The Jakarta Post
A lecturer of Jakarta’s Prof. Dr. Hamka Muhammadiyah University (UHAMKA), Alfian Tanjung, acknowledged he had made a mistake in calling Indonesian Press Council member Nezar Patria a cadre of the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).
“I have come here to acknowledge my mistake and convey my apology to Pak Nezar and the public, who might have a wrong perception about him because of my statement,” Alfian said at the Press Council office on Jl. Kebon Sirih in Central Jakarta on Wednesday, as quoted by kompas.com.
Alfian made the apology in response to a letter in which Nezar threatened to sue him for calling the press activist a PKI cadre in several Quran recitation communities.
Alfian said that after he had received Nezar’s letter and met with Nezar’s lawyer team, he had checked again several names he had called PKI cadres. After scrutinizing the data and directly confirming the matter with Nezar, the lecturer concluded he had made a mistake.
Alfian said he had accused Nezar a PKI cadre based on a fact that Nezar was once a member of the People's Democratic Party (PRD), an organization with a democratic, socialist platform.
“It’s true that he was a PRD activist, but calling him a PKI cadre was a mistake,” he said.
“So, I firmly state here that I have made a mistake and I revoke my statement on him. I hereby declare that Pak Nezar was not what I stated in my speeches [a PKI cadre].”
Alfian also clarified a statement of his, in which he had said that Nezar had once led a PKI meeting at the State Palace. “He [Nezar] was never involved in any activities at the palace,” said Alfian.
At the meeting, Nezar appreciated Alfian’s move, saying Alfian was brave to admit his mistakes. He said he hoped Alfian’s case could be a lesson for the public that they must be careful in spreading unverified information.
“I express my gratitude to Pak Alfian, who has openly and bravely admitted his mistakes in conveying information and citing names, including my name, during the Quran recitation event,” said Nezar. (ebf)
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