JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The G30S/PKI incident is still etched in the minds of the Indonesian people. The general chairman of the Nurul Ibad Foundation, Kiai Muhammad Syakrim (87), who at the time of the G30S/PKI incident was living in Lubang Buaya, also witnessed this dark event.
In his interview with Kompas.com, Kiai Syakrim recounted the details of the G30S/PKI incident from his point of view.
Articles containing Kiai Syakrim’s testimony regarding the G30S/PKI incident were also sought after by Kompas.com readers and made it the most popular national news item.
Then, opinion articles about Vanuatu’s attitude which often confronts Indonesia regarding the Papua issue also attracted the interest of Kompas.com readers.
Vanuatu has stated several times that the Indonesian government has committed human rights violations in Papua.
Opinion articles about Vanuatu’s political stance which often confronts Indonesia are also included in the national popular news series. Here’s the presentation:
1. Testimony of Religious Leaders at Crocodile Hole Dark.
That one word came from the General Chairperson of the Nurul Ibad Foundation, Kiai Muhammad Syakrim (87) when he first heard about the events of the 1965 September 30th Movement (G30S), which had been associated with the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).
The bloody incident on the journey of the Indonesian people is still very imprinted in his memory. “The G30S/PKI incident was dark, yes,” said Syakrim when met by Kompas.com at his residence in Lubang Buaya Village, Friday (1/10/2021).
2. Vanuatu and Anti-Indonesian Sentiment
Vanuatu is a country in the South Pacific that has never given up cornering Indonesia in various international forums. Both in the general assembly of the United Nations (UN) and in a special forum on human rights at the United Nations. Vanuatu always accuses Indonesia, which it considers, of violating Human Rights (HAM) in Papua.
There are countless times Vanuatu has made such accusations. Even if they go back, several South Pacific countries often refer to Indonesia as a colonial country whose actions are associated with expansionist politics.
The Dark story
Dark. That one word came from the General Chairperson of the Nurul Ibad Foundation, Kiai Muhammad Syakrim (87) when he first heard about the events of the September 30th Movement of 1965 ( G30S ), which had been associated with the Indonesian Communist Party ( PKI ).
The bloody incident on the journey of the Indonesian people is still very imprinted in his memory. “The G30S/ PKI incident was dark, yes,” said Syakrim when met by Kompas.com at his residence in Lubang Buaya Village, Friday (1/10/2021).
Syakrim, who is a native of Lubang Buaya, never thought that his area would be the site of the assassination of seven army generals during the reign of President Soekarno.
Activities before September 30, 1965
He said that long before the G30S incident occurred, there was a gradual change in the activities of residents in the area. An area near Halim Perdanakusuma Airport which was originally so quiet gradually became crowded.
On the streets, he often saw a number of trucks going back and forth entering the Lubang Buaya area, which then dropped off a number of youths. The movement of these trucks takes place day and night.
Later, it was discovered that the youths who were unloaded from the truck were not natives of Lubang Buaya or its surroundings. Initially, Kiai Syakrim did not have any suspicions about the activities of the youths. However, over time, the suspicion began to arise.
That was when he learned that the youths were actually undergoing an exercise near the house of a classmate at the People’s School, who was known to be a PKI sympathizer. Syakrim became increasingly suspicious when dozens of residents in his area were invited to participate in the training camp with the youths.
Dozens of these residents then asked for their opinion as religious figures in the area regarding the young people’s invitation. At that time, Syakrim asked them not to accept the invitation to join the training with them.
The answer given by Syakrim is not without reason. Because a military-style training should be centred at Halim Perdanakusuma which is an airbase belonging to the Indonesian Air Force, not at Lubang Buaya.
This suspicion became the basis for the tens of residents not to join the group’s training.
“Actually, the training is usually held at Halim, how come the training is different, I ask them not to participate,” said Syakrim, who at that time had become a community leader in his area.
It was later discovered that the youth’s invitation was related to PKI activities.
At the time of the September 30th Movement, he admitted that he saw a number of bodies being put into wells.
However, he did not see clearly because when he saw it he was then picked up by a number of Pemuda Rakyat, who were affiliated with the PKI. His fate was quite lucky because he managed to survive and immediately left the location.
It was on Friday morning, October 1, 1965, that he heard of the murder of the generals who had been put in an old well at Lubang Buaya. Then, he came to the location.
