Since the fall of the New Order government, Indonesia has actually enjoyed a blessing of democracy that brought much progress to the protection of civil rights and freedom. In many literature reviews, Indonesia is referred as a country with the highest levels of civil liberties and civil rights protection in Southeast Asia.
However, there are still many fundamental issues in the region. For example, the protection of rapidly growing press freedom is also accompanied by serious problems, particularly with regard to professional standards that lead to the abundance of media abuse. Similarly, the commercialization of media has led to a tendency towards concentration of information mastery that threatens the community’s right to information.
The issue of religious freedom is also a serious issue that is in the spotlight of the world. Although Indonesia is known as a country with a high degree of religious tolerance, in recent years, there have been many cases of violence and violations of religious freedom.
On the other hand, the Indonesian development pattern tends to concentrate and centralize economic development in cities such as Jakarta and other big cities, indirectly marginalizes the citizens’ rights to local culture. Jakarta has become a kind of cultural center that determines and serve as a reference for all cultures in Indonesia.
Along with that, with a frame of mind that prioritizes growth, it unknowingly ignores the rights of marginalized people (such as the poor, the disabled and the elderly), the weak (women, children) or minorities (the Chinese descents, adherents of local faith and beliefs).
PSI will be a party that strives for the progress of Indonesia for all community groups, not only in Jakarta but also throughout Indonesia. PSI will seek to restore the spirit of love toward diversity and build solidarity among people regardless of economic status, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, physical condition and age.
- Civil Rights
Civil rights are a set of fundamental rights inherent in a person who must be protected and should not be discriminated against based on certain characteristics (gender, race, ethnicity, age).
The PSI saw a series of civil rights that need to be fought and promoted: women’s rights, children’s rights, disability rights and the rights of the Chinese.
Women. The protection of women’s rights in Indonesia has made great progress. However, there are many conditions in both public and domestic spaces that cause women in Indonesia to suffer from the backwardness and suffering caused by their position as women.
Women even have to be protected inside the house. In domestic’s realm, PSI will protect women from domestic violence (domestic violence), crack down on domestic violence perpetrators, and suppress maternal mortality rates during childbirth and reduce unwanted / planned pregnancy rates. The state must intervene with what happens with women at home.
In the public sphere, PSI will ensure the protection of special needs (menstruation, childbirth, breastfeeding, raising toddlers) of women in the workplace. PSI will revoke local regulations that are discriminatory against women, and encourage equal pay between men and women.
In relation to sexual exploitation, PSI will combat trafficking in women, prevent women from being trapped in the profession of sexual workers and guarantee the protection of women from sexual harassment in public and private spaces. Accordingly, PSI will encourage the most severe legal sanction for perpetrators of sexual crimes
Child. Children are a vulnerable group that must receive special treatment and protection in Indonesia. Indonesian children should be able to live in conditions that enable them to grow healthy and support their ideal development.
PSI is committed to protect children from various acts of violence and sexual violence. Similarly, PSI will protect children from economic exploitation or work that harms education or endanger the physical, mental, spiritual and social development of children. Correspondingly, PSI is determined to combat child trafficking.
PSI is committed to ensuring the availability of a friendly environment with a child’s need to grow and develop well and build a public space in every area that as a healthy recreation space for children. In the same spirit, PSI is committed to protect children from various information through media that can harm the development of their physical and mental health; as well as protecting children from drugs (narcotics, psychotropic substances and addictive substances).
With regards to disadvantaged children, PSI is committed to guarantee and protect the rights of children born outside marriage. PSI will also fight for the provision of assurance of protection for children who are victims of horizontal conflicts (racial, ethnic, religious, confessional) conflicts in society
Group of people with disability. PSI is aware of the presence and significance of people with disability in Indonesia, whose fate has often been forgotten. In this regard, PSI is committed to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities to employment, health care, education and social assistance in accordance with their conditions.
Likewise, PSI is committed to guarantee the rights of the disabled in order to facilitate the use of public facilities, facilities and infrastructure.
Chinese. Although the Chinese community is a group of citizens who have been building and merging in Indonesian society since the country’s early existence, until now there is still prejudice, suspicion and even a sense of hostility towards the Chinese community. It is undeniable that the unification of Chinese society as a legitimate part of the Indonesian nation’s great family is still not fully smooth.
PSI is committed to eliminate all forms of discrimination and harassment against the Chinese while promoting and supporting the integration of Chinese races and other ‘minorities’ into Indonesian society. PSI believes that the Chinese’s integration into this nation should be carried out jointly. Both the Chinese and the non-Chinese should be willing to let go of all the prejudices that may have disturbed the nation’s harmony.
The Elderly. The elderly occupies a significant percentage in Indonesia’s demographic structure in line with the higher life expectancy in Indonesia. Therefore, PSI considers it is important to pay special attention to the elderly whose presence is negligible.
PSI is committed to ensure the rights of the elderly to obtain health services, training and education and social assistance in accordance with their needs. PSI also guarantees the elderly’s right not to be neglected and to have ease in the use of public facilities, facilities and infrastructure. PSI is committed to assist elderly people to be able to live their old life with dignity, respect and protection.
- Civil Liberties
Civil liberties are a series of fundamental freedom that a person possesses as a consequence of his existence as a citizen of a democratic state. A series of known civil liberties are the right to think, the right to speak, the right of expression and the right to live according to their faith and beliefs. These rights are attached to every citizen and cannot be threatened by a group of people, corporations and the state. All these rights shall be protected and not discriminated against in order for every citizen to participate fully in civil and political life.
Religion and Belief. In the last ten years, there have been growing efforts to create single religion accompanied by oppression of different interpretation and beliefs. At the same time, the issue of interfaith relations as well as issues of majority and minority on an ongoing basis becomes a major problem which in some cases took thousands of lives and divided the nation.
