Straws in the Wind – Golkar's Sectarian Surrender

Here we are, more sunshine pouring down from the sky – gotta get out and look at computers; this old Toshiba has served me well, but it’s taking forever to do its job these days.

But dark sectarian shadows gathering over Jakarta, an all too familiar story.


Today I’m referring to the Golkar Party’s slide into sectarianism, exemplified by the role of Laksono Agung, a senior party member who has chosen to give a ‘guarantee’ that no bikinis will be word.


agung-laksono Laksono Agung


A’ guarantee?‘ Has he any idea how ludicrous these words sound to normal people? A high-ranking Minister feels obliged to assuage the sensitivities of fanatic fools by issuing a guarantee on the clothing some pretty lassies may or may not wear in a beauty contest?

And he re-affirmed that disgraceful white-flag declaration which blocked the Miss World events in West Java.  

However, he denied the prohibition against holding beyond Miss World in Bali was because there was pressure from certain mass organizations.
There is no pressure from certain organizations. Decision, we considered the results of the various aspects,” he said.

Aaaw, c’mon, Laksono! Of course there was pressure, reported faithfully here day after day, not the invention of yours truly but fully documented with links to all kinds of regular Indonesian media.

And why the weaselling on whodunnit?


Certain organisations?

C’mon, Laksono!

Name and shame the bigots -MUI, FPI, MMI, FUI, GARIS – every single one of the worst elements in society, all of them shrilling and shrieking, fatwas and foul threats of vicious violence..“Whoever’s got a machete, sharpen that machete, whoever has a sickle, ready it, to dissolve Miss World!”,

  • Sejumlah anggota Front Pembela Islam (FPI) melakukan teatrikal dengan menusuk dan membakar boneka berfoto Gubernur Bali I Made Mangku Pastika sebagai bentuk penolakkan penyelengaraan Miss World di Indonesia, di depan MNC Tower, Jakarta, Jumat (6/9). Foto: Ricardo/JPNN

IslaoNazis’playing’ with an effigy of Bali’s Hindu Governor, in protest over Miss World

….no pressure? 


 Nobody can seriously pretend that the government didn’t bow to fanatic Islamists, although Laksono Agung refers to them as ‘the people..’ ….the government had “listened to what the people wanted.”….as if the actual fanatic parties had ever won anything but a small minority of votes cast in Indonesian elections.

It speaks volumes that the only place deemed safe for Miss World is the Hindu Isle of the Gods!


So what does this tell us of Golkar, a party set up by the Suharto dictatorship which, despite its unsavoury past, has worked sedulously to present itself, since democracy returned, as a non-sectarian nationalist party?


golkar Bakrie


Its current leader, billionaire  Bakrie, has resisted calls to disown the Bekasi bigots, Regent No-Shame Neneng and Mayor Rahmat Effendi, despite their scandalous war on religious freedom, the persecution of the minority Ahmadis in their sphere of influence.

But we had hoped that was just a glitch, that the solid centre of Golkar would stay the course for pluralist democracy. 

Instead, like the rest of the ruling establishment, Golkar has kicked pluralism in the teeth, knuckled under to primitives and given enormous encouragement to rabid white-shirt hoodlums who undoubteldy reckon one more push, maybe a few more, pushes, will usher in their ghastly nightmare of sexist discrimination dogma across the land, women reduced to second-class shariah status.

PS   I watched, or rather ignored, at least an hour of nit-wittery from ‘clerics’ yapping to baggies on the evils of aurat display on TVOne the other day. TVOne is owned by…Bakrie!