Mon, 10 Apr 2000

TNI must reject President's proposal

I read an article in The Jakarta Post of April 6, 2000 which reported that the Indonesian Military (TNI) is studying the lifting of the ban on communism. As a retired TNI officer I think that this study is a waste of time and not worth the effort. We have only bad experiences concerning the activities of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

In 1948, the Indonesian nation was fighting desperately for its independence from the Dutch, who were better armed and had wider war experience, which they had gained during the WW II. But instead of supporting the national independence struggle, the PKI decided to start a rebellion against the infant Indonesia.

We were very fortunate that we had a strong nationalist government at that time under Bung Karno and the communist uprising was crushed by the army.

No ban on communism was issued and slowly, systematically the communists in Indonesia started their recovery program, and under the political umbrella called Nationalist, Religious Parties and Communist (NASAKOM) created by Bung Karno, the communists gained ground and became very powerful. Then, in 1965, they launched a coup attempt which became known as Gerakan 30 September/PKI (Sept. 30 Movement of the Communists).

This is something that cannot be forgotten. And then the people who had enough issued a ban on communism, which stands until today.

It is very difficult to understand why the President suddenly came up with the idea of lifting the ban on communism while there are so many other urgent problems which need serious attention.

Lifting the ban on communism means the same as doing away with the state ideology Pancasila, the first principle of which is a recognition of the existence of one God. And we all know that communist ideology does not accept this principle. We call communists atheists.

I cannot understand why TNI said it would study the President's repeated calls for lifting the ban on communism. There is no need for TNI to study this proposal. Instead, it should reject it right away.

I pray the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) will have enough courage to do what is best for the country. The MPR can just ignore the President's appeal for the lifting of the ban on communism, as nothing will happen by doing so.