Saturday, June 02, 2007

Pancasila 'needs practice, not campaign'

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A senior political scientist has said that law enforcement and national role models are needed to ensure that the values of the state ideology, Pancasila, remain relevant today, not propaganda or formal education.

"People do not need to be taught about this and that. They don't need a lecture about morality and values because they already practice this in their lives," Indriya Samego from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

"The people do not need rhetoric about Pancasila, but rather law enforcement and leaders as good role models."

He said Pancasila -- the "five principles" -- was a form of commitment made by the nation's founding fathers to deal with the cultural variations in the archipelago.

"Pancasila is still relevant in the lives of many people in the country, but its interpretation is still incomplete due to differences in the interpretation," Indriya said.

"During the New Order era, the state monopolized the interpretation leaving no space for the people to provide the meaning of the ideology."

Following Soeharto's New Order era, the pendulum of Pancasila's interpretation swung from being state-based to being society-based. It remains in an uncertain condition, however, in which leaders should take more responsibility for changes.

Highlighting the recent row over illegal funding in the 2004 presidential election, Indriya said the affair is being ruled more by political power than by law.

Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono X also warned of the diminishing role of Pancasila in the public sphere as it becomes dominated by the interests of political parties, the wealthy and mass movements.

"Nowadays, Pancasila is rarely heard of, even in a formal speech, compared to the past era when almost everybody needed to pronounce it as if it was a sacred mantra," Antara news agency quoted the sultan as saying in a speech to commemorate the birth of Pancasila at Gajah Mada University.

"Everybody seems to want to be released from the past stigma."

The sultan said the open ideology of Pancasila could become a dynamic, diverse ideology if each successive generation was given the opportunity to provide its own interpretation.

"No matter what, Pancasila has been proven to be a source of wisdom and strength in the nation during every crisis," the sultan said.

In Blitar, East Java, Ni Wayan Suriastini, coordinator of the National Integration Movement, said the nation was in a crisis of conscience over its own culture.

"There have been many attempts to reject Pancasila as the state ideology. Human rights, as well as the spirit of unity, was also abandoned, especially with the emergence of the secessionist movements," Suriastini said during a ceremony at Sukarno's cemetery to commemorate the birth of Pancasila.

During the celebration, Blitar mayor Djarot Saiful Hidayat proposed that the June 1 birthday of Pancasila be made an official national day.

It is widely believed that Sukarno promulgated Pancasila on June 1, 1945, however the New Order regime insisted it was conceptualized Aug. 18, 1945, as part of the preamble to the 1945 Constitution. (02)

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