He saw the bodies of the generals already lying on the ground, having previously been thrown into an old well. This information then immediately spread quickly among the residents in the area.
Dozens of residents who previously asked for opinions on Syakrim also received news regarding the killings of these generals. Syakrim said that when he heard about this incident, dozens of residents who had previously been invited to join the training were shocked.
“They said, ‘Oh that’s right, fortunately, Ustaz forbade it, if you enter (join) you can be caught’. So they are happy and thank me,” said Syakrim.
Returning the wrongly arrested people
It is known that the victims of the killings at Lubang Buaya included Lt. Gen. Ahmad Yani, Major General TNI Suprapto, Maj. Gen. S Parman, Maj. Gen. MT Hartono, Brig. Gen. Sutoyo, Brig. Gen. DI Panjaitan, and Lt. Piere Tendean. After the incident broke out, the military then hunted down PKI members and sympathizers who were suspected of being the masterminds of the rebellion. In this hunt, it turned out that the military had caught the wrong person. There were eight residents of Lubang Buaya who were secured and taken to Kodam III/Siliwangi. They were suspected of being PKI sympathizers. The arrests made by the military against the eight residents reached Syakrim’s ears. He knew the eight people and was confirmed not to be affiliated with the PKI. Syakrim then reported to the Lurah Lubang Buaya at that time so that he could free the eight residents. When reporting, what happened at that time, the Lurah was actually scared. The Lurah did not want to go to Kodam III/Siliwangi for fear that he would be taken into custody as well.
Syakrim’s efforts to free the eight people did not stop there. He then persuaded the Lurah to borrow his position in order to free the eight residents. The Lurah accepted the persuasion. Not long after, he then left for Bandung to free the people of Lubang Buaya by claiming to be Lurah. Arriving at the location, he then negotiated and convinced the officers that the eight had absolutely nothing to do with the PKI. He negotiated for hours. “They are safe, rarely can they be helped (if they have been arrested). Thank God they can be helped only because I claim to be the village head,” said a Nahdlatul Ulama figure at the Nurul Ibad Islamic Boarding School.
Scary picture When talking about the Crocodile Hole and the September 30th Movement, the images that emerge are a number of scenes of murder that are gripping, even sadistic. This picture is believed to be the success of New Order propaganda through the film Penumpasan Pengk betrayan G30S/PKI (1984) by veteran director Arifin C Noer. In that scene, there are a number of PKI cadres dancing while singing the song “Genjer-genjer”. There are also scenes showing torture by members of Gerwani, a women’s organization affiliated with the PKI. Reporting from BBC Indonesia, information regarding the existence of torture has been sourced from media related to the government and the army. For example, the Daily Forces of the Armed Forces, which publishes photos of corpses with a narrative: “barbaric acts in the form of persecution carried out beyond the limits of humanity”.
Regarding torture, this source was written by Berita Yudha, the army’s newspaper, which wrote: “scars all over the body from the torture before being shot” still cover the bodies of the victims. However, the autopsy results did not show any events as described in the film Penumpasan Pengk betrayan G30S/PKI or the media reports. The sociologist Ben Anderson, through his article “How Did The Generals Die” in 1987, wrote about the results of an autopsy conducted at the army hospital on October 4, 1965. The autopsy was signed by General Suharto and President Soekarno. In the autopsy report, it was stated that the cause of their death was due to gunfire and trauma that may have been caused by a blow from the gun. In addition, autopsy reports noted the damage to the bodies of a number of generals occurred because their bodies had been lying for a long time at the bottom of a damp well. According to forensic doctors, this is what causes the eye condition of one of the victims to be very bad. In an interview with Indoprogress, doctor Liauw Yan Siang who conducted autopsies on a number of generals buried in a well in Lubang Buaya also denied any torture. Previously, in an interview with D&R Magazine on October 3, 1998, a forensic expert from the University of Indonesia who was also involved in the autopsy team, Prof. Dr Arif Budianto, also denied any torture. He denied any genital mutilation of the generals and the kidnap victims of the G30S. Regarding the poor eye condition, it was due to the condition of the submerged corpse, and not because there was violence or forced scenes. “Indeed, some bodies had their eyeballs popped out, but that was because they had been submerged for more than three days, not because they were forcibly removed,” Arif told D&R, which is no longer published. “I had to carefully examine the edges of the eyes and the bones around the eyelids, whether there were any bones that were scratched. It turned out that they were not found,” he said.