Rocky Gerung: “Sovereignty not ‘for’ the people but ‘belongs to’ the people”

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National seminar “Protesting the Validity of the Year 2002 Amended Version of the Constitution of 1945: Putting History Back on Track and Returning to the Identity of the Nation” held at Gedoeng Joeang 45, Jakarta, on Wednesday (18/09/2019). (photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)

IO, Jakarta – Our Constitution of 1945 has been amended four times between 1999-2002. The All Indonesian College Alumni Forum (Forum Alumni Perguruan Tinggi se-Indonesia – “FA Petisi”) believes that amendments to the Constitution of 1945 were in fact enforced and rushed. Not only do these amendments tear apart our legal, economic, political, defense, and socio-cultural structure, they also bring out new problems among our people. They do nothing but generate new means of exploiting the vulnerable and underdeveloped members of our society, because we are now more open to competition against communities with more aggressive pattern of action, much stronger capital, and much better access to technology. This widens the gap between the weak and the strong.

Political observer Rocky Gerung states that sovereignty must be returned to the people. According to him, the term “sovereignty for the people” must be eliminated from public narratives and perspectives. “Sovereignty is not ‘for’ the people but it ‘belongs to’ the people,” he said.

The people’s sovereignty is currently not in the hands of the people, as the legal owners of the Constitution. He therefore calls for the repossession of the people’s sovereignty. “Why must we return the people’s sovereignty? Because it has been taken away by the sovereignty of political parties and foreign groups,” he stated in the national seminar “Protesting the Validity of the Year 2002 Amended Version of the Constitution of 1945: Putting History Back on Track and Returning to the Identity of the Nation” held at Gedoeng Joeang 45, Jakarta, on Wednesday (18/09/2019).

Rocky stated that sovereignty does not belong to the Government, to the President or any authority, to a king, or to any individual: it belongs to the people. “Article 1 Paragraph 2 of the Constitution of 1945 states that ‘The Nation is based on the people’s sovereignty’; that is the basic principle,” he declared. He even went as far as to say that in accordance with this basic principle in the Constitution of 1945, even God does not have sovereignty over the Constitution. “Does God have sovereignty in the Constitution? No. God does not participate in Elections, whether central or regional. God has sovereignty over humans and individuals, but not over a nation.”

The struggle to return the people’s sovereignty cannot be achieved by any single person as an individual. The Indonesian people must feel a sense of sharing the same struggle, because they have the same freedom to fight for. “Freedom is not a gift from the nation, but a right that we all must fight for, every day, with our individual power and together with others,” Rocky said.

However, both sovereignty and freedom must be fought for employing the correct narratives and arguments. Rocky points out that all elements of the community, especially academicians, must fortify their intellect, because correct and strong arguments are the key in the fight to revert sovereignty and freedom. “I became the opposition because I want to strengthen my arguments and regenerate common sense,” he said.

Meanwhile, senior activist Sri Bintang Pamungkas stated that President Jokowi has become more and more helpless against a mounting foreign invasion. He believes that it is Jokowi’s own policies that brought in foreign forces to control Indonesia. “He brought the foreign powers in. Back in October 2014 I and Rachmawati Soekarnoputri stated that we reject Jokowi and we do not acknowledge him as the President,” he said.

Sri Bintang believes that the Indonesian Government must prioritize its people instead of any foreign interest or investment. He stated that all developments in advanced countries start with the satisfaction of land rights. He warned that we do not want Indonesian citizens to be enslaved in their own country. “We don’t want our economy to become a foreign hegemony. I stated back in 1995 that we have 120 million poor people and I took the data with me to Germany. That was the reason for my fight with Soeharto,” he said.

The results of the FA Petisi seminar will be submitted to the House of Representatives and the People’s Consultative Assembly (DPR/MPR RI), as well as to all political parties that intend to amend the Constitution of 1945, in relation to the Broad Outlines of State Policy (Garis-garis Besar Haluan Negara – “GBHN”). The report will also serve as a reference amid the conflict among the people concerning the position of the Constitution of 1945, resulting from the Amendments of 1999-2002. (Dan)