Monday, August 30, 2004

Political Machine Vies With An Ex-General's 'Populism'

By Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA, Aug. 30, 2004 (IPS) -- On Indonesia's national day on Aug. 17, President Megawati Sukarnoputri arrived at a poor Jakarta neighbourhood to present trophies to the winners among excited residents competing in games.

After about 10 minutes, when it became clear the games would not finish on schedule, Megawati left without handing out a single award. She had to leave in order to spend the rest of the day at the Merdeka Palace with the political elite, overseeing military parades and attending state functions.

In contrast, her opponent in the Sep. 20 presidential election, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a retired army general, chose to join games with his neighbours in a Jakarta suburban area and later rolled up his sleeves to visit people living in a rubbish dump.

The images of Yudhoyono were on television that night. The front pages of newspapers the next day were dominated by pictures of Yudhoyono joining a sack race. The rather overweight candidate lost the race, but the message he sought to convey had been related throughout Indonesian voters: that he is "a man of the people."

Meantime Megawati, who herself grew up in the palace as the eldest daughter of Indonesia's founding president Sukarno, is perceived by many Indonesian voters as a palace princess.

But politics is indeed much more complicated than the public relations. Two days later on Aug. 19, Megawati pulled off a political maneuver that might well worry the Yudhoyono camp.

She announced the formation of a coalition of her party, the Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle, with three other major parties, including the biggest winner in the April parliamentary election, the Golkar Party that was created by former dictator Suharto.

"The most important thing is that voters will understand that we have built a coalition with almost everyone, whether to govern or in the parliament," said Heri Akhmadi, a Megawati aide who heads her campaign team, as if trying to say that the alliance leaves Yudhoyono all alone.

Apart from Golkar, Megawati's other coalition partners are the United Development Party (PPP) and the minor Peace and Prosperous Party (PDS).

Golkar currently controls 127 of the 550 parliamentary seats. Megawati's party has 109 seats while PPP and PDS respectively control 58 and 13 seats. It means that this coalition around Megawati is poised to secure 307, or more than half of parliamentary seats.

It is doubtful whether this coalition will benefit Megawati in the final round of the election. Golkar voters are likely to vote for whom they please, regardless of directives by party leaders, and polling shows most have already decided they will switch to Yudhoyono, whose vice presidential candidate, Jusuf Kalla, is himself a Golkar leader.

According to the latest survey by the Washington-based International Foundation for Election Systems, 63.1 percent of respondents believe that Yudhoyono would be make the best president, beating Megawati who was chosen by 28.5 percent.

But the race is still open. Hank Valentino of IFES Jakarta said Megawati can still do much to challenge Yudhoyono by capitalising on her status as the incumbent. "Megawati has more opportunities to ensure that her message is seen more during this time period," Valentino said.

In the initial round of Indonesia's first ever direct presidential election on Jul. 5, Megawati won 27 percent of the vote, behind Yudhoyono's 33 percent.

But the Yudhoyono camp suffered a setback among some voters when Jusuf Kalla recently called on Chinese Indonesian businessmen to limit the size of their conglomerates and form partnerships with "indigenous Indonesians" to bridge the income gap.

In a recent interview with the magazine 'Tokoh Indonesia' and his website, Kalla praised neighbouring Malaysia's New Economic Policy for giving "indigenous Malaysians" a head start.

He said that economic policies in Indonesia in the 1950s, which strongly favoured "indigenous" Indonesian businesses, had helped businesses like his family's conglomerate Kalla Group, flourish.

The coalition will work on their huge political machinery to garner support for Megawati. They are organising meetings and mobilising their grassroots workers to send the message that Megawati has only ruled for three years and had a lot to do for the country.

Golkar chairman Akbar Tandjung, whose conviction for corruption was reversed earlier this year, is to head the campaign machinery of Megawati. He will travel to various parts of Indonesia to campaign for her.

Some smaller parties are also expected to join the coalition. "This coalition is to build the future. We no longer dwell on the past. We have to look forward," Akhbar Tanjung said after the four parties' leaders signed the agreement at a luxury Jakarta hotel.

The last few weeks ahead of the September vote is turning out to be a tussle between Megawati's huge political machinery and Yudhoyono's populist strategy.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Protes terhadap Pelarangan Film Buruan Cium Gue!


Rabu dan Kamis ini ada pertemuan di Kedai Tempo, Jalan Utan Kayu 68H, Jakarta, dimana disepakati bahwa perlu ada gerakan bersama memprotes penarikan film Buruan Cium Gue! minggu lalu. Mereka yang datang membuat pernyataan ini.

Kamis sore, Riri Riza, sutradara film "Eliana! Eliana" dan "Ada Apa Dengan Cinta," membacakan pernyataan ini didampingi Ulil Abshar-Abdalla dari Jaringan Islam Liberal, Ayu Utami (novelis Saman), Prima Rusdi (penulis skenario), Rayya Makarim (penulis skenario) serta Ging Ginanjar (Aliansi Jurnalis Independen) serta Andy Budiman (radio 68H). Inilah isi dari pernyataan mereka.


Protes terhadap Pelarangan Film Buruan Cium Gue!

JAKARTA, 25 Agustus 2004 - Kami berpendapat pelarangan tidak mencerdaskan kehidupan warga Indonesia sehingga pengekangan film Buruan Cium Gue! yang diwarnai kecaman, ancaman, dan kemudian penarikan film itu dari gedung-gedung bioskop, sangat kami sesalkan.

Kami tahu bahwa dunia seni pertunjukan di Indonesia, baik film, televisi, dan pertunjukan lain, memang bermasalah dengan mutunya. Acara-acara kriminalitas di televisi Jakarta, berbagai macam kontes, reality show, sinetron, dan film, kebanyakan didominasi oleh para produser dan pemilik modal yang seleranya norak, sering melecehkan akal sehat, dan merusak profesionalisme dunia seni pertunjukan.

