In­done­sians not wor­ried about PKI

SMRC sur­vey re­veals 86.8 per­cent of In­done­sians do not see re­vival of PKI 75.1 per­cent of re­spon­dents do not see Pres­i­dent Joko “Jokowi” Wi­dodo as PKI sym­pa­thizer

The Jakarta Post - - HEADLINES - Gemma Hol­liani Cahya and Mar­guerite Afra Sapiie

Fears of com­mu­nism spread fol­low­ing the kid­nap­ping and even­tual mur­der of six In­done­sian Army gen­er­als on Sept. 30, 1965, in a coup d’etat that was blamed on the In­done­sian Com­mu­nist Party (PKI).

The event, re­ferred to as the Sept. 30 Move­ment (G30S), is used by au­thor­i­ties as an ex­cuse to crack­down on sus­pected com­mu­nist sym­pa­thiz­ers.

Sev­eral weeks be­fore the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the G30S, anti-com­mu­nist move­ments have sprung up across the coun­try, in­di­cat­ing that there is wide­spread fear of the pos­si­ble re­vival of the now-de­funct PKI.

A sur­vey com­mis­sioned by Sai­ful Mu­jani Re­search and Con­sult­ing (SMRC), how­ever, sug­gests that such fear is not as wide­spread as it seems.

“In the sur­vey, 86.8 per­cent of re­spon­dents say they don’t agree that there is cur­rently a re­vival of the PKI in the coun­try,” SMRC deputy chief Siro­judin Ab­bas told jour­nal­ists dur­ing the launch of the sur­vey in Jakarta on Fri­day.

Mean­while, 12.6 per­cent of re­spon­dents say there is cur­rently a re­vival of the PKI. Of this per­cent­age, 39.9 per­cent — around 5 per­cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion of adults — said a re­vival of the com­mu­nist party was a threat to the coun­try.

Con­ducted from Sept. 3 to Sept. 10, the sur­vey in­volved 1,220 re­spon­dents aged 17 years or above, with a re­sponse rate of 87 per­cent, or 1,057 peo­ple. The sur­vey used a mul­ti­stage ran­dom sam­pling sys­tem with a mar­gin of er­ror of plus or mi­nus 3.1 per­cent and a trust level of 95 per­cent.

Siro­judin fur­ther said the sur­vey found that 75.1 per­cent of re­spon­dents do not agree that Pres­i­dent Joko “Jokowi” Wi­dodo is a PKI sym­pa­thizer or con­nected to the party.

“Po­lit­i­cally, the re­vival of the PKI was not an im­por­tant is­sue be­cause it was not con­sid­ered a fact by most In­done­sian peo­ple. It seemed the is­sue, which was aimed at weak­en­ing the peo­ple’s sup­port of Jokowi, was not an in­flu­en­tial strate­gic is­sue,” he said.

Ten­sions over the al­leged re­vival of the PKI have es­ca­lated af­ter hun­dreds of anti-com­mu­nists be­sieged the of­fice of the Foun­da­tion of the In­done­sian Le­gal Aid In­sti­tute (YLBHI) on Sept. 17, de­mand­ing that par­tic­i­pants of an event tak­ing place there that day dis­perse over ac­cu­sa­tions that the par­tic­i­pants were PKI mem­bers and sym­pa­thiz­ers.

Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, politi­cians and sev­eral in­sti­tu­tions called for pub­lic screen­ings of Pengkhi­anatan G30S/PKI, a movie most his­to­ri­ans con­sider a mere pro­pa­ganda piece cre­ated by the Soe­harto regime.

In­done­sian Mil­i­tary (TNI) Com­man­der Gen. Ga­tot Nur­man­tyo or­dered sol­diers in ar­eas across the coun­try to at­tend pub­lic screen­ings of the movie.

Univer­sity of In­done­sia (UI) so­ci­ol­o­gist Tham­rin Amal To­magola, who was also present at the sur­vey launch, said there was no space left for the com­mu­nist move­ment to grow.

“From the po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural side of In­done­sia, there is no place for rad­i­cal thoughts, such as [those re­lated to] com­mu­nism, or the Is­lamic caliphate sys­tem,” Tham­rin said. He fur­ther said that the po­lit­i­cal con­science of the In­done­sian peo­ple ac­cen­tu­ated har­mony and re­li­gios­ity; so if there was an ef­fort to grow a rad­i­cal move­ment, the so­ci­ety would nat­u­rally re­ject it.

In­done­sian In­sti­tute of Science (LIPI) po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Syam­sud­din Haris said there was no PKI re­vival and that it was merely an is­sue that was spread on the in­ter­net by peo­ple who want to take ad­van­tage of it.

“This is non­sense. If it’s real, where is the in­sti­tu­tion, who is the leader, what is­sues are they fight­ing for?” he said.

“It was mo­bi­lized by cer­tain po­lit­i­cal elites to gain power for the 2019 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.