Save Indonesia coalition warns of neo-communist, ‘new style’ PKI threat

CNN Indonesia – September 24, 2020
KAMI declaration at Proclamation Monument in Central Jakarta – August 2020 (CNN)

Jakarta – The Save Indonesia Action Coalition (KAMI) has sent an open letter to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in which they demanded he take serious action against of the resurgence of neo-communism and the “new style” Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

KAMI said it is concerned with this reemergence, which has been shown by the presence of grandchildren of communists in the legislative as well as executive branches of government.

KAMI believes that these communist grandchildren will pervert history by declaring that the PKI is the victim while non-PKI groups, specifically the Islamic community, are the perpetrators of gross human rights violations against the PKI.

“The grandchildren of communist groups have in fact already infiltrated the legislative as well as executive circles. They close their eyes to the historical facts, that it was communist groups who first slaughtered the ulama [Islamic leaders] and santri [Islamic religious pupils]”, the group said in the open letter to Widodo on Thursday September 24.

This situation, said KAMI, will worsen because some of the PKI grandchildren already have the audacity to publicly declare their pride in being a child of the PKI.

The group is convinced that efforts to turn people against each other, particularly the Islamic community and religious congregations, the harassment and character assassination of political rivals, are the same communist methods that they used in the past.

According to KAMI, this brutal affair [the alleged 1965 communist coup] left a dim if not dark historical stain on the history of the nation and the state which is based on the ideology of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution.

KAMI said that the PKI and communist groups disagree with and always want to criticise Pancasila, both through efforts to replace Pancasila, fighting for a different interpretations of and exploiting Pancasila, which will result in the loss of its essence.

KAMI also took up the Draft Pancasila Ideology Guidelines Law (RUU HIP) which created a polemic not long ago. Deliberations by the House of Representatives (DPR) on the RUU HIP have now stopped and the law has been replaced by the Draft Law on the Agency for Pancasila Ideology Education (RUU BPIP).

KAMI is therefore calling on Widodo to meet this historical challenge, namely to take serious action against the symptoms, indications and revival of neo-communism or the new style PKI, which they said was a real and present threat.

KAMI also demanded that Widodo push the DPR to withdraw the RUU HIP from the National Legislation Program (Prolegnas) and not pursue its replacement, the RUU BPIP.

Widodo was also asked to call on government institutions and public broadcasters, specifically on the state-owned TVRI television station, to screen the film The Betrayal of the September 30 Movement/Indonesian Communist Party (Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI) or similar films on September 30 so that the Indonesian people understand the dark stain that the affair made on Indonesia’s national history.

“Likewise, that historical studies which explain this dark stain be taught at all levels of education, not reduced let alone removed”, the group said.

KAMI quoted from a famous speech by Indonesia’s founding president Sukarno titled Red Coat (Jas Merah), an acronym for “Jangan Sekali-kali Melupakan Sejarah” (Don’t ever forget history).

In the context of remembering the PKI’s brutality, KAMI also called on all citizens to raise the national flag at half-mast on September 30 and then to raise it full-mast on October 1 to mark Pancasila Sanctity Day.

KAMI is an organisation which was initiated by former TNI (Indonesian military) commander General Gatot Nurmantyo along with several national figures such as Islamic Ulama Council (MUI) Advisory Board Chairperson Din Syamsuddin, constitutional law expert Refly Harun, former State-Owned Enterprises Ministry secretary Muhammad Said Didu, former United Development Party (PPP) lawmaker Achmad Yani and lecturer and prominent government critic Rocky Gerung.

During its declaration in August, KAMI declared itself as a people’s moral movement which will be active in social monitoring, criticising and correcting the kiblat (orientation, direction of the Kaabah in Mecca) of the country to save it from digression and deviation. (psp/pris)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “KAMI Surati Jokowi, Bicara Neo Komunisme dan PKI Gaya Baru”.]