KUPAS COLUMN: Confucius Chinese New Year and Jokowi’s Promise? By Kris Tan, MA. Indonesian Young Confucians Founder (GEMAKU) …Translated from Indonesian with Google Translate

Found and Posted by Kris Tan

This paper is written using a question mark, so that those who read it can conclude their own memermai this paper with their respective perspectives, can be negative or positive, depending on which angle to look.

This year the Matakin Chinese New Year will be held on February 2, 2020 in Jakarta. During his reign, President Jokowi was never willing to attend though.
This is a matter of the Matakin National Imlek (Supreme Council of Confucian Religion) which is always held from year to year after the reformation. The Imlek held by Matakin nationally is always attended by the President of Indonesia from year to year, starting with an Indonesian Confucian hero named Abdurahman Wahid (Gus Dur) who declared the Chinese New Year as a facultative holiday for celebrating Confucians.

Then it was inaugurated as a national holiday by President Megawati and of course Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who during his ten years of government was always present in the Matakin National Imlek with all gradual concrete improvements for Confucians, starting with equality of civil rights and religious rights for Confucians.

In Jokowi’s time? Even though the president for all the people of Indonesia never even wanted to attend the Matakin National Lunar New Year. What’s wrong? Why is the reason too? Until now nobody knows? What is wrong with Indonesian Confucians to President Jokowi? Also no one can answer that.

Jokowi’s attitude by never wanting to attend the National Imlek Matakin several times was also shown by his insensitive and “indifferent” attitude.
Promise Joni vs Promise Jokowi

For example, on February 25, 2018, he preferred to watch the film Dilan in the cinema rather than attending the National Imlek Matakin on the same day. Though he had promised to Matakin to be present at the Matakin National Lunar New Year at that time. What a promise he made a false promise to Confucians.

No one is forbidding him to watch the film Dilan, but it would be wise if he could arrange the time to watch it so that it would not clash with the Matakin National Lunar program which ideally must be attended by him as a president of all the people of Indonesia without exception the Chinese New Year Confucians.

Maybe President Jokowi needs to watch Janji Joni film besides Dilan. Janji Joni tells the story of Joni (Nicholas Saputra), an introduction to roll film who has never been late in delivering inter-cinema roll films. Joni, who has worked as a delivery for generations, is determined to be on time and reliable.

President Jokowi must be like Joni who can be relied on by all Indonesian people even though there are only a few. Because he is the president of all Indonesian people without exception.

The words of a leader are like gold, but gold has never existed until now. How is it possible for a great leader to easily make promises but never keep them.

He proved the proof of being present at the National Christmas, National Vesak, strangely why even though during his reign he was not even willing to attend the Matakin National Lunar New Year?

Isn’t President Jokowi one of the most “cool” presidents on earth? He can suddenly suddenly set his own time to go to the mall whenever he wants, he can also suddenly suddenly ride a motorcycle on the highway with the time he wants? Ideally in the writer’s logic, if the president wants to attend the Matakin National Lunar New Year then it is not a big problem for him to set the time.

It’s just that it seems that he has never been willing and wants to attend the Matakin National Chinese New Year for reasons that only President Jokowi and God knows.

Chinese New Year for Confucians is something sacred and holy, Chinese New Year is a moment of self-purification and self-improvement, praying to God and ancestors, although for some Chinese who are no longer adherents of Confucius, the Chinese New Year is only like an ordinary celebration and family gathering.

This is the same when Christmas is also just an ordinary holiday for Japanese people who celebrate winter there, Japanese people are generally Shinto but they celebrate Christmas as an ordinary holiday without sacred religious rituals especially sacred.

In Indonesia the history of the Chinese New Year and Confucius certainly cannot be compared to the history of the Chinese New Year in China or other parts of the world. In Indonesia from the era of President Sukarno, the Chinese New Year holiday is clearly a valuable appreciation for the Confucians of Indonesia as a sacred and holy religious holiday.

Chinese New Year is one of the facultative holidays besides Khong Hu Cu and Cheng Beng’s Day of Birth & Death as outlined in Government Decree No.02 / OEM / 1946, regarding Chinese holidays, because according to Gus Dur before the issuance of Inpres 14/1967 all Chinese people were adherents Confucius.

The presence of a president of the Republic of Indonesia for the Chinese New Year celebration National Matakin becomes very important and meaningful because it is a symbol of the state which must always be present in every religious momentum of all its people.

The absence of the president at the Chinese New Year Confucian community is an ironic and sad ambiguous attitude. This can be considered as a president’s discriminatory attitude towards his people who happen to be also the most “minority” in Indonesia.

The Confucius people always send letters to the president to attend the Matakin National Lunar New Year, always trying to have an audience with President Jokowi in various ways, but what power is always ignored, always never received, always ignored. But what might President Jokowi never seem to want to listen to the Confucians longing for his presence.

Sad indeed, but yes that’s the attitude of President Jokowi towards Confucians, side by side and tends to hurt the Confucians who long for his presence.

However, like the “Punguk missed Bulan” the Confucians always look forward to President Jokowi in their midst to celebrate the sacredness of the Chinese New Year with gratitude and the best prayers for our beloved Indonesia.

Hopefully President Jokowi reads this article. While praying and thankful, Confucians hope Jokowi keeps his promise.