Activism, Asia, Side Feature

The ‘Perppu’ and repeated Blunders of the Democratic Regime

Indonesia President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed a government regulation in lieu of law, or Perppu, on Monday July 10th that will expand the power of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights to disband groups that espouse ideologies contradictory to values enshrined in the state ideology, Pancasila. The Perppu, named No. 2/2017, widens the government’s ability to dismantle mass organizations deemed as threats to national security and national unity, previously outlined in Law No. 17/2013 on Mass Organizations. “The existing law is not sufficient enough to prevent the spread of radical ideologies that contradict Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution,” Chief Security Minister Wiranto said in a press conference on Wednesday. In May, the government announced plans to dismantle Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), an Islamic organization seeking to establish a caliphate on Indonesian soil, on grounds of anti-Pancasila activities.


Ironic. Indonesia, who all this time praised by Western countries as the largest democratic Muslim country, has starkly violated their own democracy and human rights values itself. After the argument of anti-Pancasila has been questioned by many community leaders as they reject Islam opposed to Pancasila. Now the Jokowi regime again repeats its blunders to silence Hizb ut Tahrir Indonesia and betrays their own constitutional principle that guarantees freedom of association and assembly for the people.

The release of this Perppu instantly received a strong reaction from many experts of constitutional law such as Professor Yusril Ihza Mahendra and Refly Harun. They said the Perppu is anti-democratic, anti-constitutional and anti-human rights for violating freedom of association and assembly including the principle of presumption of innocence. Human rights groups such as Kontras and Elsam also sounded loud. “This Perppu has demonstrated the stammer behavior of the regime in viewing the dynamics of freedom of association, gathering and including commentary over the situation of freedom of opinion and the idea of nation and state in Indonesia” said Kontras Coordinator Yati Andriyati in a written statement in Jakarta, Thursday (13/7).

The aroma of despotic tyrants is very strong in Article 82A of the Perppu which stating that “any person who becomes a member and / or administrator of a mass organization who intentionally and directly or indirectly embraces the ideology that contradicts Pancasila and violates the provisions of Article 59 paragraph (4) can be life imprisonment or imprisonment of a minimum of 5 (five years) and a maximum of 20 (twenty) years “.

Inconsistent, injustice and discriminative against Muslims and Ummah aspirations of the Islamic Shariah as has already become an inherent character of democratic regimes. No wonder because this is a global phenomenon. Especially after experiencing what Huntington calls the third democratization’s wave that produced 120 countries or 63% of the world’s total state were transformed became democratic regimes but then Freedom House found that 2013 is the eighth year in a row where the decline in global freedom index happened across the world. Ironically, the new world order that is ‘democratic’ and worshiped by the world community is spreading misery and injustice. Clearly democracy is a “sweet” new-faced tyrant that is increasingly bringing mankind to the abyss of dehumanization and oppression.

At the national level of Indonesia, the sweet mask of democracy cannot hide the shackles of people’s poverty. A recent example is electricity tariffs are increasingly stifling, also state debt is soaring due to massive infrastructure development. It is natural, because of the amendment of the 1945 Constitution four times in the period of “democratic reform of Indonesia” 1998-2002 has fundamentally changed the constitution to take sides and serve foreign capitalists. Why? Because the 1945 amendment which we refer to as the reforms have unleashed the concept of state control over natural resources. Land tenure and wealth of natural resources that exist in it handed over to the private sector (foreign investors) through licenses, concessions, and other various forms of tenure in the long term. As a result, more than 80% of Indonesia’s oil and gas is controlled by foreign companies as well as other Indonesian natural resources.

Can we conclude, in fact the democratic regime is actually “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” because it is part of Western colonial technology to Muslim countries. More fundamentally, the democratic system becomes a new tyranny for Muslims, because it forces Muslims to obey the man-made secular rules composed by a group of elites and only to favor foreign corporations. The Democracy system has obviously long failed and died, even it was turned off by the regime itself. As it is now, when there are elements of the ummah who want change and offer a noble solution in the form of the Khilafah (Caliphate) concept – like HTI in this largest Muslim country, it should be given a chance not to be silenced instead. Hizb ut Tahrir is striving for change and improvement through ideas by fikriyah and non-violence ways, just like the method of the Prophet ﷺ in the da’wah to make changes. Ideas are confronted with ideas, not with silencing. Agree?


Fika Komara

Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir