Okay, for you Indonesians who read this post, I guess I don’t have to introduce you more about this person. However, for our foreign readers’ sake, Megawati is one of the running candidates for Indonesia’s President in 2009. She lost in the 2004th election period and now is running again for the 2009th election period. Megawati Soekarnoputri (It’s her full name), is the daughter of the first President of Indonesia, Soekarno. You could guess that her last name might be one of the factors why her popularity is very high in the low and medium level society.
Megawati has been a president of Indonesia once replacing Abdurahman Wahid, who is forced to resign due to his controversial action in freezing the army and taking over the commando selfishly (a very controversial character but I won’t discuss him). Anyway, in her time of being the President of Indonesia, she also can’t escape the controversy that she brought to the nation. A controversy that is most notable is her move to sell the country’s asset to the commercial sector, which bring far more protests among the nation.
Being the President of Indonesia, Megawati is quite a hot-headed woman. She can’t handle criticism well, one news that I’ve ever heard is that she has ever charged a student for stepping on her photo and put him in jail (I forgot the date of the publicity, help me here people). Anyway, her personality has led her to this case, the “Say No To Megawati” facebook group.
The “Say No To Megawati” facebook group (SNTM) is a group built in the facebook.com site which aspire the voice of people who don’t want Megawati to be the president of Indonesia. I don’t know when the date they were established, but they have more than 98,000 members who joined this group. Basically, this group creates thread about why Megawati doesn’t deserve to be the president of Indonesia and such, and the members of this group will shout out their opinions, just like your normal forum thread.
This group has strived with its discussion and made a lot of members and of course, Megawati and her party members are very pissed off at this group. They filed a report to the Bawaslu (an official observer of the national election), stating that this group is flagging a black campaign and have to be shut down. They claimed that their rival parties are involved in the establishment of this group and have to be prosecuted to justice.
This is of course a jaw-dropping and a ludacris reaction. Megawati is confusing black campaign with negative campaign. To be clear, black campaign is a type of campaign that dicreditize a person’s name by stating out baseless claim, constructing false fact, and manufacturing story that is an exaggeration to the real story. In Indonesia, black campaign is prohibited under the “name & dignity preservation” law.
As for the group, I’ve checked it out and join this group. I observed all the posts in the group and I found that none of the post can be categorized as a black campaign. First, the administrators of this group never construct baseless claims against Megawati, they only ask question and let the members give their opinions about it. So, there is no control in giving opinions in this group, which is pretty much resemble democracy.
Second, this group even encourages intellectual talk and prohibits their members to mock with inappropriate words. If you call “I don’t like Megawati because she is stupid” to be an inappropriate word, then what would you say otherwise to say your opinion? “I don’t like Megawati because she is a mentally incapable of thinking”? Even that, I’m sure she will still be pissed off. The questions ought to be “How can we say that we dislike her?”. It’s our voice and our opinion, deal with it and grow up.
Lastly, you can’t control how the people should give their opinion. It’s democracy, and by doing so you are shutting down free speech. Are you suggesting that there should be a media blockage like the one where the New Order era was in place? Are you suggesting that we should go back to the feudalistic country when Soeharto is in power?
People, we have to be very careful of her action. She is trying to shut down our voice which is one of the fundamental rights as agreed in the UN declaration. Sue this woman to the UN for shutting down our voice the same as when China’s government shut down their citizen’s voice and preventing YouTube to be online in China. It’s our country, protect our democracy to the end.