June 27, 2020, 12.45 AM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – A legislator from Indonesia’s ruling party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), has called on the Indonesian National Police to investigate the burning of the party’s flag during a protest in Jakarta on Wednesday, June 26.

PDI-P legislator I Wayan Sudiarta urged Indonesian National Police Chief General Idham Azis to investigate the burning of the flag.

The demonstration occurred over the party’s role in proposing the Ideological Guidelines Bill for Pancasila, Indonesia’s state ideology. The bill provoked opposition for its perceived leniency on communism, an ideology outlawed in Indonesia since 1966.

“We are concerned that there are certain individuals or groups that are trying to pit the PDI-P party against [other parties or groups],” said the III Commission legislator on legal, human rights and security affairs.

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“This is shown from the flags carried by the protesters, such as the [PDI-P flag] and the hammer and sickle [communist] banner. This indicates that they have the funds to produce them.”

Sparking conflict

Wayan is confident that the Indonesian National Police can investigate the matter.

“There are many who wish to hurt [PDI-P] as we won [the 2019 elections]," he said. "So the burning of the party’s flag can potentially cause conflicts within society.”

PDI-P Secretary General Hasto Kristiyanto announced that the party will explore legal options against those behind the flag burning. “The flag burning is an obvious effort to destabilize President Joko Widodo’s administration,” he said.

“We will prioritize discussion [to settle disagreements], but do not test our patience.”

Calling for calm

In a circular to the party on Thursday, June 25, PDI-P Chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri called for calm.

“As the party [of my father, first president] Sukarno, PDI-P will carry on his mission to use Pancasila to enlighten the nation,” she said.

Megawati and other PDI-P politicians, among them Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, called on their followers to remain calm and let the law take its course.

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The Ideological Guidelines Bill for Pancasila failed to get passed in the House of Representatives, following pressure from conservative nationalist and Islamic parties such as Gerindra and PKS, as well as groups such as Nahdlatul Ulama and the 212 Alumni Association.

The legislation's opponents questioned the PDI-P Party's anticommunist credentials after they charge that the bill omitted a 1966 decree outlawing communism in Indonesia. The party denied the allegations. 

(Writer: Tsarina Maharani/Editor : Diamanty Meiliana)


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