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Ex-PRD leader Budiman says Prabowo felt tortured and lonely during New Order era

Kompas.com - September 6, 2023

Adhyasta Dirgantara, Jakarta – Former Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician Budiman Sudjatmiko has revealed that Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) Chairperson Prabowo Subianto was in fact tortured and lonely because he was an important figure during the New Order regime of former president Suharto.

Basically Prabowo is a figure who likes to read books, but wears the uniform of a soldier.

This was conveyed by Sudjatmiko during a discussion titled "Why Activists Support Prabowo" at Prabowo's Volunteer Victory House in Central Jakarta on Wednesday September 6.

Initially, Sudjatmiko related that the first time he met with Prabowo was in 2002.

"The first time I met with Pak [Mr] Prabowo was in 2002, when he had only just returned home from Jordan. Most recently we met in Semarang [Central Java] on August 18, I dare to say, he is the man of ideas", said Sudjatmiko.

Sudjatmiko said he dares call Prabowo an intellectual figure who once wore a military uniform. According to Sudjatmiko, this side of Prabowo is not known by many people.

He also understands how lonely Prabowo was when he was still active in the military. Because, the army is different from activists, who when they read, will immediacy discuss the ideas and make a movement.

"I understand how quiet it was at that time, how lonely he was, a military officer, important during the New Order, who liked to read. That's torture. If we activists want recreation, we read, discuss, join movements", he said.

"But an intellectual person in inside the military and important during the New Order era, that would be an extraordinary solitude", added Sudjatmiko.

Sudjatmiko has publically declared his support for Prabowo's nomination as a presidential candidate in the 2024 elections.

As a result of this support, Sudjatmiko was dismissed from his party, namely the PDI-P. Sudjatmiko now claims that he does not want to join a political part again for some time.


Budiman Sudjatmiko is the former chairperson of the leftist People's Democratic Party (PRD), who along with several other PRD activists was arrested and imprisoned in the final years of the Suharto dictatorship. In December 2004, he joined the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and was later elected to parliament for two periods in 2009-2014 and 2014-2019. Following a widely reported meeting with Prabowo in July, he publically expressed his support for Prabowo's presidential bid and stated that the former Special Forces general should not be held hostage by past human rights abuses. In response dozens of former PRD activists held a press conference in Jakarta and accused Sudjatmiko of betraying the reform movement and called for perpetrators of past rights abuses to be arrested and tried.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Budiman Sudjatmiko Ungkap Prabowo Tersiksa Besar di Orde Baru".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2023/09/06/16263371/budiman-sudjatmiko-ungkap-prabowo-tersiksa-besar-di-orde-bar