Jokowi welcomes endorsement from Suharto era paramilitary thugs

Detik News – March 3, 2019
Widodo and PP chairperson Japto Soelistyo Soerjosoemarno – March 3, 2019 (Detik)
Widodo and PP chairperson Japto Soelistyo Soerjosoemarno – March 3, 2019 (Detik)

Andhika Prasetia, Jakarta – Incumbent presidential candidate President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has emphasised that the ideology of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) is Pancasila. If anyone wants to replace this, he said, they will have to face the Pancasila Youth (PP).

“Don’t ever let there be people who want to change our state ideology, Pancasila or the NKRI. I’m sure that if anyone tries to do this will have to face the Pancasila Youth. Better to drown at sea than return empty handed”, said Widodo (quoting from a proverb meaning once a decision is made there can be no more hesitation) upon receiving endorsement from the Jakarta Pancasila Youth volunteers at the Senayan Sports Arena in Jakarta on Sunday March 3

“You have be absolutely consistent in defending our ideology, consistent in saying NKRI is non-negotiable, I’ve seen this. You’ve never deviated, because I have known you since I was [the mayor] of Solo”, said Widodo.

“In truth me and you are already ‘pren’, not [just] friends”, he continued using the abbreviation of the slang term for friend.

Widodo also didn’t forget to explain to those present about the government’s three welfare cards, namely the Smart Education Card, the Pre-Work Card and the Cheap Basic Goods Card. (dkp/dhn)


The Pemuda Pancasila (Pancasila Youth, PP) was established by the army in October 1959, ostensibly to uphold the state ideology of Pancasila. During the 1965-66 anti-communist purge the group took an active part in the slaughter of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and sympathisers. Under Suharto’s New Order dictatorship the organisation became an association of notorious thugs and petty criminals who carried out the regime’s dirty work. It still has close ties with factions of the military and police and has been linked to criminal activities such as racketeering and extortion. In recent years it has been involved in a number of violent turf wars with other vigilante groups and attacks on leftist groups and events that it deems to be “pro-communist” or “anti-Pancasila”.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Jokowi: Yang Berani Ganti Ideologi NKRI, Berhadapan dengan Pemuda Pancasila”.]