Reform has to do with changing the system. By definition, "reform" can mean "patching up the old system" (this is the negative sense of the term). Reform is different from revolution because revolution means undermining the old system and establishing a completely new system. What has been done by Habibie "government" is totally unrelated to the systemic change.
It appears as if these kind of concessions have been successful in creating illusions among the activists and the mass media. They perceive that these concessions are signs that Habibie is conducting a democratization process.
Of course, not every one has been deceived and influenced by his tricks. The demands continue for Habibie to step down, for the holding of an extraordinary MPR session, and the repeal (not revision) of the five repressive Political Laws of 1985, an end to the Indonesian Armed Forces' (ABRI) dual function, the release of ALL political prisoners, and a referendum for the Maubere (Timor Leste) people.
Mass actions continue to occur on campuses in Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia. The number of people who reject Habibie are still many --virtually hundreds of thousands in every city. In Yogyakarta, the people's demonstration reached one million. Even in cities where mass actions had rarely occurred, such as Banda Aceh, mass actions have begun to emerge. In Aceh, hundreds of thousands of university students, primarily Moslems, took over the streets. This shows that the Suharto regime failed to deceive the Moslems by appointing Habibie, formerly the head of Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI) -- an organization created by Suharto.
Therefore, we should not get carried away by Habibie's tricks. We should not
compromise on our demands. We should continue mass actions until total
reform is indeed begun. What would be the signs of total reform ? The signs
1) Suharto and those who had committed political crimes are arrested and
brought to trial in an unbiased and independent court.
2) A new multi-party election is arranged by an independent institution, not
an institution established by the [Habibie] "government."
3) Companies of Suharto's family and his cronies, such as Habibie's family
and Harmoko's family, etc. are nationalized for the sake of all people.
4) Wealth acquired from corruption is confiscated for the interests of the
5) The five repressive Political Laws of 1985 and ABRI's dual function are
repealed, not revised, nor reconsidered.
6) The puppet DPR/MPR [parliament] which was established by Suharto in an
un-democratic way is dismissed.
7) A referendum is held to determine the future political status of Timor Leste.
8) All political prisoners and detainees are released without exception.
Will Habibie fulfill all of these demands ? Of course not. We are not going to beg Habibie to implement a total reform. Reform does not depend on Habibie, that puppet of Suharto. Total reform depends on ALL people. So we should rely on the people to implement total reform instead of Habibie.
PARTAI RAKYAT DEMOKRATIK ( P R D )
PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY, INDONESIA
E-mail : email@example.com
Date: Wed, 03 Jun 1998 10:46:18 +0200
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