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When Opsus Ruined the Student Movement in the 1974 Malari Incident

  When Opsus Ruined the Student Movement in the 1974 Malari Incident (  When Japanese Prime Minister Tanaka visite...


When Opsus Ruined the Student Movement in the 1974 Malari Incident (
 When Japanese Prime Minister Tanaka visited Indonesia in 1974, the Malari incident (January fifteenth disaster) broke out in Jakarta. Before the riots occurred, demonstrations against foreign investment were indeed busy. On that unlucky date, the students walked from the UI campus in Salemba to Trisakti University on Jalan Kiai Tapa.

Meanwhile, the students went on a long march, riots occurred at several other points, one of which was in the Senen area. The Head of the Joint Intelligence Defense and Security (Defense Security) Lieutenant General Charis Suhud in a Soldier's Record (2004: 238-239), said that students were reminded not to move outside the campus.

"When students leave the campus, many people who at first were just hanging out on the side of the road joined the student procession. The mainline of students moved towards Monas, but there were also some people who went to the Senen market, of course with the aim of robbery/hammering, accompanied by arson, "said Charis Suhud.

During the riot, many Japanese-made motorbikes were burned. Pasar Senen as mentioned by Jusuf Wanandi in Unveiling the Tabir of the New Order (2014: 145), "It is most damaged because the poor around it damaged and burned buildings and cars while looting shops. A number of steam baths (steambath) were also burned down. "

Hariman Siregar, as the leader of the student movement, could not do much about the rioting - which not only thwarted student actions but also tarnished the students' image. Some people label students as the source of the riot. However, Ali Sadikin as the Governor of DKI Jakarta did not blame the students.

"When Malari erupted, until Pasar Senen was burned, Jakarta was indeed very precarious, so we don't know who burned it. But I'm sure not a student. There are other strengths, ”said Ali Sadikin in the Asking Press, Bang Ali Answering (1995: 281). He even approached students about the dangers of threatening their movement.

General Soemitro as Commander of the Command for the Restoration of Security and Order (Pangkopkamtib), in Soemitro and January 15, 1974, Incident (1996: 12-13) said that Malari was linked to a study institute and also Special Operations (Opsus) led by Major General Ali Murtopo.

"I received information that an exponent of the study institution distributed money in Senen, with the aim, according to DKI Jakarta Governor Ali Sadikin: mobilizing the Senen masses to UI to destroy the student movement there, bury the DMUI (University of Indonesia Student Council)," he said.

The study institute known to have links with Ali Moertopo is the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which includes Jusuf Wanandi and Sofjan Wanandi. At that time, according to Jusuf Wanandi in Unveiling the New Order (2014: 145) CSIS, he and his younger brother were targeted and had to flee to the house of the Minister of Information, Mashuri Saleh. According to Soemitro, the houses of Ali Moertopo and Sudjono Hoemardani were also targets of mob fury but were prevented by him.

As they passed the CSIS headquarters, the demonstrators expressed their hatred for Ali Moertopo. At that time, Ali Moertopo's position was Deputy Head of the Intelligence Coordination Agency (BAKIN) known as Aspri rather than Suharto. He was called a "Japanese stooge." According to Jusuf Wanandi's admission, Ali Moertopo was furious at the accusation and had time to pull out his gun and then meet the students.

"Are you afraid?" said Ali to Jusuf.

Jusuf replied, "It's not like that, sir. I was in their position and they were very strong. We can be crushed by them. "

At that time, according to Jusuf Wanandi "the threat of students was real." Soldiers in Jakarta cannot face it alone. The Jaya Regional Military Command, which was then led by Major General Gustaf Hendrik Mantik, asked for help from the Siliwangi Military Command and the Diponegoro Military Command.

Opsus, which Ali Moertopo said was reluctant to be included in BAKIN, said Soemitro had mobilized the masses of the Islamic Education Renewal Business Movement (GUPPI), including in planning the burning at Senen Market. Soemitro added that the GUPPI crowd, pedicab drivers and Kramat thugs at Opsus' orders moved towards Senen. "Burn Senen, riots exploded there," he said.

After Malari, changes took place around the President's circle of power rather than Suharto's. This incident was a "general war" between Soemitro and Ali Moertopo. Opsus and Aspri were later eliminated. Ali Moertopo only served as Deputy Head of BAKIN from 1974 to 1978. After that, he became Minister of Information from 1978 to 1984. Meanwhile, Soemitro's military career immediately collapsed and he chose to become a businessman.

The extensive destruction and arson during the Malari Incident of 1974 made the student movement less and less popular in the eyes of society. Moreover, the New Order always emphasized the importance of order and peace. It is not surprising that for more than twenty years after Malari, the student movement was continually broken until finally, Suharto collapsed in 1998. (Tirto)

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