By Yohanes Supriyadi

Those in power and the political elite have failed to carry out the People's mandate. This is
plain to see from the evidence of on-going devastation in various areas of life across the
nation. Farmers, fishermen, laborers, the unemployed, and the urban poor continue to be
gripped by the same problems, which are only growing worse. We witness children dropping
out of school, unemployment, and various other social wounds lashed upon the lives
of the People. Natural disasters, landslides, floods, and forest fires increasingly reveal the
consequences of human greed that eventually brings catastrophes. It is undeniable that
suffering and misery have become the daily rations for a large portion of the Indonesian

Justice for former President Soeharto remains little more than a dream for the majority of
the People, to say nothing of trials for violators of human rights. Not only is the fight
against KKN [collusion, corruption, and nepotism] not advancing, but KKN is actually increasing
and spreading to the new business and political elites. Piles upon piles of KKN
cases are ignored, giving the impression they are even being protected. Whether we are
talking of the KKN cases involving the family and cronies of former Gubernur Usman Djafar or
those involving current power holders such as the cases of Corruption Assurance, Lativi
and the case of the Tenda Biru - the supremacy of law bows down to the supremacy of money and power.

In a word, the reform agenda has been deliberately thrown in the "garbage can" by those
in power and the political elite. More than that, they have deliberately "killed" the reform
movement voiced by every element in the nation. This "killing of reforms" has been accompanied by the launching of policies that are anti-People such as the raising of prices for fuel, electricity, and telephone, while at the same time granting blanket amnesty to the worst

Setting a moral example has become a rare event among our leaders. Concern for the People
has been reduced to empty political rhetoric. Any deep commitment to carrying out the
People's mandate has been "prostituted." Meanwhile, political activity amounts to little more
than the accumulation of political power resources and money for personal and group interests
that are obviously particular and of the moment. This is why the political transition of
this nation has not brought democracy and justice, but rather political uncertainty and perpetual
impoverishment of the People.

These facts confirm one thing - that a de facto vacuum of national leadership is occurring at
this moment. Formal political leaders do indeed exist, but their existence contributes very
little to solving the nation's problems and uplifting the quality of people's lives in general. It is
nearly impossible to find any concern on the part of these leaders for the fate of the People,
whose suffering, poverty, and destitution grows. It is justified, then, for the People to lose
their trust and begin to support an agenda to withdraw the mandate making them national
political powerholders.

Fundamentally, no hope for change can be given to those in power now. And yet, for the sake
of the future of democracy and a genuine struggle for the people, we will give one last opportunity to those in power to prepare and repair themselves in accordance with the demand for
total change from every corner of the nation. We believe that such and opportunity still exists,
even if only tiny. If the opportunity is fully utilized to achieve the aspirations of the People
and the reform movement, the powerholders and political elite will have regained their
place in the People's hearts. But if this small chance is squandered, it is the justice of history
that will be heard. It is well to recall that the strength of the People can always rise to end the
oppression and suffering they endure.

It is evident that this country's formal political leadership must change quickly, or there can
be no hope for the of this beloved nation. For these reasons, we, a private grouping of citizens
concerned about the fate and future of the Indonesian People, declare:
1. Appeal to those in power and other political elites to concentrate their attention on rapidly addressing the problems of the nation in the shortest time possible, bearing in mind the political competition for 2009 and the potential for political feuds.
2. Appeal to those in power and other political elites to set an example as leaders who truly care about the fate of the People. The form that example takes, among others, should begin with promoting a simple life starting with the leaders themselves and extending to their families, and further supported by a personal desire to cut their own salaries for the sake of the broader population.
3. Appeal to all elements of the population not to depend on the formal political leadership to solve all the nation's problems, which are so complex and in need of immediate handling. Only by working collectively can we make the maximal contribution to solving the national problems that are increasingly acute and alarming.
4. Appeal to all levels of society to push for the emergence of new leaders who are honest, clean, consistent, and prepared to make sacrifices to guide the People out of this un-ending crisis.
5. Appeal to all Indonesians to arouse the spirit of struggle and strengthen their consolidation to compel the powerholders and other political elites to make greater efforts to solve the problems of the nation.
6. Appeal to the whole Indonesian People to be vigilant of and prepared to prevent the return of Soehartoist forces and the New Order which could seize the opportunities presented by the current political mess.

These are the appeals we put forth with the singular certainty that changes in the life of the
People are only possible if each of us acts collectively with solidarity.
The history of the Indonesian People provides proof of this.

Pontianak, March 2008

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