Indonesia political observer Rocky Gerung. Photo: Privacy

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – “Criticism is the evaluation of the mind against reality, namely breaking down policy inconsistencies. Inconsistency in policy must first begin by examining incoherence in ideas. Therefore the function of criticism is to parse, not build,” wrote by well-known political observer Rocky Gerung on his Twitter account.

The former lecturer in philosophy at the University of Indonesia was indeed known as a top critic of the current government of Joko Widodo. The hits are hard and sharp.

Unfortunately, Gerung might be quiet in the near future caused the police will call him to be asked for clarification regarding his statement about “the Holy Bible is fictional,” told Indonesian Lawyers Club (ILC) in last April 2018.

For his remarks, he was reported by Secretary of Cyber Indonesia Jack Boyd Lapian to the Criminal Investigation Agency of the Indonesian National Police headquarters, with suspicion of violating Article 156a of the Criminal Code concerning blasphemy.

Many people judge, Gerung’ examination is a portrait of the authoritarian government, the act of killing freedom of opinion, and efforts to eliminate freedom of thought and public discourse.

Others said it was difficult to let go of the alleged political elements behind this case. The National Winning Team Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno for example questioned why the case that had happened was long enough, only the call was held at this time.

Allegations of criminalization and intervention of the Palace accompany the boisterous on social media. They linked he is political movements which began to be distant from Widodo’ government.

Gerung even began to get closer to Widodo’ opponents in the 2019 Presidential Election, Subianto’ camp. This was demonstrated through the alumni declaration of support from a number of universities attended by him.

In the event, he expressed that he would criticize Subianto 12 minutes after he was installed as president. Gerung mentioned that he was indeed a critic of power.

Although, it does not clearly describe his political support, the statement is like describing the reasons for Gerung’s blow to Widodo so far.

Of course, once again, it is difficult to rush to stamp whether this he calling is criminalization. However, if you look at the pattern, there are many sets of legal snares given to people who oppose the government.

And exactly at this point, we can value the authoritative orientation of power. The use of laws to tame the opposition is a bad precedent, so the future of democracy in Widodo’s hands is questionable.

Specifically, the use of legal instruments related to him, has an element of threat to freedom of expression. Of course, for many people, this is debatable. However, if you see the pattern, fear about the threat of freedom of opinion may no longer feel excessive.

Gerung could said to be a vocal figure and to a certain extent, noisy in criticizing the government. Moreover, lately his criticism has been increasingly insistent. If you look at the plan for calling, the public might suspect that there is an attempt to stop the strikes. In fact, the threat to freedom of opinion like this is characteristic of authoritarian government.

Even though freedom of thought, freedom of expression and association are important in democracy. The failure to present these freedoms can be a bad indication that authoritarianism is being glimpsed.

In a country with an authoritarian system, discordant voices in the form of criticism are often silenced. Therefore, if Gerung’s summon had a sharp connection to the government, there could be a threat to freedom of expression in this country.

In fact, criticism is the best habitat for democracy and only through criticism of democracy will it last long and sustainable. And to educate the life of the nation, it can only begin with an appreciation of thoughts, criticisms and ideas.

Moreover, the article used to ensnare Gerung is also classified as a rubber article which is a threat to many parties. The article on blasphemy has ensnared many victims, especially in matters of freedom of expression.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com