Sunday, December 11, 2022

Indonesia's new anti-communist penal code smells like Suharto's horrible legacy: Marxism prohibited

A terrible spectre is haunting Indonesia these days; the spectre of dictator Suharto. The new penal code voted by the Indonesian Parliament on December 6th consists a major setback in fundamental civil rights and political freedoms.

Apart from the ban on extramarital sex relations and the restrictions in the freedom of expression (ban on protests, restrictions on academic liberties, etc), the new penal code prohibits the teaching and spreading of political views counter of state ideology (Pancasila). In fact, under the new legislation, the spreading and teaching of Marxism-Leninism, the worldview of scientific socialism, is prohibited. 
Indonesia has a long tradition of anti-communist persecutions. While the Communist Party has been banned and its activity is strictly prohibited, the new penal code brings to memory the 1965 mass slaughter of communists by Suharto's dictatorship. Back then, with the support of US and British intelligence services, Indonesia's fascist regime proceeded to a genocide, killing more than 1 million people, mostly members and supporters of the once-powerful Communist Party.
(Read here: The forgotten holocaust: The 1965-66 massacre against Indonesia's communists)
Its is reminded that Indonesia, the most populous muslim country in the world, has been presented by numerous mainstream media as a model of capitalist economic development in the broader region of South Eastern Asia.