Suharto era thugs warn against attempts to disrupt Widodo government

CNN Indonesia – October 26, 2019
Widodo at Pancasila Youth 10th Convention in Jakarta – October 26, 2019 (Biro Setpres Istana)
Widodo at Pancasila Youth 10th Convention in Jakarta – October 26, 2019 (Biro Setpres Istana)

Jakarta – Pancasila Youth (Pemuda Pancasila, PP) Deputy General Chairperson, Bambang Soesatyo, has stated that the organisation will take a tough stand against anyone who intends to disrupts the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI), the state ideology Pancasila or President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

“We will transform again into ferocious thugs if there are those who [attempt to] disrupt national sovereignty, the NKRI, Pancasila or try to interfere with President Jokowi as the head of state”, said Bamsoet, as Soesatyo is known to his friends, in a speech during the opening of the Pancasila Youth’s 10th Convention in Jakarta on Saturday October 26, which was officially opened by Widodo.

Soesatyo, who is also the speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), emphasised that the Pancasila Youth will oppose to the last drop of blood anyone who wants to disrupt national sovereignty.

He said that the Pemuda Pancasila is no longer an organisation of thugs (premanisme) but is a social organisation which priorities knowledge.

“We are no longer an ordinary organisation of thugs, we no longer use machetes, tattoos or have thick mustaches. Now we prefer to prioritise the brain, ideas, knowledge and intelligence in controlling territory”, said Soesatyo.

Pancasila Youth General Chairperson Japto Soerjosoemarno meanwhile emphasised that the Pancasila Youth is a mass organisation based on Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution.

Soerjosoemarno emphasised that the Pancasila Youth, in fitting with the ideals of its birth, is not a political party or an organisation of thugs.

“The Pancasila Youth is an organisation which is disliked, but is necessary. We don’t go far and wide, but we are everywhere”, said Soerjosoemarno.

Soerjosoemarno said that Pancasila Youth’s leading members are spread across several state institutions and political parties. According to Soerjosoemarno, Pancasila Youth leaders hold position in a variety groups from grass-roots organisations to officials in state institutions.

Furthermore, Soerjosoemarno explained, the Pancasila Youth 10th Convention will be discussing three key matters, namely evaluating the programs carried out in the previous period, formulating programs for the next five years and selecting a leadership team to implement these programs.

Soerjosoemarno also took the opportunity to instruct all Pancasila Youth leaders to support the administration of President Widodo and Vice President Ma’ruf Amin over the next five years. (ANTARA/ard)


The Pancasila Youth 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 “Pemuda Pancasila: Jangan Coba-coba Ganggu Presiden Jokowi”.]