Gerindra, Democrats declare support for 299 anti-communist rally

Tribune – September 30, 2017
299 action at DPR building in Jakarta - September 29, 2017 (Tribune)
299 action at DPR building in Jakarta - September 29, 2017 (Tribune)

Glery Lazuardi, Jakarta – Four political parties – the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS), the Democrat Party (PD) and the Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) – have declared their opposition to the Government Regulation in Lieu of Law Number 2/2017 on Social Organisations (Perppu Ormas).

This opposition was declared before some 10 thousand protesters from various different Islamic based groups who had been demonstrating in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) building in Jakarta since early morning on Friday September 29.

It was conveyed after representatives of the 299 Action, who were led by 212 Action Presidium chairperson Slamet Ma’arif, conveyed their demands before DPR leaders, including among others, DPR deputy speaker Agus Hermanto from the PD and Fadli Zon from Gerindra, along with several other legislators.

Two demands were conveyed, the first being rejecting the Perppu Ormas and second, the government must take a strong stand against signs of a revival of the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) given that the Tap MPRS XXV/1966 remains in force.

“We have heard from the delegation, from ulama [Islamic scholars], habaib [ethnic Arabs claiming ancestry to the prophet] and kyai [Islamic clerics]. We have heard their demands. Essentially there are two, the issue of the Perppu and second about communism”, Fadli Zon said at the rally when speaking to journalists on Friday September 29.

Zon explained that the Perppu Ormas is problematic because it reduces democracy, conflicts with other laws and muzzles voices in society that are critical of the government. Yet Indonesia’s laws guarantee the right of freedom of expression and association for all citizens.

“The Perppu will be deliberated at the DPR in mid-October. You ladies and gentlemen must also be consistent in demonstrating your opposition. If the Perppu is enacted there will be subjectivity”, he said.

On communism, said Zon, there are regulations that prohibit communist ideas. If there is anyone that revives the PKI then they are in conflict with the Constitution. Because of this they must be opposed together.

“Don’t allow the PKI, who betrayed the Republic of Indonesia, to re-infest [our nation], because of this we support socialisation [to promote] public screenings of the G30S/PKI [Betrayal of the September 30/Indonesian Communist Party] film. Don’t let the betrayers of the nation live or be revived in the Republic of Indonesia”, he said.

Agus Hermanto meanwhile said that the Perppu is a digression on the part of the government that in order to become law, must obtain the agreement of the DPR.

“Of course we have quite a long of time because it will not be until October 28 that the Perppu will get agreement”, said Hermanto, which was greeted by shots of “reject it” from the crowd.

After meeting with representatives from the four factions at the DPR, the leaders of the 212 Action Presidium will meet with two other parties, the United Development Party (PPP) and the National Awakening Party (PKB), in order to smooth the way for opposition to the Perppu’s approval. The reasons for choosing to meet with these two parties is because they are Islamic based.

“PAN, the Democrats, PKS and Gerindra have already agreed to oppose the Perppu Ormas. We still have to wage a campaign with other factions and parties aside from these four. Later we will hold a good will meeting with the PKB and the PPP, which has the kabah as its symbol.


Tap MPRS XXV/1966 – Provisional People’s Consultative Assembly Decree Number XXV/1966 on the Dissolution of the Indonesian Communist Party and Prohibitions on Marxist, Leninist and Communist Teachings

[Abridged translation by James Balowski. The second part of the article covered statements made by the Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) on the Perppu Ormas. The original title of the article was Di Depan Peserta Aksi 299, Empat Parpol Nyatakan Sikap Seperti Ini.]