Jakarta – Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) Executive Board Deputy Chairperson Sufmi Dasco Ahmad has clarified that a speech delivered by the Defense University rector during a discussion on the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), which was given on behalf of Defense Minister (Menhan) and Gerindra chairperson Prabowo Subianto, was done so without Prabowo’s prior consent.
“There was no confirmation on the text of the speech, there was no agreement or authorisation given [to present the speech] on behalf of the Menhan”, said Ahmad in Jakarta on Sunday November 24.
Because of this Ahmad believes that the remarks made by Unhan Rector Lieutenant General Tri Legionosuko on the PKI and the 30 September movement represent the personal views of the Unhan rector.
Ahmad said that Prabowo was unable to appear on the discussion panel of a book dissertation titled The PKI, the Mastermind and Perpetrator of the G30S/65 Coup D’etat at the National Resilience Institute building in Jakarta on Saturday November 23.
“Prabowo as the Menhan did not attend the event although the one who read out the speech was the Defense University Rector who did so on behalf of Prabowo as the Menhan”, said Ahmad as quoted by the state news agency Antara.
Ahmad explained that after they cross checked, it turns out that the text of the speech had not been confirmed or approved and that no authorisation was given for it to be given on behalf of Prabowo.
In the speech delivered by Legionosuko on behalf of Prabowo, Prabowo was cited as saying that all elements of the nation must increase vigilance against the latent dangers of communism because several countries which follow communist ideology still exist.
Prabowo was also cited as asking all school teachers to convey the evil of the PKI rebellion or the G30S/65 affair to students. According to Prabowo, the younger generation must know about the history and brutality of the PKI.
The book dissertation was organised by the National Defense Movement (GBN) and the History Social Concern Institute (YMPS).
On the night of September 30, 1965 a group of middle-ranking military officers known as the 30 September Movement (G30S) kidnapped six generals they accused of organising a coup against Indonesia’s leftist President Sukarno. For reasons that remain unclear, the six were killed and their bodies dumped in a well in South Jakarta. By blaming the incident on the PKI, this provided the pretext for sections of the military, led by then Major General Suharto, to mount a bloody counter-revolution in which as many as 1 million communists and left wing sympathisers were killed. Hundreds of thousands of others were imprisoned for years without trial. The official narrative that the PKI was behind the coup has long been debunked by independent historians as a cover for the military and Suharto to stage its own ouster of Sukarno.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Gerindra: Pidato Soal Bahaya Komunisme Bukan Atas Nama Prabowo”.]