27 October 2015
The state defense program (Bela Negara), which was launched by Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu on Thursday, has been met with mixed reactions from the people.
While some believe that the program may help instill a strong sense of patriotism in individuals, many — particularly civil society organizations that promote democracy and human rights — warn that the program could gradually bring back New Order-style militarization.
The program itself did not come out of the blue. On the contrary, some of its elements resemble similar programs that were implemented in the past — such as rakyat terlatih (trained citizens), known as Ratih; perlawanan rakyat (people’s resistance), known as Wanra; and pertahanan sipil or perlindungan masyarakat (civil defense), now referred to as Linmas — albeit with different emphases.
… Keoni Indrabayu Marzuki is a research analyst and Tiola Javadi is a research associate at the Indonesia Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The views expressed are their own.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 13/11/2015