asks á propos my post yesterday if Permadi is opposed to Yudhoyono. To be honest, I don't know but I have looked up oldish news items and asked 'Er Indoors. She says that he would have garnered a lot of support if he had ever stood for the presidency.
Firstly, Permadi Satrio Wibowo, Permadi S.H
. for shorter, or just plain Permadi, is best known variously as a paranormal
, a psychic
, a political soothsayer
, an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) fraction (sic) member
, a dukun
, an outspoken opposition figure
in the last days of Suharto and most recently as a lawmaker
In 1995 Permadi was sentenced to a four-year jail sentence for blasphemy after allegations he called the prophet Muhammad a dictator during a seminar at the University of Gajah Mada in Yogyakarta, central Java. The seminar in April 1994 did not disturb the audience of college students. Permadi claimed that tapes of the seminar were "doctored'" and leaked by the authorities. The government seemed to be painting itself as a defender of the Muslim faith, to the discomfort of many.
However, he first came to the attention of authorities after he predicted Suharto's downfall.
Further public accusations against Permadi surfaced in March 1995, shortly after a military leader he had contradicted accused him of political agitation
.His predictions, circulating in the form a cassette tape, ... apparently alarmed Lieutenant-General Soeyono, the Central Java military commander and soon to be chief of the general staff of the Indonesian armed forces.
"This is dangerous. That is why the police are investigating it," General Soeyono said. "The contents are not only a provocation but it is already a dangerous agitation."
In other words, Permadi was one of the numerous opposition figures jailed on trumped charges.
Until she became President, Megawati was seen as protecting the political legacy
and philosophy - nationalism and marhaenism
(based on the rights of rural peasant farmers) of Indonesia's founding father and first president Sukarno - her father. This was a politically expedient way of opposing Suharto, although any opposition to the then dictator was a risky business.
With her election, Permadi became a legislator. His record includes opposition
to the declaration of their wealth by politicians. Legislators were given forms to fill in by the Audit Commission on Officials' Wealth (KPKPN), set up by the government as a means to eradicate corruption.Using logic that is rare in Indonesian politics, he said personal wealth was "personal" by nature and such information therefore shouldn't have to be made public. The wealth declaration requirement was unfair, he said, adding that in any case, state officials would not make honest declarations of their assets.
Legislators from wealthy families with "old money" in particular shouldn't be audited, he asserted.
"Perhaps the officials who have to fill in the forms were rich before they became officials, so it's difficult to know if their wealth was the result of corruption or not. Those who should fill in the forms are those who suddenly accumulated wealth after becoming officials."
Yet, in 2002
, Permadi was the leader of the 46-member team from the Finance and Development Supervising Body which audited the use of refugee aid funds disbursed through the provincial government from September 1999 to refugees from East Timor.A year ago
, Permadi was ready to accuse the military of being behind civil disturbances in Ambon. SBY, of course, has a military background, but he was the architect of the Malino Accord which produced a settlement of the three year long inter-communal strife, so perhaps Permadi was accusing Gen. Wiranto, another presidential candidate, of engineering a recurrence of the strife.
Earlier this year, shortly after the tsunami, Permadi declared
that he viewed GAM's condition ... as being quite weak as is the case for other victims of the tsunami disaster.
Permadi was ... of the view that present conditions could be used by the TNI to make peace with GAM. "But if they don't want peace, keep wiping them out", he said enthusiastically.
Interestingly, the armed forces chief did not seem to agree.TNI chief General Endriartono Sutarto responded by saying that it was not within his capacity to determine the TNI's position with regard to GAM. "Wipe them out or shake hands, or sleep together, it all depends on the political policy makers. I'm ready [to do as they say]", he said. What is certain according to Sutarto, is that they should prioritise humanitarian work and not an offensive operation.
In March this year, regarding the stand-off with Malaysia
over the Ambalat islet, Permadi said that there was no need for Indonesia to hold diplomatic talks with Malaysia and said there was no ground for Kuala Lumpur to claim the area belonged to them.
"Everything is already very clear," Permadi said. "We find it to be unnecessary to have a dialogue with Malaysia."
My conclusion to the central question of Permadi's support of SBY is that he would prefer another president, but he is essentially a democrat and as such is an active member of the parliamentary opposition.
But then, what does Jakartass really know?