SBY’s Speech: Hope, Idealism and Reality
Democratic Party’s chief patron Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono spoke at a meeting with the party’s founding members in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The forum caught media’s attention due to the absence of chairman Anas Urbaningrum. Though Anas is neither a founder nor declarator of the party, it is a strange sight to see him absent.
Prior to the meeting on Wednesday, SBY hosted another meeting (again, without Anas present) with local party leaders in his residence in Cikeas, Bogor, on Tuesday evening.
Founding members and party leaders and members seem to fully realize that the party’s popularity has been declining. Continuous number of meetings held are seen as an attempt to clean the party’s image which has been tainted by graft allegations.
Another daring attempt to revive the party’s popularity is to remove Anas from his position. Yet, the party’s Charter and By-Laws (AD/ART) clearly state that unless any member of the party is confirmed to be in legal process and officially declared as suspect, the party has no right to remove him or her from the post.
On Wednesday, SBY delivered a speech which contains some interesting points that I would like to address. His honesty to admit Democrat’s declining popularity and acknowledgement of his party members involved in graft cases deserve an appreciation. On the other hand, however, he claimed that, compared to other political parties, Democratic Party is not the most corrupted.
From the data he gathered, he revealed that his party had been involved in only 3.9 percent of corruption cases, while there are four other parties whose rates of corruption are above that of the Democratic Party: 34.6 percent, 24.6 percent, 9.2 percent and 5.32 percent. He did not specify which party is the most corrupted.
He also played the blame game with the media for taking his party into the bad spotlight. He insisted that the media gave a damage to the Democratic Party’s reputation. While it is true that Democratic Party get tremendous media attention following graft cases and that the public will not deny that Democratic Party is not the only and most corrupted party, I am not impressed by positioning the party as the sole victim.
What Democrat cadres don’t realize is that, during the 2009 election campaign, they came forward as a clean party who loudly said “No to Corruption.” But the reality showed otherwise. That is the main reason why people are disappointed. It is even more disappointing when the public later learned that the state fund was spent for the interest of certain chairman candidates during party’s congress in Bandung in 2010. The Democrat has failed to lead by example and proved to be the “party of its words.”
In the same speech, SBY urged members who don’t abide to the party’s principles — clean, smart and decent politics – to resign and leave. It’s clear that he’s trying to buy back the people’s vote but to this date there hasn’t been any concrete action done to resolve this core issue.
Anas has been allegedly involved in cases of the SEA Games’ athletes’ village in Palembang, South Sumatra and Hambalang sports complex near Bogor, West Java.
God knows if the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) works without intervention. In theory, KPK has more than enough information to summon Anas. From graft-convict Nazaruddin’s statements alone, KPK should have dug out more facts and more evidences to take Anas down.
In the meantime, the public only hope that Democratic Party will take solid actions. I hope in 2014, the party can take their principles more seriously, prove their effort to clean up this mess and to improve their tarnished image. And I hope SBY’s suggestions do not stop here.
One question remains, will they still say no to corruption?