Constitutional law experts: President is not a symbol of state

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Rocky Gerung. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – PDIP politician Junimart Girsang, called political observer “Rocky Gerung”, is accused of having abused the country’s symbols by saying President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) does not understand Pancasila. 

“Pancasila is a failed ideology, because it contradicts its precepts. I have written long treatises in Prisma Magazine with strong academic research stating that Pancasila is not an ideology in academic terms. In academic discourse. The first precepts of Godhead, acknowledge that human actions are only meaningful if oriented towards the sky, the second precepts of just and civilized humanity mean that I can do good without facing the sky, that is called humanism, then if I do good to enter heaven, it will mean my humanity is false, the fifth precepts of Social Justice. Whose version is it? Liberalism? Libertarianism. People can fill the fifth precepts with Marxism; that’s fine. Filled with Islamism, it’s okay. Because there isn’t a final statement about the content of Social Justice,” said Rocky at the Indonesian Lawyers Club (ILC) event at TV One, Tuesday (12/03/2019) night. 

Rocky then said that there were no Pancasilaist in Indonesia, including President Jokowi. He considered that Jokowi only memorized Pancasila but did not understand it. “I am not a Pancasilaist, who has the right to punish or evaluate me? It must be someone who is Pancasilaist, then who is he? There is no one. So, the president also does not understand Pancasila. He memorizes but he does not understand. If he understands he won’t raise BPJS,” he added. 

Hearing this, Junimart Girsang, a member of parliament intends to file a police report on the philosopher of the University of Indonesia. “President Jokowi from PDIP and with the party’s permission, I will report (Rocky Gerung) for insulting the state symbol,” Junimart said. 

Constitutional Law expert Irman Putra Sidin, who attended the event straightened the statement of the PDIP politician Junimart Girsang. “The symbol of the State according to the Law No.24 of 2009 is only the Flag, the Language, and Coat of State. The President is not a symbol of the state. The President is the holder of government power. People can criticize the President. This must be understood. So, people can go ahead and criticize the President,” said Irman Putra Sidin. 

In line with Irman, constitutional law expert Bivitri Susanti emphasized that the president is the head of state and head of government, not a symbol of the state. Only a feudal state or a monarchy places the head of state as a symbol of the state. “In the context of the modern state, the head of state only carries out state duties, not as a symbol. That’s an outdated debate,” said Bivitri in a discussion in Central Jakarta. 

The position of President in the modern state system is no longer as a symbol of the state. The President only carries out state duties. The contempt article for the President and Vice President re-appears in the Draft Penal Code (RKUHP) which is being discussed by the Indonesian Parliament. This article was annulled in 2006 over the lawsuits of several activists protesting against President SBY. Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court (MK) has annulled article 134 on contempt for the President and Vice President in 2006. Through this ruling, the Court stressed that protesting the head of state is not the same as insulting the symbol of the state. “The symbol of the country is the flag, the emblem, and others,” concluded Bivitri. 

Presidential Special Staff member Dini Shanti Purwono said there was no point in responding to Rocky Gerung, who said President Joko Widodo did not understand Pancasila’s values. She said there was no substance to respond to Rocky’s statement. “There is no point in us responding. So, let each of us have an opinion,” Dini said when confirmed, Wednesday (04/12/2019). Dini said that the people themselves would later assess Rocky’s statement. “What is right and what is wrong. Which is truly nationalist and doing something for this country, and which only looks for the stage and only thinks of himself or his group,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko accused Rocky Gerung’s glasses of being opaque, in saying that President Joko Widodo did not understand Pancasila’s values. Moeldoko said that Rocky was also not correct to link Pancasila with the decision to increase Health BPJS Health. “I think that way of evaluating it demonstrates that his glasses are opaque,” said Moeldoko at the Jakarta Presidential Palace Complex on Wednesday (04/12/2019). Moeldoko said that Rocky misjudged Jokowi in not understanding Pancasila. Jokowi himself has just given a keynote speech about Pancasila at the State Palace, Jakarta, Tuesday (12/03/2019) “Internalization of Pancasila is already the highest class. So yesterday Jokowi taught Pancasila’s internalization; that was the highest class,” he concluded. (Dan)