Tuesday, May 7, 2013

April, 2013


Ditelurusuri kembali tulisn-tulisan sekitar Bung Karno jarang ada yang menulis demikian gamblang dan konsisten mengenai arti visi dan misi Bung Karno sebgi BAPAK NASION.

Di bawah ini disajikan salah satu tulisan terpenting Joesoef Isak mengenai Bung Karno:

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18 November 2009

'A Misleading Image of Sukarno',*

Adalah judul artikel yang ditulis oleh Joesoef Isak, 1995.
Artikel tsb selain merupakan suatu penjelasan, terutama adalah sebuah tangkisan
terhadap segala tuduhan dan fitnahan yang dilontarkan ke arah nama baik Bung
Karno.sebagai salah seorang tokoh utama pimpinan nasional dalam perjuangan
kemedekaan Indonesia.

Kasak-kusuk, setengah terselubung, untuk membusukkan nama Bung Karno masih
berjalan terus. Meskipun, nyatanya Bung Karno resmi diakui sebagai pahlawan
nasional, Orba telah digantikan dengan pemerintah-pemerintah Reformas., Mamun,
berbagai usaha memburukkan nama dan imago Bung Karno tak henti-hentinya. Ini
sejalan dengan usaha dari jurusan berlawnan. Yaitu percobaan 'membersihkan' nama
Suharto. Bahkan berusaha keras untuk melimpahkan titel pahlawan nasional kepada
mantan presiden Orba itu..

Di luar negeri, dengan titik berat di Belanda, cukup keras usaha mengulang-ulang
'ungkapan fakta-fakta', bahwa Bung Karno adalah seorang 'kolaborator Jepang'.
Dikatakan Bung Karno telah menyerahkan jutaan pekerja-paksa 'romusha' kepada
kekuasaan pendudukan Jepang atas Indonesia. Belum lama dalam suatu acara di
Centraal Museum Utrecht ditayangkan lagi Bung Karno yang menerima janji
kemerdekaan dari Jepang. Dan Bung Karno 'leveransir romusha' kepada Jepang.

Senjata berat untuk menyerang Bung Karno, terutama adalah fitnahan bahwa Bung
Karno adalah seorang 'diktator'. Bukan saja politisi komservatif berpendapat
demikian. Sementara 'pakar' asing pun (termasuk di Belanda, a.l Rudy Kousbroek)
memamah-biak fitnahan-fitnahan semacam itu. Bung Karno dikatakan tidak
mentolerir oposisi. Bung Karno dituduh telah memenjarakan lawan-lawan
politiknya. Bahkan ada diplomat resmi RI yang pernah berucap di muka umum,
bahwa Bung Karno itu adalah diktator. Hendak menyamakan Bung Karno dengan
Suharto. Bukankah itu suatu wishful thingking!!

Isu ampuh lainnya yang dilontarkan oleh penentang-penentang Bung Karno, ialah,
bahwa Bung Karno samasekali tidak punya perhatian terhadap kesuslitan ekonomi
negeri. Tidak punya pengetahuan dan kemampuan mengenai masalah ekonomi. Hanya sibuk dengan pembangunan proyek-proyek megah dan mewah, seperti pertokoan 'Sarinah', Hotel Indonesia dan 'Stadion' yang tak ada sangkut pautnya dengan pembangunan ekonomi negeri..

Demikian tuduhan dan fitnahan yang dilontarkan tehadap Bung Karnol

* * *

Joesoef Isak, wartawan senior, mantan Sekretaris Jendral Persatuan Wartawan
Asia-AFrika dan pemenang pelbaga AWARD International, peraih Wertheim Award
(2005), pemimpin Penerbit Hasta Mitra, yang merupakan perlambang perlawanan
konsisten terhadap pembungkaman kebebasan bicara oleh Orba, memberikan
penjelasan tentang kepalsuan pelbagai tuduhan tsb terhadap Bung Karno.

Menjelang kunjungan Ratu Beatrix dan Pangeran Claus ke Indonesia (1995), Joesoef
Isak menulis sebuah artikel dalam bahasa Belanda (karena terutama ditujukan
kepada publik Belanda). Dengan tegas Joesoef a.l menulis We don't accept any
insult to injure Sukarno, and certainly not from the Dutch side, either from the
conservative, or the so called ethical viewpoint. 'Kita tidak terima penghinaan
apapun untuk melukai Sukarno, apalagi yang datang dari fihak Belanda, . . . . .
. dst' .Terjemahan artikel tsb dalam bahasa Inggris, disiarkan di sini. Teks bahasa Indonesia, sayang, sampai sekarang belum bisa ditemukan.

