Pancasila, in its final form: no addition or deletion necessary

34
Honorary Chairman of the Inter-Religious Council (IRC) Indonesia’s Presidium M. Din Syamsuddin stated that Pancasila is in its final and best form for Indonesians. Therefore, there should be no need to amend it. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – The Pancasila Ideological Direction Draft Law (Rancangan Undang-Undang Haluan Ideologi Pancasila – “RUU HIP”), accepted by most of the parties in the Parliament and submitted to the Government, is not accepted by parts of society. This is because: Article 6 Paragraph (1) of RUU HIP states that the Primary Principle of Pancasila is social justice; Article 7 Paragraph (2) states that Pancasila’s Primary Characteristics are the Trisila (“Three Principles”), i.e.: socio-nationalism, socio-democracy, and civilized faith in God; Article Paragraph (3) states that the Trisila as meant in Paragraph (2) is crystallized in the Ekasila (“One Principle”), i.e. mutual assistance or cooperation. It is obvious that the “Pancasila” meant by the RUU HIP is not the Pancasila listed in the Preamble of the Constitution of 1945, i.e. the one whose Primary Principle is Belief in the One God. 

Responding to the attempt to play around with Pancasila, Honorary Chairman of the Inter-Religious Council (IRC) Indonesia’s Presidium M. Din Syamsuddin stated that Pan˝ˇcasila is in its final and best form for Indonesians. Therefore, there should be no need to amend it. “Our problem does not lie in the formulation of Pancasila itself, but in its implementation, whether individually or collectively in daily life as a group, community, State, and nation,” he said in the virtual discussion titled “The 2018 MBPA-UKB Agreement: Pancasila as the Crystallization of Religious Values and Implementation Challenges” on Tuesday (30/06/2020). 

Din reiterates that the issue here is that the process of national development and drafting of Laws and Government policies are not yet in line with Pancasila’s values. “It should have been a given that no law can conflict with Pancasila values. Is our current political system in line with these values, especially that of the fourth principle? Is our current economic system still excreting economic gaps, or is it already in line with Pancasila’s fifth principle? We need to ask these questions,” he said. 

According to the religious figures who make up the Great Assembly of Religious Figure for National Harmony (Musyawarah Besar Pemuka Agama untuk Kerukunan Bangsa – “MBPA-UKB”), Pancasila is the crystallization of religious value and an acknowledgment of theological principles. Pancasila itself contains the values inherent in all religion. “Each of us can make the same claim. Indonesian Muslims say that Pancasila contains Islamic values. This also goes on for our Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Buddha, Confucian, etc. compatriots. This is a good thing. This is the context that bases our expression of opinion. I have often said, “With religion, Pancasila will stand tall; without religion, Pancasila will fall.” Therefore, all adherents of faith must preserve Pancasila, protect it as much as possible from any attempt to interpret it differently – especially if those other interpretations are reductionist in nature, narrowing the scope of Pancasila,” Din said. 

Chairman of the Indonesian Church Representatives’ Inter-Faith Relations Commission, Heri Wibowo (“Father Heri”), stated that Pancasila has been serving as the reference of various discussions, seminars, meditations, masses, and various other religious activities that the Church held from the top brass to the grassroots within the past five years. Father Heri agrees with Din that the current challenge is how to implement Pancasila in the various fields of daily living. “This year, we are implementing “social justice”. This is really appropriate during the pandemic – how we can provide education, health services, and implement Pancasila in our daily lives, because Pancasila values are harmonious with Catholic beliefs,” he said. 

Similarly, Indonesian Church Alliance’s General Secretary, Rev. Jacky Manuputty, said that Pancasila and Protestant values are in line from the start, and that was why representatives of this faith accepted Pancasila when it was proposed. “We see that Pancasila does not conflict with our faith. The five principles are closely aligned to the guidelines of our faith in the Bible. They are harmonious in many Holy Verses,” he said. “Our current challenge is to harmonize Pancasila in our lives in the country as ethics, and to implement it in our daily lives. True, we have achieved so much. However, our poverty rate is high, our social gaps continue to expand, and we have social justice issues. This happens not because our nation is founded on the wrong principles, but because we as a nation do not know how to implement Pancasila properly.” 

Responding to the many rejection of the RUU HIP in various regions, Jacky stated that Indonesian Christians as a whole support the Government’s stance of delaying discussions of the Draft Law. “We hope that the Government opens a wider space for discussion, one that involves all citizens in the discourse,” he said. 

General Chairman of the Indonesian Confucian Religious High Council Budi S. Tanuwibowo stated that the time to discuss about the contents of Pancasila is long past, as it is already finalized and it has been a national commitment for decades. Undeniably, there are many flaws in its implementation. It is these flaws in the dynamics of life that we need to discuss. “A person who claims to be a 100% Indonesian, 100% Pancasilaist, must admit that Pancasila is already in its final form. There is no need to amend it, to extend or shorten it, or to strengthen it, because Pancasila is already inherently strong. Right now, what we need to do is ensure that all five principles of Pancasila are active in our everyday life,” he said. 

Supporting Budi, PP Permabudhi’s Chairman Philip K. Widjaja states that implementing Pancasila in all aspects of our national living will naturally cause our country to have Pancasilaistic characteristics. This is because Pancasila was not created by those in power, but because it is the crystallization of the principles held by our founding fathers for us all to implement – then, now, and in the future. 

Chairman of the Law and Human Right Division of the Central Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia Daily Management, Yanto Jaya, observes that Pancasila is being revived during President Jokowi’s reign. He believes that Jokowi wants to remind us all not to let Pancasila deviate like what is being done by the current waves of protesters. “Basically, the five principles of Pancasila are in line with the teachings of the Hinduism implemented by the Balinese, ensuring us that tolerance is maintained. We don’t want to allow current events to become tools for dividing the people,” he said. 

Muhammadiyah’s General Secretary, Abdul Mu’ti, reiterates that Pancasila is already very strong with the backing of five Decrees of the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat – “MPR”). Muhammadiyah reiterates that Pancasila is already very harmonious with the teachings of Islam, so there is no longer any need for anyone to amend it, let alone change it. “Muhammadiyah supports Pancasila as the foundation of the State that harmonizes with the teachings of Islam. It is a very strong ideal form, as its formulation involved national figures from every walk,” he said. 

Similar with Abdul Mu’ti, Chairman of the Great Management Council of Nahdlatul Ulama (Pengurus Besar Nahdlatul Ulama – “PBNU”) K. H. Marsudi Syuhud stated that Pancasila is proven to have integrated all elements of the nation. Therefore, NU complies with Pancasila as the foundation of the State and agree to it. “When some people seek to change Pancasila, or to interpret it according to the desires of their own group, we must reject them and protect it to the most of our ability. It is all about the consensus and commitment to protect Pancasila,” he said. 

Marsudi further agrees that Pancasila is the final say. Therefore, NU will not allow any group to attempt to turn Indonesia into either a religious country or a fully secular country. “Pancasila’s formulation is an agreement made by the founders of our nation. Indonesia is neither religious nor secular. Pancasila is the foundation of our State and nation. Therefore, all of our laws must be based on Pancasila,” he said. (Dan)