Oleh : By: Ahmad Syafii Maarif
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, President of the Lawyers Club television program Karni Ilyas on October 11, 2016 has invited me to comment about Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) statement regarding Alquran surah Al Maidah verse 51.
That night, from the Yogyakarta TV One studio, I fullfilled the invitation. I felt annoyed for a while because they couldn't immediately connect me with Karni because of audio-visual problem. I wanted to go home but the audio-visual finally fixed. I was late and did not follow others opinion who demanded Ahok's imprisonment, even though Ahok has apologized if offended Muslims.
My speech that evening which stated "Ahok is not a bad guy" has triggered curses addressed to myself. It came from various parties, especially in cyberspace.
I was immediately accused of defending Ahok. The curse was generally very rough and uneducated, including of those claimed from Indonesia's Islamic organization Muhammadiyah and Minang residents. But I also defended by netizens who know me.
I assumed, the condition was hot because it was related to the Jakarta Gubernatorial election in February 2017, which Ahok as incumbent wanted to run at the election.
My other statement was, ''I did not really know Ahok." Cyberspace residents responded it right away with a photograph showing I was eating in the Jakarta Governor's office and they accused me as a liar. Actually, the picture was taken December 2015 and the context had been explained.
The problem was simple, that I did not know Ahok inside-out, did not him well. But because my statement considered not in line with hard responses arose in the Lawyers Club, I was accused as a liar. Even a former minister commented in my picture with Ahok, ''You only been once invited to dinner, you just ngeloyor (defend Ahok).''
Apparently he thought, my price was so cheap. This was the risk, once people enter the edge of power politic realm, the interpretation could be out of control. But a variety of curse has repeatedly addressed to me in the past in various events. I remember early in 2015, there were tensions between the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and Commissioner General Budi Gunawan, I was the Chairman of team 9, has been attacked by politicians and police officers. However, public and society could tell who was the insane.
Even Gen.Tito Karnavian with his entourages already three times this year came to my house in Yogyakarta. Not to mention Commissioner General Suhardi Alius who once was accused as my niece had several times came into my house. I thought a sane police would not have any suspicion on my nationalism that has no correlation with my personal interests.
Therefore, it was a mistake to accuse me defending Ahok. I am not an opportunist, sacrifice my dignity for my interests. In the phrase of the Alquran, the allegation was probably no more than al-Zabad, froth as symbol of evil, has no essence and will fade. Let's respect in diversity and differences, because those are the highest human values. Do not spend energy prompting for temporary political interests with taking the name of Allah (God), because that way would be unwise.
Ahok case was a sign of Muslim parties failure in featuring leaders that could be trusted by the people, isn't? Let's learn to think clearly. And I would support the this nation, especially the Indonesian President Jokowi and Ahok to wary the dangers of yellow forces increasingly dominate the Indonesia's economy. If the domination is unstoppable, the result will be certain: the fate Nawacita (nine goals program) which is the target to the economy sector independency will fail.
We're at a crossroad in this problem. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has good ties with Beijing, China and has said sayonara (good bye) to the United States of America (USA), then the Indonesian foreign policy that 'independent and active' will face critical test.
Therefore, it would better to look fate of this nation that could lose its sovereignty. Loss of sovereignty was same as an open betrayal of the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence.