By Sianny Rooney, Founder and Editor of Indonesia Merdeka
It maybe a bit too late to write this since the upcoming Presidential election is only a few months away, but here you go, my opinion about Jokowi and where we are today.
In July 2014, the Indonesian people rejoiced for their newly elected President Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi. For them this is their “Messiah”, their “Hope” or their “Saviour” after 33 years of Suharto dictatorship and 16 years of unsuccessful reform. He didn’t come from military and political party. For the first time, the Indonesian people see “hope” and a breath of “fresh air”.
His campaign’s promises in 2014 included justice for crimes against humanity and human rights violations in Indonesia (there are other human rights violations as part of Jokowi’s campaign not listed below):
- 1965 Coup to overthrow the democratically elected President Sukarno (who is also the Founding Father of Indonesia who fought for Indonesia’s independence from the Dutch colonial) done by Suharto and military backed by the CIA, British and Australian Intelligence where 500 thousands until 3 millions civilians were killed (communists, farmers, workers, intellectuals, atheist, pro-Sukarno, etc).
- May 1998 Riot in which there were many ethic Chinese women who were raped and experienced sexual violence as an act of war terror and there were several students/activist kidnapped and missing (allegedly murdered).
But just like other presidents or politicians all over the world, once they get elected only a few keep their promises. Promises stay promises, unfulfilled. In his annual speech in front of People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) 16 August 2018, President Jokowi said “Human Rights are not priorities”. Contrary to what he said during the 2014 Presidential Campaign when he said that Human Rights are his commitment not just promises.
Joshua Oppenheimer the film director of the “Act of Killing” and “The Look of Silence” documentaries (documentaries about the massacre related to 1965 False Flag Coup) posted in his Facebook on Oct 30, 2017 how some paramilitary thugs attacked the building where the film documentary was going to be played and how Jokowi and his vice President Jusuf Kalla supported these thugs.
On Saturday, Indonesia's president gave his support to the paramilitary thugs at the center of The Act of Killing. (In…
Here’s another proof of the documentary’s censorship by the Indonesian Government:
The Indonesian Armed Forces Joint Chief of Staff orders his army, navy and air force commanders to prevent screenings of The Look of Silence. Here is the order.
Not only that President Jokowi not keeping his promise/commitment but he also prevents the truth about 1965 massacre to come out. He also never attempted to prosecute those guilty of killing civilians and instead appointed them as ministers and other important positions in the military.
I think that law is one of the most important pillars that hold a country or a state together. Without law, it will become a lawless rogue state, where criminals run free and the innocents locked in jail. This has happened since Jokowi is president when former governor of Jakarta Ahok was put in jail with a blasphemy pretext. Soon other innocent victims followed such as the case of Meiliana. The most recent one is Baiq Nuril who is sentenced for defending herself against sexual harassment. In Indonesia, money can buy impunity and law is only applied to little people, while rich powerful people are free regardless of the seriousness of their crimes.
Implementation of law is also crucial because those involved in crimes against humanity in Indonesia are the ones who are still in power or hold important positions in government. President Jokowi gave these people impunity. For example General Wiranto, who is already indicted by the UN for massacre in East Timor in 2003, but Indonesia refused to give Wiranto to face trial in Dilli. Wiranto was also the commander in charge during May 1998 violent riot. Jokowi appointed Wiranto as the Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs instead of investigating and prosecuting him for his crimes against humanity. This shows that Jokowi lied in his promise/commitment, Jokowi is not serious to solve past human rights issues. To add, Wiranto as the Minister of Security Affairs is responsible for the ongoing oppression and genocide of the Papuan people, which makes Jokowi accomplice in the plunder of Indonesia’s natural resources, oppression and genocide of his own people, the people whom he has vowed to protect and serve as President.
Another mass murderer in Jokowi’s cabinet include Ryamizad Ryacudu, Minister of Defense. Over the past decade, Ryamizard has defended the military’s actions in West Papua and Aceh and publicly claimed that civilians become legitimate army targets if they “dislike” army policy or have “the same voice” as anti-government rebels.
As Indonesia’s New President Takes Office, Cabinet Includes Officials Tied to Atrocities of Old (Source: Democracy Now)
As long as these people from the New Order (Orde Baru) regime are still in power, Indonesia will never improve in terms of economic, social, justice and politic. Since Suharto managed to take power in 1965, Indonesia is savagely plundered and pillaged by the West, corporations, foreign and local elites. Indonesia is rich with natural resources from gold, oil, copper, timber, gas, coal, etc that quoting John Pilger: “This country is so rich of natural resources, it shouldn’t be poor” and quoting Ananta Pramoedya Toer “Negara begini kaya dirubah jadi negara pengemis” (translated in English: “A country as rich as Indonesia has been turned into a country of beggars”) in John Pilger’s documentary “The New Rulers of the World”.
In fact the overthrowing of Sukarno and putting dictator Suharto was the US, UK and Australia’s plan to plunder and imperialize Indonesia that Richard Nixon had called “the richest hoard of natural resources, the greatest prize in south-east Asia”.
People from Suharto’s era or known as New Order regime shouldn’t rule the country if Indonesia really want to rebuild and restore the country after dictator Suharto stepped down, 20 years ago. Indonesia needs to clean its government from corruptor, sell-out mentality officials who sell their country to be plundered and imperialised for a bit of the spoil. Prosecuting and putting in jail people from New Order(Suharto)’s era guilty of crimes against humanity is one of the first crucial steps to restore the nation.
True reform only come when Indonesia is not imperialised and its resources plundered. The natural resources can be used to improve the economic and social welfare of the Indonesian people, to alleviate them from poverty and extreme poverty, giving them healthcare and good public education.
Heading to 2019 Presidential Election, the elites whose hands behind the scene, forced Jokowi to take Ma’ruf Amin as his vice president candidate, and pushed aside his preferred candidate Prof. Mahfud MD, former Constitutional Court Chief of Justice. Ma’ruf Amin is a cleric and an extremist in his view, such as he wants legislation that would criminalize LGBT. He is also the one who gave hard condemnation as key witness to former governor Ahok’s blasphemy trial without wanting to look and even consider the evidence. Ma’ruf also threatened Jokowi to choose him as candidate for his Vice President.
Personally I don’t see Jokowi fit as President, he can be threatened by the military from New Order regime who are still in charge and the elites, and dictated who is going to be his Vice President. Most of his 2014 Presidential campaign’s promises are unfulfilled, there are no significant improvement in the economy, social, justice, civil right and civil liberties. Most Indonesians live in poverty, a sad reality and an irony considering the wealth of its natural resources and the potential of its human capital (number 4 most populous country in the world after China, India, USA). Because Jokowi can be threatened and told what he can and can not do, this leads to him not able to do his job as President, which makes him incompetent. Indonesia needs a brave and strong leader with integrity, who love his/her country and care for his/her citizens. Someone who is not afraid to die for his/her country, someone who will defend, protect and serve his/her citizens. Not defending the elites’ interests and imperialism.
On the other hand, Indonesia doesn’t have real opposition party, Prabowo is also from the New Order regime and a mass murderer. General Prabowo has been accused of extensive human rights abuses that took place in the 1990s when he was head of the country’s special forces. He was dismissed from the army in 1998 following accusations he was complicit in the abduction and torture of activists during political unrest in Jakarta that led to the ouster of longtime dictator Suharto, who killed as many as a million civilians. Prabowo was the son-in-law of Suharto.
You can prefer one puppet to another, or choose the lesser of two evils, but the ruling elites who control and own Indonesia are still the same. It won’t change much of your life and your generations’ lives as you are condemned to poverty, oppression, tyranny, no civil liberties and civil rights. Unless the Indonesians decide to wake up and do something to change their country.
The other problem I see is there is no real independent media, no real journalism. Most of the mainstream media are owned by the elites, they will keep the people brainwashed and indoctrinated with their lies and propaganda.
Religion also play a strong role in keeping the Indonesians brainwashed, even though Indonesia is a secular country, but the recent development such as the plan to implement Regional Shariah Law proves that Indonesia is heading to become an Islamic country. Indonesia is not an Islamic country, why is its law and regulations have to be based on Islam’s Shariah Law? This is against the constitution, its ideology and a threat to NKRI (United Republic of Indonesia). It is also an intolerance to other religions in Indonesia.
Since Jokowi becomes President in 2014, intolerance has increased, ISIS emerges, there is no law and justice, economic social welfare hasn’t improved much, and the country is heading toward an Islamic country like that of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia which is well-known for its atrocities and human right violations, where today in 21st century they are still crucifying or beheading people in public among other atrocities such as torturing their activists. Ma’ruf Amin as the candidate for Vice President, can be the “Trojan Horse” (if Jokowi is elected as President in 2019) who will deliver Indonesia into an Islamic country.
Once Indonesia become an Islamic country, you can imagine the worst scenario will happen, it will be worse than those horror movies you watch, it will be worse than your worst nightmare. There will be massacre of all the non-Moslem (men, women, children), minorities (ethnic Chinese, LGBT, etc) and everyone who is against the government and against Indonesia to become an Islamic country. You are forced to convert to Islam if you are not already Moslem out of fear, or you and your family will all be killed. All who against the government and the elites, will be gathered and massacred. This will be worse than the Nazi concentration camp and the 1965 genocide. This is a possible risk that can’t be taken lightly.
By then, life will be worse than George Orwell’s “1984” book. Indonesians will live in total fear, total tyranny. If Indonesians don’t wake up fast and do something to change the direction of their country, they are definitely marching towards ruin. Its people need to revolt when the right time comes or they will keep marching to Fascism and Ruin.