Namun dunia seni dan hiburan, yang memprihatinkan ini, memerlukan iklim kebebasan dan aturan main yang sehat agar bisa berkembang mutunya. Hanya dalam kebebasanlah, para seniman dan pekerja seni, bisa mengolah dan meningkatkan keterampilan serta mutu karya mereka.

Untuk itu para pelaku seni hiburan dan pertunjukan seharusnya mengambil peran yang lebih mendasar untuk meningkatkan mutu film dan televisi di Jakarta. Para pemilik modal seharusnya, selain mencari keuntungan, juga mengupayakan cara-cara untuk meningkatkan mutu, profesionalisme, dan selera para pelaku produksi seni dan hiburan.

Maka kami menentang langkah sejumlah pihak, antara lain Departemen Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata, Majelis Ulama Indonesia, dan KH Abdullah Gymnastiar, yang menyatakan sikap mereka terhadap film Buruan Cium Gue! melalui tekanan, bahkan ancaman, dan penghakiman sepihak, dengan mengatasnamakan "moral bangsa."

Kami juga menyesalkan langkah Lembaga Sensor Film maupun Raam Punjabi dari Multivision, yang dengan gampang menyerah pada tekanan dan ancaman itu.

Kami percaya bahwa pemberangusan terhadap Buruan Cium Gue! akan membuka jalan bagi kembalinya represi dan kesewenangan terhadap dunia kreativitas seperti yang sering terjadap pada zaman Orde Baru.

Kami berpendapat tak ada satu pihak pun yang boleh mengambil alih dan memonopoli kewenangan dalam melakukan penghukuman dan pemberangusan, atas nama apapun. Baik itu alasan politik, moral, agama, dan adat.

Kami cemas, sekali alasan itu dipakai, ia bisa dimanipulasi dan disalahgunakan setiap waktu untuk memberangus kekebasan berkarya. Ini bukan saja membahayakan kebebasan berekspresi, namun pada gilirannya, juga akan membahayakan demokrasi negeri ini.

Eksponen Pendukung Kebebasan Berekspresi (EKSPRESI),

Aat Soeratin - Pekerja seni Rumah Nusantara, Bandung
Agus Sudibyo - Wartawan
Agus Nur Amal - Tukang cerita asal Sabang, Pulau Weh
Ahmad Sahal - Freedom Institute
Akuat Supriyanto - Pengurus Aliansi Jurnalis Independen
Amanda Marahimin - Pekerja film
Andreas Harsono - Yayasan Pantau
Andy Budiman - Wartawan radio 68H
Angelina Sondakh - Mantan Putri Indonesia, Anggota DPR 2004-2009
Anugerah Perkasa - Yayasan Pantau
Aria Kusumadewa - Sutradara film
Atika Makarim - Indonesian Corruption Watch
Ayu Purwaningsih - Wartawan radio 68H
Ayu Utami - Novelis
Debra Yatim - Pengurus Yayasan Tifa
Dindon WS - Sutradara Teater Kubur
Dwi Fitria - Mahasiswa Universitas Gadjah Mada
Endo Suanda - Seniman, anggota Akademi Jakarta
Esti Wahyuni Chaeruddin - Peneliti Institut Studi Arus Informasi
Faisol Reza - Aktivis hak asasi manusia
Garin Nugroho - Sutradara
Ging Ginanjar - Pengurus Aliansi Jurnalis Independen
Goenawan Mohamad - Institut Studi Arus Informasi
Hana Makarim - Wakil Direktur Byun + Company
Harry Pochang Krishnadi - Pekerja seni Rumah Nusantara, Bandung
Hasrul Kokoh - Yayasan Pantau
Heru Hendratmoko - Direktur Program Radio Namlapanha
Indarwati Aminuddin - Yayasan Pantau
Jajang C. Noer - Pemain film, sutradara
Lasja Fauzia - Sutradara Miles Production
Leon Agusta - Penyair
Linda Christanty - Penulis cerita pendek
Longgena Ginting - Direktur Eksekutif Walhi
M. Abduh Aziz - Produser
Maria Pakpahan - Aktivis hak asasi manusia
Mira Lesmana - Sineas Miles Production
Muhammad Ichsan - Pekerja film
Muhlis Suhaeri - Yayasan Pantau
Nadiem Makarim - Mahasiswa
Nicholas Saputra - Pemain film "Ada Apa Dengan Cinta"
Nono Anwar Makarim - Yayasan Aksara
Oppie Andaresta - Penyanyi
Paul F. Agusta - Kurator film Teater Utan Kayu
Prima Rusdi - Penulis skenario
Rachland Nashidik - Direktur Program Impartial
Ratna Sarumpaet - Ketua Dewan Kesenian Jakarta
Rayya Makarim - Penulis skenario
Rieke Dyah Pitaloka - Pemain film
Riri Riza - Sutradara Miles Production
Rizal Mallarangeng - Freedom Institute
Rudi Soedjarwo - Sutradara
Santoso - Direktur kantor berita radio 68H
Sastha Sunu - Pekerja film
Shanty Harmayn - Produser
Sitok Srengenge - Penyair
Tisna Sanjaya - Pelukis
Tita Rubi - Perupa
Titien Wattimena - Pekerja film
Tony Prabowo - Komposer
Triana Sukmanita - Desainer grafis
Ulil Abshar-Abdalla - Jaringan Islam Liberal
Usman Hamid - Koordinator Kontras
Yeni Rosa Damayanti - Aktivis hak asasi manusia

* Identitas para penandatangan diberikan disini bukan untuk representasi namun sekedar keperluan identifikasi