Ruling party legislator says state ideology Pancasila important to weed out LGBT

CNN Indonesia – February 13, 2020
People’s Consultative Assembly Deputy Speaker Ahmad Basarah – Undated (Gosumbar)

Jakarta – People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Deputy Speaker and ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Deputy General Secretary Ahmad Basarah has asserted that Pancasila is not just important as a state ideology but also to ward off liberal campaigns such as those supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people.

This was conveyed by Basarah during a visit along with MPR Speaker Bambang Soesatyo and the other MPR deputy speaker, Lestari Moerdijat, at the Trans Media building. Basarah said that liberal ideas have permeated everywhere, one of which is the campaign to support LGBT.

Basarah asserted that aside from LGBT, the emergence of fundamentalism and extremism has also occurred in a systematic way because the state has neglected developing the national ideology at specific times.

Because of this, he added, Pancasila could be a filter against these campaigns.

“In Indonesia we can respect global rights issues, but when they enter Indonesia we have a filter and its name is Pancasila”, said Basarah on Wednesday February 12.

One of the issues explicitly cited by Basarah was same-sex marriage which has already been legalised in several Asian and European countries.

Related to this issue, Basarah also stated that he has personally questioned several religious leaders about the issue and all of them stated that same-sex marriage is prohibited.

“I don’t think it's just the [first] principle of Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa [Belief in the Almighty God], but other principles [in Pancasila] also complement each other [in asserting] that (LGBT) is not in accordance with the national identity in Indonesia”, he said.

“How could we be inferior to the fish in the sea, fish who were not even given a mind, the flesh which we eat isn’t salty yet they live in a sea which is salty because they have gills to filter it. The Indonesian nation was preordained by God to have the values of Pancasila which I think must weed it out”, he asserted.

[Abridged translation by James Balowski. The second part of the article which was not translated covered discussions on revisions to the Constitution and the relationship between the MPR and the president. The original title of the article was “ MPR: Pancasila Jadi Penyaring Kampanye LGBT”.]