Gerindra Clarifies Budiman Sudjatmiko-Prabowo Meeting Not Related to 1998 Incident
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Gerindra Party Secretary General Ahmad Muzani denied the saying that the meeting between the 1998 activist Budiman Sudjatmiko and the party’s chief patron Prabowo Subianto was aimed at scrapping the label attached to the Defense Minister regarding the 1998 incident. Muzani said that the meeting did not discuss the matter at all.
Muzani also emphasized that the meeting could not necessarily mean that Budiman would join Gerindra. He claimed that they talked about the future of the nation.
“Not [aiming to clear the 98 memories]. Pak Budiman did not join Gerindra, it was not discussed. That meeting was purely about the need for Indonesia to have ideas from leaders who have horizon [thinking],” Muzani said at the Democratic Party HQ, Central Jakarta, Thursday, July 20, 2023.
When asked about Budiman's role in the 98 incident which opposed Prabowo, Muzani stated that it occurred in the past. Instead of focusing on that, he said it would be better if people started to look to the nation's future.
“That's the past. People are now starting to look to the future. We are the generation born in over 2000, 1990, we have to organize the future of Indonesia,” Muzani said.
Budiman Sudjatmiko is a former pro-democracy activist who leads the People's Democratic Party (PRD). He was jailed by the New Order government for allegedly being the mastermind behind the July 27 1996 riots that led to the end of the New Order regime in 1998.
Meanwhile, Prabowo is the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) commander at that time who is often said to have ordered the kidnapping of 1998 activists. The issue of alleged gross human rights violations during the May 1998 riots often emerged when the Defense Minister ran for the presidential election in 2014 and 2019.
IMA DINI SHAFIRA
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