Soekarno not yet declared a National Hero
TEMPO Interactive, Surabaya: Although he was Indonesia's first president, Soekarno has not yet been declared a national hero.
"Until today Bung Karno is still not a national hero either," said Jimly Asshidiqie, a member of the National Hero Committee, after attending a seminar on Nationality and Heroism in Surabaya on Monday.
According to Jimly, although all the research materials are complete and seminars as well as discussions on Bung Karno have been conducted, to call him a hero is still subject to existing mechanism.
As a follow up to the seminar, he has been asked to start a discussion at the academic level. The title of hero is not just a matter of formality, it must also be an instrument of heroism for all children of the nation.
With regard to conferring the hero title on Bung Karno, Jimly proposed that it be done on June 1, to make the Bung Karno figure distinct from other national heroes who were awarded the title on November 10.
"I’m a member of the Hero Committee, it’s not ethical to talk about technical matters, but I hope the title can be conferred on Bung Karno on June 1," Jimly said. Once this process has been concluded for Bung Karno, he hopes to start the process for Bung Hatta.
According to Jimly, among what hinders the process for Bung Karno is TAP MPRS No. XXXIII/MPRS/1967, which revoked Soekarno’s power. Chapter II, Article 6 mentions that a legal course of action against Sukarno will be taken in accordance with the prevailing laws and their implementation is in the hands of the acting president.
"There is the assumption that Bung Karno had committed legal action, but President Soeharto had never initiated any legal processes," Jimly added.
Jimly added that Presidential Decree 8/1986, which gave the title to Soekarno together with Bung Hatta as the duumvirate proclamator heroes, as a law clearly has no statutory basis. The title of hero does not recognize the term proclamator hero.
"The term duumvirate has trapped the big names of Bung Karno and Bung Hatta, making it impossible for them individually to be immortalized as appropriate," adding.
East Java Governor Soekarwo who attended the seminar said the polemics related to the legal status of Bung Karno had in fact already been concluded. "He has passed away, Pak Harto has also died, so no more excuses to stall conferring the title to Bung Karno," said Soekarwo.
The seminar was also attended by young historian JJ Rizal and Daniel Dhakidae. Lecturer on constitutional law at University of Surabaya (Ubaya), Martono, and a member of the steering committee, said the results of the discussions would be used as the basis for academics to consider Bung Karno as a national hero.
By Fatkhurrohman Taufiq
17 July 2012