Jokowi Mulls Disbanding More Mass Organizations

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  • President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)

    President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko Widodo alias Jokowi said that the government is mulling legally disbanding mass organizations that do not adhere to the national principles Pancasila, threaten public order and national unity, as well as undermine tolerance. “I’m not talking about one or two organizations only, but four, five or maybe six,” he told Tempo in a special interview at the Merdeka Palace yesterday.

    The President was asked about the plan to disband Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), which was announced by the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto on May 8. The government sees the organization as a threat to public order and national unity because it plans to change the constitution and state ideology as well as aspires to establish a caliphate in Indonesia. Jokowi said: “I [will not] give room [for change] on such fundamental issues. I will fight [non-compliant mass organizations] within the legal corridor.”

    Jokowi did not specifically name the mass organizations other than HTI that has been put on his hit list. According to him, the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs has been studying the names on the list. He said that Indonesian population of 250 million should not be harmed by organizations that have thousands of members only. “No one should dare and try to change the Pancasila, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika [national motto ‘Unity in Diversity’] and the NKRI [the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia].”

    Separately, Minister Wiranto said that his office will study the organizations included on the hit list. “If a conclusion is reached, I will tell you,” he said.

    Constitutional law expert at Yogyakarta Atma Jaya University, Riawan Tjandra, said that the government is authorized to manage mass organizations. Nevertheless, he warned the government against authoritarianism. According to him, the president ought to comply with the Law No. 17/2003 on Mass Organizations which holds that the government can disband an organization only through courts.

    The House of Representatives (DPR) Governance Commission member Achmad Baidowi said that mass organization dissolution ought to be based on facts of contravention of Pancasila and threats against security and public order, in which case, the DPR would not express opposition.

    Hussein Abri Dongoran | Ahmad Faiz | Raymundus Rikang