi)”, he said.

Borak began the action by gathering near the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta. They then held a long-march towards the nearby Presidential Palace.

Putrawan claimed that around two thousand people from various campuses plan to join the action including students from the Prof. Dr. Moestopo University, the Pasundan University, the Parahyangan University, the Mpu Tantular University, the National Institute of Science and Technology and Al Azhar Indonesia University.

This time round, actions are not just being held in Jakarta. In concert with the momentum of commemorating Youth Pledge Day, protest actions are also being held in the Central Java cities of Surakarta and Yogyakarta, the East Java cities of Malang and Gresik and the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar.

In Jakarta, the protest actions will be concentrated in the vicinity of the Arjuna Wiwaha or Horse Statue in Central Jakarta.


On October 28, 1928, Indonesian students and youth gathered in Jakarta to declare the Youth Pledge – generally accepted as the first open declaration of Indonesian independence – which called for a united independent Indonesia under the theme of “One Nation, One People, One Language”.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Demo di Hari Sumpah Pemuda, Massa Borak Tolak Pelemahan KPK”.]