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3 Reasons Why Anies Baswedan Should`ve Avoided Mentioning Pribumi
DKI Jakarta Governor Elected, Anies Rasyid Baswedan. Tempo/Ilham Fikri
Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 | 10:10 WIB
3 Reasons Why Anies Baswedan Should`ve Avoided Mentioning Pribumi

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Executive Director of Amnesty International Indonesia Usman Hamid says that the use of the word ‘pribumi’ or Indonesian native in the speech given by newly elected Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan on Monday, could potentially divide the public.

“The word pribumi in the inauguration speech can potentially disrupt and divide Jakartans and the entire Indonesian people at places where they had just recovered from the Gubernatorial Election that was dominated by SARA (ethnic, religious, racial or societal groups) sentiments,” said Usman on Monday, October 16.

The newly elected governor of Jakarta suggested in his speech that native Indonesians used to be suppressed in the past. The story of past struggles against colonialism was the reason why he then urged society to become - as an Indonesian saying suggests - the true owner of their own country.

Anies Baswedan’s decision to use the word pribumi drew plenty of protests from members of society. Usman reasons that there are three reasons why the word native and non-native should never be mentioned again in a public statement.

Read: Anies Baswedan Explains His Controversial Pribumi Remark

Firstly, the term is a discriminative classification that was originally introduced by the Dutch colonials in the past. The second reason is that history has shown us that differing natives and non-natives have been misinterpreted and misused during Indonesia’s deadly May 1998 riot that was driven by racism against Chinese minorities. The third reason is that the term was used as a tool by the New Order administration to discriminate against minority groups.

Usman Hamid continued to address that post-reform era President BJ Habibie had even banned the use of the word native and non-native Indonesian under Presidential Instruction No 26/1998.

“Reviving the rhetoric of pribumi in an official speech could plunge society into the politics of labeling,” said Usman.

Other than bringing up the topic of labeling and segregating, according to Usman, the misjudged use of the word pribumi by a Governor can potentially inspire the birth of discriminatory government programs against certain groups in society.




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