The issue of building religious worship places became a problem in various regions due to the intolerant attitude that owned by few people but strong enough to trigger local government’s steps and policy to inhibit the construction. Therefore, PSI is committed to encourage and seek the birth of legislation that guarantees the right of every citizen to worship according to his religion and belief. In this case, there must be legal certainty for the construction of houses of worship and the ease of building houses of worship in accordance with prevailing laws and regulations.
On the other hand, PSI believes that in order to prevent various forms of religious oppression by a certain group, there must be firm legal action against any group that threatens and represses citizens’ right to worship according to their religion and belief.
PSI believes that the spirit of respect for diversity of religion and belief should be promoted and supported by clear policies and regulations. The state must recognize and protect religion and faith’s diversity as well as protect the people from forcing the interpretation of religious beliefs by a particular group. In this case PSI is committed to abolish various laws and regulations that hamper the diversity of healthy interpretations i religion.
Given the richness of Indonesia’s cultural heritage, PSI is also committed to recognize and protect the diversity of original faiths and beliefs beyond the six religions formally recognized by the state.
While recognizing the diverse cultural contexts of each region, PSI is also committed to abolish regional regulations that potentially discriminate citizens on the basis of religion, race and ethnicity. In all of Indonesia, without exception, there should be no regional regulation that is concerned only with certain religions or groups while not giving equal rights to other religions or groups. What holds up across the country is Indonesian law, any religion-based law that supersedes all is unacceptable.
Press and Right to Information. The freedom of press in Indonesia has made great progress. The press and mass media are growing throughout Indonesia and have become a means of social control and socio-political communication that affect people’s lives. The development of information and communication technology also encourages the presence of democratization of information that allows ordinary citizens and small communities have means to voice their opinions.
At the same time, however, there are some alarming symptoms. As seen in the use of the ITE Act, there are attempts to reverse the situation by exploiting legal loopholes to repel the public’s courage to express opinions and disseminate publicly relevant information that is essential to democracy.
On the other hand, press freedom and the presence of simple and inexpensive information and communication technologies led to the birth of a variety of journalism practices that totally ignored the ethics and standards of professionalism. Meanwhile, the phenomenon of media commercialization has also led to the rise of central media ownership which in turn produces output that is often contrary to the public interest or denying public’s right to the right of true and useful information. This is exacerbated by the fact that many of the medias in Indonesia are owned by investors who are at least have political interests.
Efforts to counter certain parties that try to limit the right of public speech, PSI is committed to guarantee the right of every citizen to express his opinion, except that which is defamatory, moral infringing, threatening public order or an expression of opinion spreading hatred and provocation to commit violence against racial, ethnic, religious or other community groups.
Similarly, PSI is committed to guarantee the freedom of the press and mass media to perform social control functions. At the same time, however, PSI believes that there should be an effort to promote the professionalism of the press, the empowerment of the Press Council and the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission to ensure the right of the people to obtain balanced and correct information.
In connection with the development of online media, it is necessary for the government’s sincere efforts to continue to support the principle of freedom of expression while preventing online media into a basket filled with various junk information that is contrary to moral standards and public interest.
PSI believes that the community should be guaranteed the right to obtain sufficient information about its environment in order to exercise their political participation properly. Similarly, society must be protected from media content that is not in line with the local moral standards.
With regard to the structure of media industry, PSI is committed that mass medias possessing enormous political and economic power are not taken over by a handful of investors and certain political interests. Hence, PSI is committed to limit the concentration of media ownership. With particular in television industry, KPI is committed to enforce decentralization broadcasting through which only democratization of broadcasting in Indonesia can be accomplished.
Internet. With the development of an increasingly sophisticated world, PSI participates in the struggle for basic rights as regulated in Article 28F of the 1945 Constitution (Second Amendment), “Everyone has the right to communicate and obtain information to develop his personal and social environment and has the right to seek, obtain, possess, process and convey information using all available channels.” The Internet as a new information medium must be positioned as a public space, so access to the internet with speed and security is a citizen’s right that must not be ignored.
Law of Mass Organization. In regards to mass organizations law, PSI is committed to revoke law which that have the potential to criminalize mass organizations opposed to the government (e.g. the article stating ‘endangering state security’ or ‘threatening the integrity of the state’) and cause thousands of community organizations under close government control.
- Cultural Rights
In its broadest term, the right of culture is the authority associated with art and culture. This comprises a very broad scope, from the right to cultural and artistic products (film, music, dance, novel, etc.), participation in cultural activities, protection of cultural heritage, etc. The assumption is that culture is a valuable wealth of society that reflects local values, morals, ways of thinking and customs.
Citizens and communities throughout Indonesia should be guaranteed the right to have access and to participate in their local culture, without being kept away from national and global cultures. Indonesia’s cultural wealth must not only be preserved, but it must also be promoted and developed to become a legitimate part of national and global culture.
PSI is committed to ensure opportunities for local cultures across the country to grow and publicize in public spaces and mass media through a variety of ways: cultural appreciation programs, training and education institutes development, the establishment of cultural art performances throughout Indonesia.
In terms of widescreen films that are popular culture for Indonesian youth, PSI is committed to encourage the development and deployment of cinemas, movie show spaces or movie screens throughout Indonesia that are concentrated in major cities such as Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya.
Likewise, the state must provide a cultural space throughout Indonesia that provides a place for art workers in each region to express their work. Local cultural products do not only have important economic values but also serve as a means of expressing arts and inheritance of cultural values that are essential to the existence of society.
In television PSI is committed to ensure broadcasting decentralization where local people can enjoy their culture and have the means to develop local cultural expressions.