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Many former Pancasila Youth members now national figures, successful politicians

Tempo.co - March 17, 2013

Munawwaroh, Jakarta Ė Former Pancasila Youth (PP) chairperson Yorrys Raweyai objects to the bad image sometimes held by the public about the youth organisation PP, which is now more than 50 years old, with the world of thuggery and violence.

"Don't make that mistake, many [public] figures that have 'made good' came from the Pancasila Youth", he told Tempo on Friday March 15.

According to Raweyai, many PP alumni have become 'big people', such as national figures, politicians, businesspeople or other professionals. For example, Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Agung Laksono, Constitutional Court judge Akil Mochtar, Democrat Party politician Ruhut Sitompul, and still many others.

"In the DPR [House of Representatives] alone, out of the 560 members, there are around 30 former PP leadership board members", he said.

Raweyai said that this success on the part of many PP figures who became important people is because of the skilled and professional cadreisation of the organisation. All cadres are free to work at and pursue choices in accordance with their wishes.

"They are free to go where they please, it they want to be professionals, politicians, it's up to them" said the Golkar Party politician from West Papua.

There has however been an internal changes within the PP. Particularly post-reformasi [the political reform process that began in 1998] a quite meaningful change has taken place. "In my time it began to change, what was before a battle of wills has now become a battle of wits", he said.

The Pancasila Youth began to recruit young intellectual cadre by bringing them together under the Student and Youth Units (Satma). "Right now this is in process so the public will be able see what the PP is like", he said.

Notes

Pemuda Pancasila (Pancasila Youth) was established by the army in October 1959, ostensibly to uphold the state ideology of Pancasila, but under former president Suharto the organisation became an association of notorious thugs and petty criminals who carried out dirty work on behalf of the regime. The organisation still has close ties with various factions of the military and police, and have been linked to criminal activities such as racketeering and extortion. In recent years the organisation has been involved in a number of violent turf wars with mass organisations such as the Native Jakarta Brotherhood Forum.

[Alumni Pemuda Pancasila Jadi Menteri dan Politikus - Tempo.co. Minggu, 17 Maret 2013. Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service.]

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