Surya Paloh & Nasional Demokrat

Feb 4th, 2010, in Opinion, by

A new mysterious political movement led by Surya Paloh, Nasional Demokrat, launches.

National Democracy? Where’s the Beef?

What are we to make of the National Democrats (Nasional Demokrat (ND, NasDem)), the political vehicle of Golkar figure Surya Paloh launched with much fanfare on February 1st at Istora Senayan, Jakarta?

Their ads certainly brightened up my bus journey through Jakarta the other day, and the presence at the helm of the Sultan of Jogjakarta tends to give a favourable image, not just to me as a monarchist, but because he has a reputation as one of the few honest men in Indonesian politics, despite his family’s long connection with Golkar (mind you, to criticise him for that would be similar to disapproving of Yeltsin because he clawed his way up through the CPSU – both were parties addicted to oppression, but both were the only avenues towards getting anything done during their respective hey-days. I might prefer Solzhenitsyn as a nobler character, but we all have to think about what we would do in the grip of a totalitarian/authoritarian regime) but according to the news, the new movement has got off to a tatty start by virtue of its audience consisting at least partly of hirelings.

… a crowd estimated at 12,000 strong — a number of whom told the Jakarta Globe that they had been paid Rp 25,000 ($2.70) to attend….

A lot depends on what we think of the arguably senior partner in the new enterprise, Surya Paloh, boss of Metro TV and numerous other media outlets. He too has been a long-term Golkar apparatchik, and cynics might suggest he has branched out because he got defeated for the leadership of Golkar by Bakrie. He also only recently appeared to be hitching up to Wiranto’s Hanura Party.

Nasional Demokrat (ND, NasDem)

Surya told the crowd:

We all hoped the reform era would have brought us to a better position…Reform has not helped us achieve our goals…. People are growing more selfish.

Well, can’t quarrel with that! Except that it’s not so much the people, as in the electorate, but some people, notably the elite ratbags whose selfishness is all the more disgusting in that they are already as rich as Croesus, yet can’t stop their ugly snouts burrowing ever-deeper into the fabric of Indonesia. Pay hikes for politicians, free cars, free houses, free laptops. it reminds me of Homer Simpson getting a prize of a holiday in a posh hotel and running about ripping off the accessories..’free soap, free tooth-brushes, free…shower-gel!’ But Homer is a working stiff who doesn’t have a lot. The elite here have everything, and flaunt it.

Surya said that as a result, the poor remained poor, the rich remained rich and

the dumb remained dumb.

And that his organization would lessen the burdens of the people.

Surya Paloh
Surya Paloh

Okay, nice words, but where’s the beef? Surya himself has never had a major say in government, but one is nevertheless known by the company one keeps, and who did he invite onto his platform, besides the good Sultan?

Megawati was President for some time, Kalla was known as the most powerful VP ever, Wiranto the War-Horse is still regarded with immense suspicion by reformers and…who’s this Mubarok fellow anyway? Not a force to be reckoned with but the others have had loads of opportunities to make a difference. Didn’t they? I won’t comment. but I’m sure lots of IM posters will.

Anis Baswedan, rector of Paramadina University, said he was asked to join the organization in December:

As long as this is not a political party, I decided to join

And added that he had Surya’s commitment not to transform the organization into a political party.

So what the heck is it? If Surya has given his word, it isn’t going to be a party. If he breaks his word, why would anybody trust a party with him at the head of it?

However, Meutya Hafid, head of the National Democrats’ organizing committee, did not rule out the possibility that the organization was the beginnings of a political party, but said that they would wait to gauge the public’s reaction. In the next two weeks, Meutya said, the organization would meet to discuss its regulations and programs. The organization is also expected to spread to the district level. “We want to make it slowly but surely,” she said.

And we bemused expats, as well as millions of citizens, presumably including Mr. Baswedan, await patiently to see if the media magnate and the monarch can emerge from this morass of double-talk with any shred of consistency, let alone any prospect of being taken seriously as potential leaders of Indonesia.

What would be much nicer would be a commitment from the Sultan and the Mogul to stop the plunder of public treasure, the hunting down of corruptors, the restoration of freedom of religion (not much chance of that with the Democrat party having endorsed the suspension of Ahmadiyah’s liberties) and the suppression of primitive and barbaric practices like polygamy and pedophilia which bring this nation of fine people into disrepute around the world.

155 Comments on “Surya Paloh & Nasional Demokrat”

  1. David says:

    They have a website and a twitter account and facebook page (4000+ ‘fans’ in four days so I’m guessing they’re advertising), so they’re pretty well organised on one level at least.

