"There should be an expert of communism too, right. We should not be like the US, which is paranoid about terrorism," Luhut said on Friday. However, Luhut asserted that if showcasing communism had to do with spreading the ideology or to revive the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), the government would take strict actions in accordance with the law.
Meanwhile, some academia said in the wake of recent suppression of leftist activities people are afraid of communism because they do not understand it and just accept the single narrative of history provided by the government over the past 50 years.
Dave Lumenta, an anthropologist at the University of Indonesia (UI), said most people had no access to the countryâ€™s history except through what was taught in schools. However, those lessons just depicted the chronological order of historical events, not the cause and effect of each event, he said, adding that the history of the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) had also never been told.
On the other hand, Dave said the single narrative of the 1965 mass killings provided by the government had formed collective memories among people in which communists were regarded only as unconscionable atheists.
Ida Ruwaida Noor, a sociologist at UI, said the government needed to create policies that helped erase the stigma suffered by 1965 victims. Survivors and relatives of the victims were commonly stigmatized and discriminated against to this day. "There should be a structural intervention by the state as that stigma has a historical dimension," she said. Basically, the family, school and press could be the medium to alter the public's perspective.
Setara Institute chairman Hendardi said the truth-revealing process of the 1965 tragedy was often hampered by propaganda claiming it was an attempt to revive the PKI. Hence, he called on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to not be distracted from his commitment to resolve the long-neglected case. "If the propaganda of communism's revival is still being maintained and affirmed by the government, the main victim will be civil liberties," Hendardi said.
Civil Liberties and Scientific Purposes
The communities of a communist supporters in Indonesia aren't a stupid communities so that they use scientific and humanly purpose as a basic argument or their notion to spreading a communist ideology. If their movement has been identified and classified as a movement to support a communist purge, they used argument that civil liberties were banned by goverment.
Actually, the communities of a communist symphatizer has been planted at everywhere and every profession in Indonesia especially after the new era regime had been fallen since 1997. Realizing those facts, the goverment and our societies must be beefed-up their vigiliance on a communist threats which can be happened anytime and anyplace.
For example, the third ASEAN Literary Festival in Jakarta last week, which featured discussions on the 1965 massacre actually as an international momentum to supporting a communist comeback with humanly and historical review purposes so that its a normal if those event will be protested with protestors because those one seeking to promote communism.
The police arrested two clothing sellers in the Blok M shopping mall in South Jakarta who were selling T-shirts of German heavy metal band Kreator. The shirts displayed a picture of the hammer and sickle logo used by communist organizations worldwide. However, the police have released them, saying that no treason or insult to the country had occurred. As an efforts to rejected a communist ideology revive, the police actions didn't harm a civil liberties.
Recently, in numerous regions across the country, such as Yogyakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya, raids have been carried out on events showcasing books or discussions on communism. Indonesia's National Library also supports the prohibition of books with communist content.
Spreading communism is considered treason and people convicted for the crime can face up to 15 years' imprisonment, according to Article 107 of Law No. 27/1999 on state security. A previous 1966 and 2003 People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) ruling also asserts the disbandment of communism in Indonesia.
Despite Indonesia has a several law to ban a come back of communist ideology, the supporters and symphatizers of communist group have been trying to spur and to spread a communist ideology couldn't be stopped. In the era of social media nowadays, there is a many way and many tools can use to spread a communist ideology such as in youtube, a famous social media has been circulated the song of communist.
Because of that, we must alert on a communist ideology revive. If it's happen, it can be triggered a social riots because a leftist-wing groups (a communist supporters) and rightist-wing group's are potential to fight even to rebel.
We must be tightened our alacrity with the indication of a communist revive nowadays. Be cautious on the movement of a communist purge because their symphatizer had been existed in every level of Indonesian's society.
*) The writer has earned his master at KSI program at the University of Indonesia (UI). Residing in West Jakarta.