Jakarta lockdown forces Islamicists to rethink anti-communist film screenings

Detik News – September 13, 2020
Muhammadiyah high-school students watch G30S-PKI film – September 20, 2017 (Kompas)

Jakarta – The enforcement of total Large Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB, partial lockdown) in Jakarta will be an obstacle for plans by the 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212) and affiliated groups to hold joint screenings (nobar) of the film The Betrayal of the 30 September Movement/Indonesian Communist Party (G30S/PKI).

Despite this, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) believes that they will still try to hold joint screenings of the film though mobile phones.

Initially, the PA 212 and other groups affiliated with the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) National Anti-Communist Alliance (ANAK) had planned to organise joint screenings of the G30S/PKI film nationally.

“On September 30 we will hold a large event, namely we will have a khataman [complete reading of the] Qur’an, namely hold a khataman Qur’an, prayer and munajat [a wholehearted prayer to God for approval, forgiveness, help and guidance] to almighty Allah, as well as a prayer of atonement for the Islamic community, both for those fighting together with us as well as those fighting together against the government which doesn’t side with the ordinary people”, said National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema (GNPF) Chairperson Yusuf Muhammad Martak during a press conference at the Sofyan Cut Meutia hotel in Central Jakarta on Sunday August 30.

“After this we will listen [sic. gather] together in our respective regions for joint screenings of the film G30S/PKI alias nobar”, he said.

PA 212 Chairperson Slamet Ma’arif added at the time that they would hold the activities nationally at prayer rooms and respected mosques in each region. He said that the activity would still apply Covid-19 health protocols.

“We will hold the nobar nationally at mosques, prayer rooms, at respected mosques and in other places in each region. So it won’t focus on one region and will continue to maintain Covid-19 protocols. Yeah, this is still our plan”, said Ma’arif.

The joint screenings however have run aground after Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announced that the government would regulate the opening of houses of worship during the PSBB. Large houses of worship will not be allowed to operate because of the potential spread of the corona virus.

But the FPI has not run out of ideas on how to respond to the planned PSBB in Jakarta and say that people can still take part in joint screenings by mobile phone in their respective homes.

“[People can] simply watch together on their mobile phones from their individual homes”, FPI General Secretary Munarman told journalists on Saturday September 12.

Munarman says that the PSBB will not prevent the planned G30S/PKI joint screenings and that watching them at mosque or at home is simply a technical issue.

“It’s simply a technical matter if there’s a PSBB. The Islamic community has done this before in response to calls from the Jakarta MUI [Indonesian Ulama Council], calls from the Great Leader [fugitive FPI leader Habib Rizieq Shihab]. And the result will be that the rate of increase [in corona infections] in Jakarta will decline”, said Munarman.

In relation to the total PSBB, Munarman said that personally he supports the policy and criticised those who reject it.

“We are even suggesting that it not just be PSBB, but regional quarantines. Don’t listen to the dull witted and stupid ministers and politicians who don’t want PSBB”, said Munarman.

“Hopefully those who prefer to prioritise the economy and criticise the implementation of the PSBB will learn from the bad experience [up until now]”, he said.

Unlike the FPI, the PA 212 and affiliated groups are still considering holding the joint screenings and will hold a discussion to weigh up the safety of the Islamic community if they do go ahead.

“It’s being discussed”, said Ma’arif when sought for confirmation. “(We’re weighing up) the health [risks] and safety of the [Islamic] congregations”, he said. (maa/isa)


In September 1998, the government dropped the requirement for all TV stations to broadcast the film Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI (The Betrayal of the September 30 Movement/Indonesian Communist Party), a dramatisation of the New Order’s version of the events surrounding the alleged communist coup in 1965. The film, one of the most effective pieces of propaganda produced by the Suharto dictatorship, had been a compulsory program for all stations every September 30 since its release in 1984.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “PSBB Total DKI Bikin FPI Pakai Ponsel Nobar G30S/PKI”.]

Source: https://news.detik.com/berita/d-5170883/psbb-total-dki-bikin-fpi-pakai-ponsel-nobar-g30spki