* * *

A Misleading Image of Sukarno ** 

*Joesoef Isak* -- 1995 .*

/I/ *Introduction*
In view of a possible state-visit by Queen Beatrix to Indonesia to commemorate
the Fiftieth Anniversary of Indonesia's Independence, I suggested the idea that
the Queen lay a wreath on the grave of Indonesia's founder, Sukarno, in
Blitar-East Java. It was my hope that such a gesture would strengthen relations
between Indonesia and the Netherlands, and would once and forever put an end to
the old prevailing hostilities. The Dutch public was divided in its reaction to
this suggestion. Some people heartily approved the strengthening of relations
between the two countries, but many objected to laying a wreath on the grave of
Sukarno. Rudy Kousbroek for instance summed up his objections as follows :
Sukarno was a bigger disaster for Indonesia than the military Suharto. Sukarno
was a megalomaniac, who during his time, brought the famous belt of emeralds at
the equator to the brink of political and economic catastrophe. The people were
living in desperate poverty, the Constitution was torpedoed to introduce Guided
Democracy, and the democratic opposition to Sukarno was imprisoned.

There were also other reactions, some of which seemed to maintain that Sukarno
should be considered as solely responsible for the romusha, those forced
labourers who were exploited as slaves by the Japanese. In my article in the
Nieuw Rotterdamsche Courant (28-9-'94), I limited myself to the state-visit and
purposely avoided dragging up old issues. But I have noticed, that among the
Dutch public there still existed opinions - in particular in relation to Sukarno
- which according to my viewpoint were based not only on ignorance, but even
more so on prejudice and an oversimplification of historical matters. With this
essay, I will attempt to inform your readers of certain often overlooked facts,
so that they might form a more considered opinion about Sukarno and his period
of administration. I believe that this is still a relevant issue if we are to
seriously revive relations of solid friendship between the Netherlands and

With or without Sukarno and Hatta's collaboration with Japan during the war, the
employment of romusha was structurally a part of Japanese fascism. Not only in
Indonesia, but throughout the entire Southeast Asian region, including the
Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Burma, Japan launched the horrific romusha
campaign with its occupied Southeast Asians as slaves labourers. The best known
case, the infamous bridge across the Kwai-river, for instance, was constructed
by allied forces p.o.w.'s, who were treated as common romusha, irrespective of
their rank. For Japan it was a given that the population of all occupied
countries would work for their war plans, including those war prisoners. Should
the British and Australian commanders involved in the construction of the
notorious bridge be then called Japanese collaborators?

Sukarno has always been held responsible. Hatta was purposely not mentioned in
relation to romusha, whereas together with Mr. Wilopo he was actually the head
of the Romusha-Kyoku, Office for Romusha Affairs. Further, Syahrir was always
praised as "the rational non-collaborator". All of this has everything to do
with what we have for centuries experienced of the old colonial devide et impera
politics in connection with our leaders and ethnic groups in Indonesia.

The romusha issue was for the colonial rulers at that time a useful pretext to
blacken Sukarno and to push him aside. In fact, the Dutch politicians at that
time were not honestly concerned about the romusha. The colonialists faced the
gloomy prospect of loosing their beloved Indies that rich belt of emeralds on
the equator, taken away just like that, from the lap of the motherland, and at
such an unfortunate moment in history. After all, The Netherlands greatly needed
"de Indische Baten" (the Indies benefits) for the reconstruction of their
country after the war. The slogan "the Indies gone, disaster born" clearly
demonstrates Dutch fear of losing the Indies. The fact that the Indies after the
second world war might not return back into Dutch property was unthinkable.
There lies the very essence of the romusha argument.

Therefore, a sly political game to divide Indonesian leaders was launched, a
game whereby Syahrir had to be played off against Sukarno. It was impossible to
speak with Sukarno - actually with Hatta, too - not because they were
"collaborators", but because they had already proclaimed Indonesia as fully
independent, without any political affiliation whatsoever with The Netherlands.
The proclamation of Indonesia's independence and the constitution of the new
Republic, were quite definite about that.

So, for any possible negotiation another figure had to be found. In Syahrir, the
Dutch politicians at that time saw a man kindly disposed to Holland - the good
compromise figure - but Syahrir himself in the end was victimized by the slyness
of the Dutch colonial small trader mentality. Even a beneficial compromise for
the Dutch like the Linggajati-Agreement, which was accepted by the Indonesian
Republicans, was difficult for Dutch politicians to accept. The version of the
Linggajati-Agreement adopted by the Dutch Parliament, was not in conformity with
the original text. The fact that Syahrir - the architect of Linggajati - was a
"romusha-free" politician, suddenly seemed completely irrelevant. There we have
the real face of the colonials! The proclamation of independence by Sukarno had
to be abrogated at all costs. The question of collaboration with Japan and the
accompanying romusha issue was nothing but a puff up of a futile political issue.

