People’s United Action calls for a clean, democratic, people’s government

FNPBI News – September 28, 2004
Lawmakers squabbling during parliamentary debate (Kompas)
Lawmakers squabbling during parliamentary debate (Kompas)

Jakarta – A number of worker, student, urban poor and political movement organisations have come together under the banner of the People’s United Action to urge the government and the people’s representatives to honour their promises to implement reform.

The alliance is made up of the People’s Committee of United Struggle (Komite Perjuangan Rakyat Bersatu) which includes a number of trade unions including the Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggle (FNPBI), the Indonesian Labor Union (GSBI), Aspek (a federation of bank trade unions), the Indonesian Labor Union Confederation (Gaspermindo), the PT Dirgantara Indonesia Workers Communication Forum and the Indonesian Port Transportation Labor Union (SBTPI). Also involved is the United Opposition Front (BOB) which is made up of the People’s Democratic Party (PRD), the Action Study Circle for Indonesian Democracy (LS-ADI), the National Student League for Democracy (LMND), the National Mandate Party Youth Front (BM-PAN), the Committee against the Criminalisation of the Press (KAKaP), the Women’s Alliance Against RUU TNI (draft law on the armed forces), Jakarta Parliament Watch, Senjata Kartini (Sekar) and the Indonesian National Student Movement (GMNI).

“We want to know whether or not during the first 100 days, they will be able to fulfil [their] promises. We are focusing on four points”, said United People’s Action spokesperson Lukman Hakim during a press conference which was held at the office of the Committee for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras).

The four points include, firstly, a clean government which can demonstrate that it will clean the corrupters out of the bureaucracy and bring them to trial and try the military generals who have perpetrated human rights abuses.

Secondly, a democratic government which can show that it will repeal the Anti-terrorism Law and the law on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, withdraw non-organic troops from Aceh and West Papua, reject the draft law on the armed forces (RUU TNI) and unconditionally release all political prisoners.

Thirdly, a government which will hold to the concept of a people’s economy which will demonstrate this by repealing laws 13/2003 and 2/2004 on labour, repeal the Water Resources Law, reject the draft laws on plantations and health, increase the 2005 state budget for education so that education is free and provide decent low cost housing without land evictions.

Fourthly, a sovereign government which has the courage to free itself from western exploitation by canceling the foreign debt, ending privatisation and protecting domestic industries.

LMND general secretary Gigih Guntoro added that the People’s United Action represents a consolidation of a number of movement alliances in Jakarta which it is hoped will be able to offer alternative solutions to the people as it will be extremely difficult for the incoming government of president elect Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s (SBY) government and the new People’s Representative Assembly (DPR) to carry through the agenda of reform. If it is to be a clean government for example, this means that SBY must have the courage to investigate his vice-presidential running mate Yusuf Kalla who was implicated in corruption during the government of former President Abdurrahman Wahid and try former president Suharto and his state ruling party Golkar.

And as a warning to the new government and the next DPR, the People’s United Action will hold a mass action at the national parliament on October 1 to coincide with the inauguration of new legislative members which will be followed by a mass action on October 20 at the state palace during the inauguration of the new president. These action will be held simultaneously across Indonesia by organisations which have national networks.

[Translated by James Balowski.]