Security chief guarantees no one can revoke ban on PKI, communist teachings

CNN Indonesia – May 31, 2020
People hold now banned hammer-and-sickle flag – Pre-1965 (AFP)

Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD has confirmed that there are no parties seeking to revoke the TAP MPRS Number XXV/MPRS/1966 on the Dissolution of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and Prohibitions of Marxist, Leninist and Communist Teachings.

According to Mahfud, there are also no institutions which have the authority to revoked the 1966 Provisional People’s Consultative Assembly decree.

The debate about revoking the 1996 decree emerged after the House of Representatives (DPR) began deliberating the Draft Law on Pancasila Ideology Orientation (RUU HIP). The draft law does not cite the TAP MPRS Number XXV/1966 as a legislative consideration.

“Some people are anxious, as if there are efforts to revive communism by revoking Tap Number XXV/MPRS/1966. Trust me, constitutionally there is no MPR [People’s Consultative Assembly] or other institution which can revoke the Tap MPR”, said Mahfud via his private Twitter account @mohmahfudmd on Sunday May 31.

“The MPR that exists at the moment does not have the authority to revoke the Tap MPR which was made in 2003 and earlier”, he added, referring to the Tap MPR Number 1/2003 which was passed to reaffirm the ban on communism during the presidency of Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Mahfud explained that the RUU HIP which is currently being deliberated by the DPR is not intended to abolish the TAP MPRS Number XXV/1966 but exactly the reverse, to strengthen Pancasila.

“The Draft Law on Pancasila Ideology Orientation that exists at the moment will not open the door to communism but is to strengthen Pancasila as the state ideology”, said Mahfud.

A number of parties have objected to the RUU HIP. The Islamic based Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) and the National Mandate Party (PAN) have both criticised the draft law because the TAP MPRS Number XXV/MPRS/1966 is not included as a legislative consideration.

“Don’t ignore the dangers of latent communism. The Tap MPRS XXV/1966 is officially still in force because the danger [of communism] still threatens the Indonesian nation to this day”, said PKS faction chairperson Jazuli Juwaini on Wednesday May 13.

“PAN’s position on this issue is clear, if the TAP MPRS is neglected, the PAN faction will withdraw from the deliberations. PAN doesn’t want to play around with sensitive issues which could injure the [Islamic] community and the public”, said PAN Deputy Chairperson Saleh Daulay on Monday May 18.

Responding the issue, MPR Deputy Chairperson Ahmad Basarah from the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) said he believes that it is impossible for the PKI to reemerge. He also asked that people stop blowing up the issue of the reemergence of the PKI and linking it with the RUU HIP.

“The TAP MPRS Number XXV/1966 is still in force and is legally binding. Because of this, even it’s not cited in the Draft Law on Pancasila Ideology Orientation, it’s impossible for this banned organisations and communist teachings to reemerge in any shape or form”, said Basarah. (bmw)

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Ramai Isu PKI, Mahfud Jamin Tak Ada yang Bisa Cabut TAP MPRS”.]