Markus Junianto Sihaloho – Today is the 41st anniversary of the death of Indonesia's first president and founding father, Sukarno, but the House of Representatives almost overlooked the historic day.
Before starting plenary session, the House deputy speaker Priyo Budi Santoso asked the lawmakers to sing the national anthem, Indonesia Raya.
After the anthem, Priyo announced the number of lawmakers attending the session and the session's agenda. Heads were turned when a lawmaker from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Hendrawan Supratikno, shouted a few times for attention.
"Today is June 21, which is the day of Bung Karno's death. Our founding father and significant figure in Indonesian history who had to spend [part of] his life in prison. Let us build a tradition to appreciate our nation's leader. It will be great if we can all stand up for a moment to remember the service and contribution of our founder who had dedicated his life to our country," said Hendrawan.
In his response, Priyo Budi Santoso stated that every individual in Indonesia, including lawmakers of the House, would agree that Sukarno was a great figure of Indonesia. However, he did not ask the lawmakers to take a moment of silence to commemorate Sukarno's death.
After another interruption from Hendrawan asking for a moment of silence, Priyo finally caved in and asked the members of the House to bow their heads for Sukarno. "Let's take a moment of silence to pray for our founding fathers and our nation's leaders, including for Ruyati who passed away in Saudi Arabia," said Priyo.