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Concern TNI, police involvement will turn Pancasila into political tool

CNN Indonesia - June 13, 2020

Jakarta – Indonesian Human Rights Watch group Imparsial is asking the government to review the planned involvement of active TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (Indonesian police) officers in the Agency for Pancasila Ideology Education (BPIP).

This is because there is concern that the involvement of the TNI and Polri in the BPIP will just be similar to the facade of Suharto's New Order regime which was repressive and hegemonised the understanding of the state ideology of Pancasila.

Impartial Deputy Director Ghufron Mabruri is concerned that the plan will in fact trigger a "securitised approach" in the understanding and promotion of Pancasila ideology in society.

Yet the BPIP should be a government institution which can open dialogue in the implanting of the ideas of Pancasila ideology in society. Conversely, there is concern that the planned involvement of active police and TNI officers in the BPIP will in fact turn it into a political tool in hegemonising the understanding of Pancasila as it did under the New Order.

"During the New Order era it was like that. There was a hegemonisation of Pancasila's meaning which was constructed by the New Order regime. And in practical terms this was done through the P4", he said (referring to the mandatory teaching of the guidelines for the comprehension and practical application of Pancasila) when contacted by CNN Indonesia on Friday June 12.

Mabruri believes that there is no urgency whatsoever in involving active TNI and police officers in the BPIP. Especially so given the BPIP's role which is not part of the executive unlike ministries and other government institutions.

"Because in terms of its political function it doesn't have an executive authority", said Mabruri.

Mabruri says therefore that the government needs to review the plan. Not just because there is no urgency, but also that it be reviewed in terms of the TNI and Indonesian police laws which regulate the involvement of officers serving in stipulated outside institutions.

Based on these laws, explained Mabruri, active TNI and police officers would not be able to just be active in the BPIP but would have to have completed their duties or be retired first. Under the law on the police, for example, officers which are still active are only allowed to be assigned to specified outside institutions.

There are a number of such institutions such as the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), the National Antiterror Agency (BNPT) and several other specified agencies or institutions.

"Likewise also for the TNI, Article 47 of the TNI Law regulates which postings outside of the TNI can be occupied by active officers", he explained.

The Draft Law on Pancasila Ideology Orientation (RUU HIP) – which is currently being deliberated by the House of Representatives (DPR) – contains a stipulation that active TNI and police officers can hold positions on the BPIP's board of directors.

The contents of the draft law are not the same as previous regulations such as those which are enshrined in Presidential Regulation Number 7/2018 on the BPIP which only allow retired officers to hold posts in the BPIP.

Under Article 47 Paragraph (2) of the RUU HIP it states that the BPIP's board of directors will have 11 people or an uneven number. It also details which elements are allowed to be members of the board of directors.

"Elements of the central government, elements of the Indonesian military, the Indonesian police and state civil servants, or retired/pensioned officers", reads Article 47 according to a copy of the draft law received by CNN Indonesia from the deputy chairperson of the DPR's Legislative Body, Willy Aditya, on Thursday June 11. (thr/osc)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "LSM Khawatir TNI-Polri di BPIP Jadi Alat Politik Ala Orba".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20200612153227-20-512690/lsm-khawatir-tni-polri-di-bpip-jadi-alat-politik-ala-orba