Saturday, 14 December 2019

Sudirman Said: Robertus Robet's Oration is Academic Freedom

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Mahinda Arkiyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The debate material director for the Prabowo - Sandiaga campaign team Sudirman Said, commented on the recent arrest made by he police against an activist and lecturer of Jakarta State University Robertus Robet, a few days ago. According to Sudirman, the public must be calm and have a clear mind in understanding the case implicating Robet.

    "If we watch a part of the video when he is singing an altered version of ABRI's march [former name of Indonesian Military or TNI], we may find it irritating. But, it will be better should we check the whole context," said Sudirman in a statement on Friday, March 8, 2019.

    Sudirman opined that Robet sang the song as a reminder for TNI to not return to the old age before the 1988 reformation. At that time, he added, the reputation of TNI declined because of its involvement in politics and even business sector.

    "In that forum, Robertus wants to remind that reformation in the TNI should not be beset by short-term political agenda. Because, there is a tendency to involve TNI in practical politics or an attempt to post TNI members in civilian positions," Sudirman noted.

    Robet was arrested on Thursday, March 7, 2019, at his residence in Depok, West Java, over allegedly criticizing TNI during his oration, that was deemed of containing hate speech at the Kamisan event on Thursday, February 28, 2019.

    Sudirman added that Robertus Robet's expression during the event was part of academic freedom. The participation of academics in maintaining democracy and state life. "We have to keep the freedom of academics in colleges," Sudirman added. 

    RYAN DWIKY ANGGRIAWAN