TNI chief won’t order G30S/PKI film screenings but reiterates dangers of communist ideology

Source – September 27, 2018
TNI chief Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto - Undated (Antara)
TNI chief Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto - Undated (Antara)

Siti Ruqoyah – TNI (Armed Forces) chief Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto has finally responded to the challenge by former TNI chief retired General Gatot Nurmantyo to hold public screenings of the film G30S/PKI.

When Nurmantyo held the post of TNI commander, he ordered all army officers to hold joint public screenings of the film The Betrayal of the 30 September Movement/Indonesian Communist Party (Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI) throughout the country.

Unlike Nurmantyo, Tjahjanto says that there is no obligation to hold public screenings of the film. “[Holding] public screenings is the right of all citizens, not just today, but tomorrow or now, please go ahead anyone can watch”, Tjahjanto said in response to a question by tvOne on Thursday September 27.

Tjahjanto explained that the film is part of Indonesia’s history which cannot be forgotten. “We must absolutely reject communist ideology so that it doesn’t infiltrate this Pancasila [the state ideology] state, so that the younger generation truly understands [the threat]”, said Tjahjanto.

As has been reported, Nurmantyo has challenged Tjahjanto and Army Chief of Staff (KSAD) General Mulyono to order their officers to hold joint screenings of the G30S/PKI film.

“If the KSAD doesn’t have the courage to order public screenings of the film G-30S/PKI, how can he expect to lead courageous and champion officers like Kostrad [Army Strategic Reserves Command, Green Berets], Kopassus [Special Forces], and other army officers. Why is the KSAD a coward... yes it would be fitting for him to resign. Remember! There’s no death sentence for [not] ordering public screenings...”, wrote Nurmantyo on his Twitter account @Nurmantyo_Gatot.

Nurmantyo has called on the KSAD not to be afraid to order his subordinates to hold public screenings of the film G30S/PKI saying that that if they prohibit this then the only consequence would be being removed from his post.

Nurmantyo also warned that army officers are courageous and super determined and it is inappropriate for them to be led by a cowardly leader.


In September 1998, the government dropped the requirement for all TV stations to broadcast the film “Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI” (The Betrayal of the September 30 Movement/Indonesian Communist Party), a dramatisation of the New Order’s version of the events surrounding the alleged communist coup in 1965. The film, one of the most effective pieces of propaganda produced by the Suharto dictatorship, had been a compulsory program for all stations every September 30 since its release in 1984.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Ditantang Gatot Nurmantyo Nobar Film G30S/PKI, Ini Kata Panglima TNI.]