PKS ormas Garbi to transform itself into new ‘progressive’ political party

CNN Indonesia – July 11, 2019
Indonesia’s New Direction Movement declaration in Jakarta – March 3, 2019 (Kompas)
Indonesia’s New Direction Movement declaration in Jakarta – March 3, 2019 (Kompas)

Jakarta – House of Representatives Deputy (DPR) Speaker Fahri Hamzah has confirmed that the Indonesia New Direction Movement (Garbi) social organisation (ormas) will soon be transformed into a political party (parpol).

Hamzah said that the decision will be taken based on considering the aspirations of all Garbi sympathisers who established the group more than a year ago.

“After more than one year of activities throughout Indonesia, we have listened to the heart-felt aspirations of our friends so we can continue the idea of a movement which was started by Garbi throughout Indonesia to become a political movement in the form of a parpol”, Hamzah told CNN Indonesia on Thursday July 11.

Hamzah however was not able to confirm when Garbi’s declaration as a new political party will be held. He only hopes that Garbi’s presence on the national political stage will be able to break out of the political rigidity and provide new ideas for Indonesian society.

“In the end this was agreed to in discussions, which we have yet to formalise, so all that’s left is waiting for the right time for us to formalise the formation of the parpol”, he said.

In addition to this, Hamzah also said that Garbi does not want to be trapped or nailed into one specific ideological spectrum in its struggle. Hamzah believes that Garbi will become a political party which will struggle through a movement of progressive ideas.

He added that Garbi will try to embrace all layers of society and straddle the existing political ideologies in Indonesia. “We want to be categorised as methodologist, namely how we can solve the problems of our nation”, he said.

“So the basis of its constituency will be all the Indonesian people, who will be offered a new way of thinking by this party. So we don’t want it to be based on the politics of transactional ideology. But crossing the boundaries”, he said.

Former prominent leaders of the Justice and Prosperity (PKS) like Hamzah and Anis Matta were the founders of Garbi which was declared in Bali in October last year. Hamzah was recently threatened with expulsion from the PKS and the case ended up in civil court.

Hamzah won to suit against his dismissal however and is still registered as a member of the PKS. (rzr/ugo)


The conservative Islamic based Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) was established in 1998 by members of the tarbiyah (education) or dakwah (religious propagation) movement inspired by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Garbi, which was formed in October 2018 as a mass support base for the PKS and is led by senior PKS members, portrays itself as a “more inclusive” and “progressive” organisation than the PKS. The group claims to have gained traction in recent months and has set up branches in Jakarta and several major cities in West Java, East Java, Bali, Banten, Sumatra and South Sulawesi.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Fahri Hamzah Pastikan Ormas Garbi Akan Jadi Partai Politik”.]