    The website scrolls wise sayings which for some reason I find very odd…

    Perjalanan seribu batu bermula dari satu langkah (Lao Tze)
    Kita berubah, apakah kita suka atau tidak (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
    Kita harus berubah menjadi seperti yang ingin kita lihat (Mahatma Gandhi)
    Perubahan dimulai ketika seseorang melihat langkah berikutnya (Willian Drayton)
    Ketika Anda berhenti mengubah, Anda sudah berakhir (Benyamin Franklin)
    Dia yang menolak perubahan adalah arsitek pembusukan (Harold Wilson)
    Perubahan itu sendiri kekal, terus menerus, abadi (Arthur Schopendauer)
    Tidak ada yang salah dengan perubahan, selama berada di arah yang benar (Winston Churchill)

    Are they really into Harold Wilson??

    There was a curiously titled piece in Australia about them – Battle to be Indonesia’s biggest loser.

  2. bs says:

    Arthur Schopen_D_auer?

  3. Odinius says:

    Just what Indonesia needs…another personality-driven political party!

  4. Chris says:

    I quite like one description of this group, in a recent Jakarta Post editorial:

    legion of losers

  5. Burung Koel says:

    Are they really into Harold Wilson??

    Or someone in the party room has a copy of a book of Popular Quotations, and looked under the chapter headed “Change”..

  6. David says:

    Or someone in the party room has a copy of a book of Popular Quotations, and looked under the chapter headed “Change”..

    Yes, that Obama thing again.

  7. Ari Rizky says:

    melihat dari visi dan misi nasional demokrat ini saya mengatakan cukup bagus..sebab landasan dari pembuatan nasional demokrat ini berdasarkan sejarah dan cita-cita bangsa yang belum terwujud.hanya saja saya belum percaya sepenuhnya dari apa yang sudah di pulikasikan sebab belum ada wujud kongrit dari ide yang revolusioner ini..karna ide yang revolusioner harus di sertai dengan praktek yang revolusioner.
    sekilas mendengar dari perkataan dari surya paloh bahwa apabila tidak segera dilakukan upaya pembaharuan tatanan ekonomi,sosial dan politik dengan merubah meinstrim pola pikir masyarakat maka bangsa ini akan hancur sebab binneka tunggal ika yang menjadi landasan negara kesatuan ini belumlah sepenuhnya seperti itu..dan sebenarnya pemikiran bangsa ini masih pemikiran yang pragmatis..
    saya mengatakan itu benar negara ini akan hancur karna adanya ketimpangan sosial.
    sebab demokrasi tampa kesejahtraan itu pembohongan..
    irian jaya sudah memisahkan dirinya dari negara kesatuan indonesia..
    papua juga sudah membuat pernyataan yang sama..
    ayo mari bersama melakukan perubahan yang kita bangun bersama..
    sebab tidak ada materi yang tidak berubah,persoalannya adalah apakah kita melakukan gerakan yang maju atau gerakan yang malah membuat mundur bangsa ini..
    abdikan hidupmu untuk pembebsan ummat manusia dari sebuah penindasan..
    demi generasi bangsa ini..

  8. bs says:

    @ari rizky

    What exactly is so revolutionary about this? I see nothing new, just “newspeak”.

    Never underestimate the stupidity of people in large groups.

  9. Janma says:

    Same Poo Different Day….

  10. mohammad bayu tandjing says:

    good luck….buat National Demokrat….!!!!!!!!!
    kapan ada di Palu……..Ditunggu kedatangannya….!!!!!!!!
    saya akan jadi pendukung terdepan National Demokrat……!!!!!!!

  11. Apriwan says:

    I support surya Paloh and the new organization founded last month, I do expect that I can be a member of your organization. Hopefully, this New Organization will become a good organization and will do everything for Indonesian society.

    good luck

  12. Ating Ismatullah, S.Pd says:

    Ok. Selamat berjuang. Kami di peloksok memantau terus nilai-nilai patriotis bangsa. Dengan saat ini dimana nurani nilai juang bangsa. Kalau semua banyak sisi hanya menuntut isi kemerdekaan bukan mengisi kemerdekaan. Siapapun yang ada tersirat dan tersurat ada arah penyelewengan amanat bangsa … maaf… di atas maupun di bawah…. Perjuangan saya akan lebih dahsyat dari pra merdeka!

  13. Maikel L. A. Samori says:

    Selamat atas lahirnya Wadah Baru Nasional Demokrat yang didirikan oleh Bung Surya Paloh. Gerakan ini, harus diilhami dan diterjemakan oleh seluruh anak bangsa bahwa Perjuangan kita melawan kemiskinan dan keterbelakangan.
    Kami Dari Kab. Waropen Papua siap bergabung!!!!

  14. Idaman djajo fahmy says:

    Saya ingin bergabung dengan nasional demokrat, bagamana cara apply atau registrasi dan dimana, terima kasih



  15. Mas Amroe says:

    Saya Yakin Surya Paloh Sebagai Seorang Demokrat Yang Nasionalis Sejati, Insyaallah dengan NaDem nya akan banyak kiprah yang diperbuat untuk Bangsa ini,
    Saya siap bergabung. Jawa Timur menunggu kehadiran NaDem. Semoga Sukses.

