If Ex-tapols become candidates, don’t repeat the past: Hamzah Haz

Detik.com – February 25, 2004
Vice-President Hamzah Haz (Tribune)
Vice-President Hamzah Haz (Tribune)

Fedhly Averouss Bey, Jakarta – Allowing ex-political prisoners, in particular ex-members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), to become legislative candidates brings with it consequences for the security forces. The security forces must work hard to ensure that the bad things which happened in the past are not repeated.

This was related to journalists by Vice-president Hamzah Haz after closing the International Scholars Conference at the Jakarta Convention Centre on Wednesday February 25.

“In order to prevent the reemergence of the PKI, the consequence is that work in our defence and security areas must strengthened”, said Haz.

Nevertheless said Haz, the decision taken by the Constitutional Court must be respected. “If the Constitutional Court has taken the decision that ex-PKI members can become legislative candidates, what else can we do. We have to accept it”, said Haz.

What about the position of the United Development Party (PPP) itself? PPP continues to hope that ex-political prisoners will change and not make the same mistakes they made in the past.

“Let Ex-PKI show that they are able to integrate themselves into the Indonesian nation which adheres to Maha Esa [the Great Unity, God]. And we must be on guard so that this thing does not boomerang”, said Haz.

NU not worried

At the same opportunity, the chairperson of [the Islamic mass organisation] Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Hasyim Muzadi, said that NU was not worried that this decision will result in the reemergence of the PKI. NU itself said Muzadi, has already forgiven the past “sins” of the PKI.

“That was in the past, now that they have been forgiven we must accept them. We are not worried about the reemergence of the PKI. We shouldn’t be suspicious of this thing”, explained Muzadi. (djo)

[Translated by James Balowski.]