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Protesting against Rocky Gerung’s statement, academics call for the importance of civilized criticism


By: Abbad Dzul Hilmi)*

Rocky Gerung’s statement that used the diction “stupid bastard” has sparked criticism and protests from many parties, including academics. The public is also advised to always prioritize civilized criticism according to Pancasila values.

            Communicologist from Pelita Harapan University (UPH), Dr. Emrus Sihombing said that the diction put forward by political observer Rocky Gerung is a clear example of how the practice of democracy and freedom goes too far, because he even used a phrase that was completely inappropriate to convey.

In fact, if observed closely, the pattern of this controversial figure will be seen, that is, he is indeed known as a figure who often delivers scathing criticism, but many of the criticisms he conveys are not constructive criticism at all and instead are unproductive expressions. , especially to the Government led by the President of the Republic of Indonesia (RI), Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

Apart from that, if there is still an assumption and justification which states that the diction ‘Bastard and Stupid’ is a form of expression of friendship, then it needs to be studied more deeply. The reason is, in the context of space and time when the diction was uttered there was absolutely no President Jokowi there, besides that the utterance was also said in a public space with the presence of other people.

Very emphatically, Dr. Emrus Sihombing as a Communication Expert strongly denies if for example there is a justification that as if an expression of inappropriate diction is an expression of friendship when viewed from the perspective of communication semiotics.

Furthermore, in fact if someone goes so far as to make inappropriate remarks and issue them in a public space, that person has actually humiliated many parties as well, not just demeaning other people to the point where there is an indication of insulting the Head of State, but that person has also demeaning his viewers and demeaning himself.

In a principle of communication, there is something that is important to be realized, namely the existence of an egalitarian position or equality between one subject and another when they establish communication. So that it is absolutely not justified if there is the use of such derogatory words.

Ethics in politics has indeed become a very necessary and very important thing, especially in the application of the principles of democracy in the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). Do not let unethical political communication occur again because it will also greatly disrupt the image of this nation in the eyes of the world.

How should the implementation of the General Election (Election) which was held in Indonesia in 2019 be able to become an experience and at the same time a very valuable lesson for all parties so that this does not happen again, so that improvements and improvements continue to occur for political system in the country.

Therefore, it is very important to have ethics in politics that all elements of society in Indonesia should be able to strive for without exception, and be able to be present in the implementation of national and state life so that the political nuances in the country can always feel healthier and rational.

In addition, the existence of political ethics is also necessary for state administrators in carrying out democratic parties and political contestation, General Elections (Pemilu) as well as in the implementation of Regional Head Elections (Pilkada) so that they do not become tarnished by the application of democratic principles in Indonesia, or do not produce results from the implementation The election became tarnished and legally flawed.

In general, it is usually a fundamental ethical and moral problem, including in the implementation of politics, is the result of the lack of emphasis on moral values ​​in the educational process. In addition, it could also be due to a decrease in public or certain individual civility, which results in the absence of a culture of courtesy shown in the practice of political communication that is carried out, especially if the communication is brought to the public sphere.

How important politeness is even in the context of political communication is also because of the cultural background or culture of this nation which continues to uphold courtesy even for a very long time. If there are still parties who apply a sarcastic and outspoken way of communicating with absolutely no regard for the culture of courtesy, it will certainly be able to have an adverse effect on many other parties.

All elements of society in Indonesia should be able to jointly be able to protect each other from the ethical implementation of democracy in this nation. Therefore, all parties must also be able to be alert if, for example, there are expressions that are inappropriate or completely uncivilized, especially if they are expressed in public spaces and use the excuse of criticism. Because actually it is not productive criticism.

)* The author is a contributor to the Nusa Bangsa Institute 

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