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Jakarta Post

Politics of embracement of PDI-P, Jokowi

  • Eva Kusuma Sundari
    Eva Kusuma Sundari

    Member of the House of Representatives from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P)

Jakarta   /   Tue, August 14, 2018   /   09:42 am
Politics of embracement of PDI-P, Jokowi President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (left) and running mate Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Ma'ruf Amin greet the media after registering their ticket for the 2019 presidential election on Friday at the General Elections Commission (KPU). (Antara/Hafidz Mubarak A)

Like founding father and former president Sukarno, current President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo loves the people too much and does not want the Republic of Indonesia to break away. Because of his love for Indonesia and for the sake of national unity, for example, Sukarno even refused to fight Soeharto — even though it was made possible by popular support — when the latter ousted the former in 1966.

Jokowi is no different. This was evident when he asked his supporters on Aug. 4 not to incite hostility, spread hate speech or slander others, although he also encouraged them to counter attacks in self-defense.

Jokowi also emulates Sukarno’s fight for national unity, before and after independence. This is important considering the threat of disintegration as a result of rising sectarianism and regional dissent, particularly in Papua.

More importantly, strong unity or support is needed to implement the strategy to carry out Nawacita (nine-point development agenda) part II. Therefore, Jokowi does not only have to get more votes in the 2019 election, but also form a strong government afterward.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has from the beginning opened the door wide for a large coalition to support President Jokowi. Apart from preparing the Nawacita II campaign platform, the PDI-P has actively facilitated formation of the big-scale coalition, which is to relativize and even transform the party’s subjective interests.

As a consequence of the party’s ideology that embraces all groups into the one big house of Pancasila, the PDI-P must work to sew the division or polarization in society. The PDI-P must open its heart, mind and will to engage as many parties as possible, including those who oppose us, for dialogues and collaborative efforts toward the same goal, which is realizing Pancasila democracy.

As the champion French team showcased at the 2018 World Cup, the PDI-P believes diversity is a source of strength, creativity, innovation and new intelligence. We try as much as possible to accommodate diversity (multicultural) in politics. 

This diversity accommodation started with the party’s policy in recruiting its legislative candidates, which turned out to surprise many, including the PDI-P’s own senior party members. For example, we nominate new faces from Islamic figures and activists evenly across all electoral districts.

The party leaders understand and respond positively to the new phenomenon of rising religious awareness in the world, including Indonesia. 

Instead of being hijacked by the discourse of pro-intolerance, for the sake of the Republic we accommodate them in our Islamic wing Bamusi, which promotes tolerance and pluralism.

The nomination of the late Yusuf Supendi, founder of the Justice Party (now the Properous Justice Party) and Kapitra Ampera, who used to be a lawyer for hardline Muslim cleric Rizieq Sihab, sparked controversy in the media. The PDI-P embraces them to choose a tolerant Islam and protect diversity (rahmatan lil alamin, Islam as a universal blessing for all creations of God) in line with the state ideology Pancasila. 

This outreach strategy of reaching out and embracing is not just because of the personal breadth and maturity of the leaders of the PDI-P and President Jokowi, but also because of Pancasila as the ideology and the basis of the state. Therefore, Pancasila, which promotes gotong royong (mutual assistance), must be implemented to solve the nation’s problems.

We should not forget that Pancasila is also a national character, so leaders who embrace Pancasila will put national interests behind personal interests. Therefore, it is appropriate that leaders should have no resentment, prejudice or personal hostility between them.

This happened on the evening of Aug. 9, when leaders of the ruling coalition and President Jokowi embraced KH Ma’ruf Amin and gave him the honor of nomination as the vice-presidential candidate. The party leaders exemplified greatness and views that are responsive to the needs of our future, namely national solidity and unity. 

Certainly there were sacrifices. There is indeed no progress without sacrifice. However, we save greater profits for the future. Supporters of Jokowi and the PDI-P should reflect on the important message of a glorious political event that occurred last Thursday, which was unity. 

The appointment of Ma’ruf as President Jokowi’s running mate has united the coalition parties, volunteers supporting Pak Ma’ruf and Jokowi’s supporters. 

In fact Pak Ma’ruf has started promoting tolerance and modern Islam since his appointment as a member of the steering committee of the Body to Promote the Implementation of Pancasila (BPIP) and a member of the presidential advisory body. 

The VP candidacy is also an effort to save the creation of civilized politics, narrow the polarized society toward a less divided and segregated society. God willing, the appointment of Pak Ma’ruf will reduce attacks with sectarian dimensions so that President Jokowi can focus on working to promote prosperity. 

Pak Ma’ruf is also expected to show his capacity in the Islamic economy and finance as an integral part of the Pancasila mutual economy. We are all invited to promote a peaceful politics so that the goal of democracy, namely social justice, can materialize.


The writer is a House of Representatives member from the Indonesian Democratic of Struggle (PDI-P). The views expressed are her own.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.