Amid mounting signs of intolerance in recent years, the nation needs to revitalize the Pancasila state ideology, which has been relegated in significance, Vice President Boediono said on Pancasila Day on Friday.
A ceremony at the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) building to mark the 67th anniversary of Pancasila, the ideology that provides equal footing to all official religions and is supposed to encourage consultative decision making, was only attended by a few people.
Among those in attendance were former presidents Megawati Sukarnoputri and B.J. Habibie, and three former vice presidents: Tri Sutrisno, Hamzah Haz and Jusuf Kalla.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, was on a trip to Thailand and Singapore while Megawati’s husband Taufik Kiemas was reportedly sick.
“Bung Karno’s thoughts related to Pancasila were not taken from any book, or just made up, but were based on years of experience of the Indonesian nation, including what he himself went through,” Boediono said, referring to founding President Sukarno by his nickname.
Boediono said that nationalism was being eroded by “narrow egoism” and added that it was this that should be fought against and addressed. “Bung Karno said that in our differences we should see a common struggle, our joint struggle, our nationalism,” he said.
House of Representatives Deputy Chairwoman Melani Leimena said the annual marking of the day was “so that people remember.” She said the MPR was making a special effort to promote Pancasila, respect for which “appears to have been forgotten in this era of reform.”
Said Aqil Siradj, chairman of Nadhlatul Ulama, said because Pancasila was adopted by the country’s founders, who represented all elements of society, those who oppose it should be declared criminals.
“Anyone or any organization that openly contradicts and opposes the Pancasila ideology should be declared criminal individuals or organizations, or even subversive,” Said said in his speech at the event.
Andreas Yewangoe, chair of the Indonesian Council of Churches, said that mounting religious intolerance was because Pancasila had not been well implemented.
Additional reporting bySP/Natasia Christy Wahyuni
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