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Jakarta Post

Court rejects lawsuit against Anies’ ‘pribumi’ speech

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, June 4, 2018   /   05:09 pm
Court rejects lawsuit against Anies’ ‘pribumi’ speech Anies Baswedan (center) delivers his inaugural speech as Jakarta governor in front of residents and supporters at City Hall, Central Jakarta, on Oct. 16, 2017. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

The Central Jakarta District Court has rejected a lawsuit against Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan over his inaugural speech in October in which the term “pribumi” (indigenous people) was used, which was considered by some people to have revived Colonial-Era racism.

The civil suit was filed by the Anti-Race and Ethnic Discrimination Advocacy Team (Taktis) against Anies in October after mediation with the legal bureau of the Jakarta administration failed. The term, together with “non-pribumi” is explicitly prohibited from government use and policy in a 1998 presidential instruction.

Presiding judge Tafsir Sembiring rejected the lawsuit during the ninth hearing on Monday. The judges ruled that the plaintiff and the defendant did not have legal relations with each other, so the lawsuit could not be settled in a civil court, kompas.com reported.

Following to the judge’s ruling, the plaintiff may file an appeal, Taktis member Daniel Tonap Masiku said.

In his inaugural speech in October, Anies said "In the past, we pribumi were the conquered. Now, it's time for us to be the hosts in our own land. We worked hard to get rid of colonialism and we must enjoy our freedom."

His statement sparked widespread criticism, despite Anies saying that the context of the speech referred to the Colonial Era when Jakarta was the center of Dutch colonial rule as the capital of the then Dutch East Indies.

The term pribumi was originally used as part of a three-tiered racial classification during the Dutch Colonial Era, which placed native Indonesians below European and “foreign oriental” races, such as ethnic Chinese, Arabs and Indians.

Critics had alleged that Anies won the gubernatorial election in April partly as a result of the use of racism against his opponent, then incumbent governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who is of Chinese descent. (ami)