By : Toas H *
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has instructed law enforcers to enforce laws against the use of communist imagery, National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti said.
“Currently, a lot of merchandise and activities reference to communism. The President has given a direction to take legal action against it,” Badrodin said at the State Palace on Tuesday.
He adds that the prevention of the dissemination of communism, Leninism and Marxism in Indonesia was based on a decree of the Temporary People’s Consultative Assembly issued in 1966.
“That has already clearly been instructed. The law enforcement will be assisted by the Indonesian Army as well,” he said.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Prasetyo said that his institution would look close at any efforts to revive communism in the country. “Any effort to promote this ideology must be prevented,” he asserted.
Earlier this month, the police released two people after being detained for selling T-shirts of German-based trash metal band Kreator in Blok M Mall and Blok M Square in South Jakarta, which were emblazoned with the hammer and sickle, similar to the logo of the defunct Indonesian Communist Party ( PKI ), after police found no evidence of treason.
Indonesia recently had a number of events with 1965 communist theme. The latest controversy involved the third ASEAN Literary Festival in Jakarta last week in which protestors accused the organizer of trying to promote communism. The event however proceeded under close watch by the police.
Looking at current development, the efforts to bring back communism in Indonesia are conducted in various ways. Remembering the effects of communist rising can be devastated for national integrity and triggered uncertainty security and political situation, Jokowi’s instruction to law enforcers to enforce the laws against the use of communist imagery should be implemented as soon as possible.
*The writer is a political observer and researcher.