BPIP to bring Pancasila values down to earth and forestall radicalism

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Megawati Soekarnoputri, the Chairwoman of Pancasila Ideological Guidance Agency (Badan Pembinaan Ideologi Pancasila – “BPIP”)’s Advisory Council, states that BPIP’s duty is far from being easy. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Megawati Soekarnoputri, Chairwoman of Pancasila Ideological Guidance Agency (Badan Pembinaan Ideologi Pancasila – “BPIP”)’s Advisory Council, stated that BPIP’s duty is far from being easy. “The task entrusted to us is extremely heavy. After all, the ideology of Pancasila has been carved into our souls, but its values have been deviated from through the passage of time,” she said during the Presidential Lecture on “The Internalization of Pancasila and Bringing Down Its Values to Earth” held in the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday (03/12/2019). The event was attended by BPIP officials, members of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet, and heads of National Agencies.

Therefore, she urged President Joko Widodo to immediately appoint two new members for BPIP’s Advisory Council. It currently has two vacant seats, as two of its members, Ma’ruf Amin and Mahfud MD, left the Agency to become the Vice President of RI and the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs. “Even now, and – please excuse me, Mr. Jokowi, no replacement for them has been found. I have repeatedly reminded him that we are understaffed,” she said.

At the event, Megawati mentioned that some mosques in the Ministries and some State Apparatus have been infected with radicalism. Many of these mosques actually invited ustaz or religious educators who spread out hate speech under the cover of their lectures instead of simply educating the masses on important religious issues. She stated that she has also asked the Chairman of Indonesia’s Council of Mosques Jusuf Kalla to discuss the issue. “There are so many of these hateful, please excuse me, kyais or elders, ustaz, and other religious figures in the Ministries’ mosques. I said to Mr. Jusuf Kalla, the Chairman of the Mosque Council, the other day, “Please help, Sir. If we let this slide, only hatred will be instilled among our people. They need spiritual refreshment, but this is not what they need,” she said.

She has even gone as far as to ask several kyais about this preaching of intolerant values through false proselytizing of Islam. “We know that our mosques have been stained in this way extensively already. I even ask around to kyais, my seniors: “What are mosques, exactly? Must faith in Allah SWT really be spread out in such a hateful, damaging, intolerant way?”” she said. “I am worried that this kind of sermon – ones with hate narratives that promote discrimination – would one day end up splitting our citizens into conflicts like what happens in a number of Middle Eastern countries. What would we do then? Who would stop it from happening?”

Meanwhile, the fact that State Apparatus being infected with radicalism is part of the Minister of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reforms Tjahjo Kumolo’s problems. “For example, State Apparatus. It’s Mr. Tjahjo’s headache now, actually. I told him, “Please be careful. You are the one that must solve why the State Apparatus can be so badly infected,”” she said. “Perhaps we become like this because we have lost the guidance of Pancasila values in our daily lives. Therefore, BPIP will bring these values down to Earth, so that they can be easily and automatically implemented by all Ministries and Agencies. We would make it so that each of the Government’s policies and programs contain Pancasila values and are based on them.”

From available clues, Megawati concludes that this insidious effort to spread intolerance through what should be innocuous religious sermons and lectures is instigated by people who seek to build a caliphate in Indonesia. At this opportunity, she challenges them to come out of the shadows and be manly enough to meet up with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”) Faction in the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”). “We of the PDIP Faction open ourselves to them. For those of you interested in establishing a caliphate here, come to the DPR. We will hear you out. Opo toh karepe (“What the Hell do you want”)?” she said.

Megawati believes that this is a crucial national issue that necessitates dialog with these caliphate supporters. However, none of them has approached the House to express their wishes so far. She is also requesting that the Minister of Defense, also General Chairman of Great Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”) Party Prabowo Subianto to get his Party’s Faction in the DPR to help open up dialog with the pro-caliphate group, because it is very important for the aspirations of these citizens to be heard.  “I have been waiting for them. Perhaps I would be too high up to understand them, so I will let my people communicate with them instead. You know, to make it easier for them to air their grievances, and for us to be able to understand, “Oh, so this is why they want to change our beloved country.” Come on, our country has become independent for nearly 75 years, imagine that. This kind of issue may split the nation.” she said.

Megawati admits that she is also curious about who would be the caliph, i.e. the leader of the caliphate, if the wishes of the group is granted and our country is run on the caliphate system and how will the country be run. After all, the books that she read all define a “caliphate” as “a borderless nation comprising of many diverse political groups regulated according to the laws of Islam.” “How will they select the caliph then, as our territory is a very diverse one and not every one of us is Muslim? From which group is the caliph to be selected and how?” she said.

On the other hand, a survey of Parameter Politik Indonesia concludes that Indonesia is currently not in a condition of radicalism and Islamic political crisis like the Government is panicking about. Governmental panic on radicalism is shown with the issuance of a Joint Decree (Surat Keputusan Bersama – “SKB”) of 11 Ministers concerning how to handle radicalism.

Parameter Politik Indonesia’s Executive Director Adi Prayitno stated that his survey concluded that the majority of Indonesians are moderate. This is shown with the fact that 81.4% of respondents believing that Pancasila and religious belief are equally important, and only 15.6% consider that religious belief to be more important than Pancasila. “The perception that “Pancasila is as important as one’s religious belief” is equally distributed in all demographic segments and across the supporters of different political parties. Therefore, the dichotomy between “religion” and “the State” barely exists in Indonesia,” he said.

In response to the results of this survey, Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera – “PKS”) politician Nasir Djamil stated that the State should not suspect religion and use police to monitor the sermon of ustazs in mosques. The SKB between 11 Ministers should also be revoked, because Indonesia is not in a condition of radicalism emergency. “If you hear them say it, it is as if Indo­nesia is in a state of emergency. Everyone is suspected. As we are not in a radicalism emergency, I suggest that the SKB 11 be revoked,” he said.

The Parameter Politik Indonesia survey was performed on 5-12 October 2019 using stratified multistage random sampling involving 1,000 respondents. Data is collected by face-to-face inter­view by trained surveyors using a questionnaire. The survey’s margin of error is ± 3.1%, and its reliability rate is 95%. (Dan)