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Dita Indah Sari: Star Reform Part still Islamic, right!

Inilah.com - September 16, 2008

M. Husni Nanang, Jakarta – Dita Indah Sari, the former (sic) general chairperson of the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas), who is a legislative candidate for the Star Reform Party (PBR), believes that the comment by Ade Daud Nasution, who stated that the PBR has shifted in a communist direction, has no basis. She considers this to be a black campaign.

"My being in [the PBR] hasn't changed anything. It's still Islamic. In fact the PBR's current program is the mosque's celebration of the three annual Muslim religious festivals. The program is being conducted throughout the fasting month, where PBR cadre are instructed to clean mosques in their respective electoral districts," said Sari during a discussion with Inilah.com in Jakarta on Tuesday September 16.

According to Sari, Nasution's statement, which accused Sari and her colleagues of turning the PBR into a communist party, have absolutely no basis. This was only an expression of disappointment by a person who wanted to change parties in an inelegant way.

"He wanted to justify his actions by accusing people of being communist, accusing people of moving to the left. A party is not a religion. Religious people can just change religions right, never mind a party you know", she said in an outburst of emotion.

Sari said that she does not have a problem with Nasution wanting to change parties. However it should have been done in an open and gentlemanly manner. "There's no need to make accusations. No need to use black campaigns, make unclear accusations, because only a few activists such as myself have joined the PBR", said the former Papernas chairperson.

According to Sari, changing parties is something quite normal. What was unusual in this case was how. "[He'd] left without saying anything. [We] only new about it from the mass media, [he] didn't tell [us] himself. He made all kinds of accusations. So if so, it's like the New Order", she asserted.

As is widely known, Nasution stated that his move to the National Mandate Party was because he felt that the PBR had left behind its Islamic principles and was moving towards communism. This occurred after a number of former People's Democratic Party (PRD) activists joined the PBR. Among others this included former PRD general chairperson Yusuf Lakaseng, who has become the PBR's deputy general secretary, and Sari who has become a PBR legislative candidate for the Central Java V electoral district. [R2]


PBR founding member and House of Representatives legislator Ade Daud Nasution was dismissed from the house and his membership of the PBR revoked after his name was included on the National Mandate Party's legislative candidate list. Speaking with Detik.com on September 12, he said that he regretted the entry of a number of allegedly left-socialist figures into the party adding that he is "anti-communist" and that communism is still banned by law.

[Translated by James Balowski.]