Security chief accuses civil society movements of being vehicles to gain power

Source – May 22, 2023
Mahfud MD speaking at the Coordinating Ministry for Security in Jakarta – May 11, 2023 (Kompas)

Nirmala Maulana Achmad, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD says that many civil society movements emerged during the era of reformasi – the political reform process that began in 1998 – but they were then used to get into circles of power.

Mahfud said this when giving his greetings during the 1st anniversary of the Nationalist Diversity Movement (GBN) at the GBN building in Jakarta on Sunday May 21.

"During the reformasi era, we saw many civil movements emerge. Before at the beginning of [former president Suharto's] New Order [regime] it was difficult", said Mahfud.

Mahfud said that following this the civil movements got into power and were complicit in wreaking things from within. "After getting [into power] they were complicit in wreaking things", said Mahfud.

"So members of the DPR [House of Representatives], become hedonist, extravagant, arbitrarily, making rules that suffocate the public and no longer caring about society", said Mahfud.

Mahfud, who has recently been appointed by the president as the acting Minister of Communication and Information following the arrest of former information minister Johnny Plate on corruption charges, also added that many civil society movements are only used as vehicles to gain positions.

"Civil society movements are just a vehicle to gain positions and to take part in stealing public money. Being a new bourgeoisie", said Mahfud. "So civil society movements are only used as a stepping stone to take power, there's a lot [like that]", said Mahfud.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mahfud: Era Reformasi Muncul Banyak Gerakan Sipil Hanya untuk Masuk ke Kekuasaan, Sesudah Itu Merusak".]