  16. andi putra says:

    selamat ,,,,semoga semua yg kita cita-cita kan,terwujud sesuai ke inginan rakyat indonesia,,,,
    kami d daerah siap mendukung sepenuh nya,,,,amin

  17. bs says:

    I’m beginning to get the idea that Patung is the big man behind the national demokrat show.

    Yang hormat,

    Ini websitenya khususnya untuk mengritik national demokrat. Kalau jadi member di sini, kalian berarti nggak dukung partainya. Aku dengar wakil national demokrat kumpul semua nama dari website ini supaya dia tahu siapa musuhnya…

    That’ll put ’em off for a while 😉

  18. deta says:

    bs, nice try :D.
    I’ll be honored to be on their list.

  19. ating says:

    bagi pns bagaimana curahan politiknya? tidur? atau bangun kala mau coblos di bilik suara itu aja? padahal arus politik merupakan arah maju mundurnya pengerak kemajuan bangsa.

  20. deta says:

    What exactly is so revolutionary about this? I see nothing new, just “newspeak”.

    Having 4000+ facebook fans in four days. That’s what so revolutionary about them.

  21. deta says:

    @ ating

    Membangunkan pns yang sudah berada di “comfort zone” itu ibaratnya membangunkan macan tidur, pak.

  22. David says:

    Having 4000+ facebook fans in four days.

    12,000+ now, and 600 followers on twitter, still, that sort of thing isn’t likely to impress out in the villages….

  23. maspeyock says:

    dari yang saya dengar.ND sangat bagus.
    bagai mana caranya saya bisa bergabung.saya tinggal di bringinsari sukorejo kendal jawa tengah

  24. ace mulyana says:

    national demokrat kami dukung sepenuhya ….semoga jalan sesuai yg dicita-citaka

  25. robert witono says:

    saya sangat tertarik dgn nasional demokrat dan saya ingin ikut terlibat dalam organisasi yang dipimpin oleh bapak surya paloh bagaimana cara saya ingin jd salah satu pengurus dibekasi mohon petunjuk

  26. Syafri Pulungan says:

    Saya sangat bergembira dengan lahirnya ormas Nasional Demokrat dibawah pimpinan pak Surya dan Sultan Yogya. Saya sedang mencari formulir pendaftaran menjadi anggota di Pekanbaru Riau dan bersedia menjadi pengurus DPD di Pekanbaru. Mohon informasi dari DPP untuk tentang tatacara pembentukan DPD dan siapa yang dapat kami hubungi secepatnya.

    Syafri Pulungan
    HP 081537443003

  27. Servulus Bobo Riti says:

    Nasional Demokrat merupakan akumulasi dari sebuah harapan untuk mewujutkan perubahan yang tidak saja parsial akan tetapi lebih dari sebuah makna Restorasi. Jepang adalah contoh dari hasil Restorasi Era Meiji 100 tahun lalu. Kita jangan biarkan Indonesia sebagai Republik Persatuan menjadi kenangan sejarah belaka bila terus dipimpin oleh anak-anak rahim Indonesia yang berpikir dan bertindak sekedar memenuhi nafsu kekuasaan…Ya Restorasi Indonesia adalah sebuah Visi Besar yang alat pencapaiannya melalui Nasional Demokrat…Surya Paloh adalah semangat jiwa raga Sukarno dan Kennedy…Sri Sultan adalah semangat jiwa raga Bung Hatta dan Gorbachev…(Servulus Bobo Riti, Anak Sumba di Jakarta)

  28. ahmad syafawi says:

    setelah nasional Demokrat dideklarasikan saya berkeyakinan akan membawa angin perubahan terhadap perjalanan bangsa tercinta ini.namun, saya tidak tau apa saja persyaratan untuk menjadi anggota. apa untuk wilayah NTB sudah terbentuk kepengurusan? mohon informasi.(Ahmad Syafawi. Lombok Tengah NTB)

  29. Michel S. says:

    Has no one commented on the fact that the movement’s name itself is grammatically wrong? In Bahasa Indonesia, the adjective goes behind the noun, not in front, so it should be Demokrat Nasional. Just as the English translation of PDI is Indonesian Democratic Party.

    Not surprising, somehow, but still, given that they have quite a snazzy logo, you’d think they have a PR person who at least speaks proper Indonesian!

  30. feri wahyudi says:

    perkenalkan nama saya feri wahyudi, saya beralamat di kota pontianak propinsi Kalimantan barat. Pertama kali saya mendengar bahwa Bapak Surya Paloh mendirikan partai baru yang bernama Nasional Demokrat, saya mulai berharap dan saya berniat untuk bergabung di partai ini, namun saya tidak mengetahui alamat sekretariat Partai Nasional Demokrat di Pontianak.
    Saya berharap mendapatkan informasi mengenai alamat dan syarat apa saja yang diperlukan untuk bergabung.
    terima kasih atas perhatiannya

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