PAN open to ex-PKI members joining party

Kompas – March 3, 2004
PAN general chairperson Amien Rais (Suara Bali)
PAN general chairperson Amien Rais (Suara Bali)

Cirebon – The National Mandate Party (PAN) is open to and will allow the ex-members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) to join the party. The precondition being that ex-PKI members – who’s political rights were recently rehabilitated by the Constitutional Court – are not allowed to resurrect the ideology of communism.

This was affirmed by PAN general chairperson Amien Rais during a break in his visit to the Nuurusshiddiq Muslim boarding school in Cirebon, West Java, on Tuesday March 2.

According to Rais, any ex-PKI member will be allowed to become a member of PAN. But they must accept the party’s constitution and rules of association as well as the platform of PAN’s struggle. “And it is hoped that (the ex-PKI members) will not look back to the past, not look back to communism”, he said.

Responding to concerns that accepting ex-PKI members into the party or even as legislative and presidential candidates will create new problems, Rais guaranteed this will not be a problem, as long as all those concerned understand and tightly guard against [the reemergence of communist ideas].

“Please, let them become legislative candidates, after all, if their ideology is not [in accordance with the state ideology of] Pancasila it will be easy to recognise and we will dismiss them”, he said.

Rais also hoped that now that their political rights have been restored by the Constitutional Court, ex-party members who were outlawed and oppressed for 38 years will find a new orientation and ideology of struggle. “Allowing ex-PKI [members] to become legislative candidates or be involved in politics represents a good thing and does not need to made an issue out of any more. Now all that is left is the need for each of us guard against our ideology going astray again”, he said.

Moral teachings

Rais explained that the Constitutional Court’s decision was correct and in accordance with the moral teachings of region which obliges people to understand and forgive each other. Nevertheless, he admitted that there is still a controversy among the public about the restoration of the political rights of ex-PKI members.

“It is time for all of this to end and they be accepted, such that it is, because they represents the second generation and the possibility of resurrecting (communist) ideas [again] is small”, he said. (dhf)

[Translated by James Balowski.]