During the tense situation of 1945-'50, the romusha issue was probably still
relevant for The Netherlands at least as a political manoeuvre, but to speak
about this issue now, after half a century, and on the eve of Queen Beatrix's
state-visit, was shameful. They should have been more tactful, and expressed
themselves more discreetly on such matters, especially as Dutchmen, our former
colonizers. Didn't the Dutch, since the infamous Cultuurstelsel ** , exploit,
misuse, and oppress our people by making them forced labourers or romusha in
sugar, tobacco and other plantations, and weren't we sold by them like cows and
buffaloes? Wasn't it the Dutch rulers, who launched an enormous scale romusha
campaign during the construction across Java of the 1000 km Great Post-highway
of governor-general Daendles, and this on behalf of so-called European
civilization, too; while all this occurred outside the framework of war. And
didn't the "firm boys and robust lads of Jan de Wit" in 1942 easily transfer we
the Indonesian people, just like that, to the Japanese rulers?

So, ever since that time, the Dutch have not had any moral right to question how
far and in which manner, we should deal with the Japanese occupants. We did not
know, what the British commanders could have accomplished with the construction
of the notorious bridge across the Kwai-river. However we knew very well, that
during the Japanese occupation, Sukarno succeeded in carrying out an essential
task, to which tirelessly had dedicated his efforts since his youth. He was a
freedom fighter, one who succeeded in political mass-education, and who brought
about national consciousness, not just among the intelligentsia, but throughout
various strata across the entire nation, thereby preparing the people for a free
fatherland! But, in The Netherlands they still are writing about Sukarno, as if
during the occupation he was doing nothing but organizing romushas.

Indonesian freedom fighters, in November 1945 , had been able to launch a very
courageous struggle against the powerful allied troops in Surabaya which is
still commemorated as the "November Tenth Day of Heroes". This heroic event was
in part due to the "collaboration" of the Indonesian pemuda's (youth) with the
Japanese communists in the Japanese army. Thousands of carbines, mitralleurs and
grenades were taken over from the Japanese army by the pemuda's in bloody
fights, but in other cases also in staged battles, which was the fruit of
collaboration between our pemuda's and the Japanese communist soldiers. Admiral
Maeda, who lent his house in Jakarta for a meeting of our leaders one day before
the proclamation of independence, was just a sympathizer of the communists,
while the leader of the Japanese communists in Surabaya was none other then a
sergeant. The communist from the Indonesian side, Amir Syarifuddin, was the
illegal leader who worked together with Sukarno. So one can see that our people
and leaders during the years of Japanese occupation launched a plethora of
activities, all of were necessary to further the national interest. It is
evident that these activities were diametrically opposed to Dutch interests,
because our energies were most decidedly directed to the independence of our
homeland! I write about this to clarify once more, that the conduct of our
leaders in connection with the occupying forces, was completely our problem. I
urge the Sukarno-haters, to seriously try to discover the real historical facts.

We don't accept any insult to injure Sukarno, and certainly not from the Dutch
side, either from the conservative, or the so called ethical viewpoint. It seems
that there exists, even today, a latent colonial mentality, which appears from
time to time under the guise of pseudo progressiveness. We see this in
particular among the older generation, who "worry about Indonesia, the good old
Indies, purely out of love". All of this sentimentality is always expressed in a
paternalistic manner, as if they know everything, even what's right for
Indonesia, and of course with the tried-and-true technique to sow dissension
among our people and or leaders. Tan Malaka, Amir Syarifuddin, Hatta and Syahrir
were our freedom-fighters, republicans, who contributed respectively, each in
his own way, to our independence. But Sukarno was the embodiment of free
Indonesia to the entire Indonesian people, the nationalists, Moslems, socialists
and communists, the intellectuals, the common people, all of whom had joined the
struggle for a free Indonesia.

"... But it does not eliminated the fact, that Sukarno has been a bigger
catastrophe for Indonesia than General Suharto", wrote Rudy Kousbroek.
"Everything was in pieces, the population lived in the deepest poverty", he
added. Yes, I vividly remember that sometimes we had to stand in line for rice
and gasoline. But for us Indonesians, we didn't feel shabby at all. It was
precisely during the time of Sukarno, when Indonesia was still our property,
when land and soil, air and water, oil sources and mines, forest and
plantations, seas and rivers, all of those, exactly all, were still our own,
when we could say very proudly of ourselves: we are the masters of our own

Many Dutch people didn't respond further to the question: who in fact had the
power in their hands, when Sukarno was branded as a dictator by politicians like
MacCarthy, Foster Dulles and Joseph Luns? In this regard, a small hint: by whom
was Syahrir actually arrested during the period of guided democracy? Was it
really Sukarno who imposed silence upon the opposition? A serious investigation
could answer who actually held power in their hands during the "dictator's
period" of Sukarno.  *    *    *

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