President Gus Dur Fires Surojo Bimantoro From The Position Of National Police Chief In Today's Memory, June 1, 2001

JAKARTA Memories of today, 22 years ago, June 1, 2001, President Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) dismissed General Surojo Bimantoro from his position as National Police Chief. The dismissal was carried out because Bimantoro was considered by Gus Dur not in line with the narrative of his leadership.

Previously, Gus Dur's political steps were often considered controversial. Gus Dur dared to echo everything that many parties often oppose. From matters of apologizing to sympathizers of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) to normalizing trade relations with Israel.

Gus Dur's leadership often brings a dilemma. On the one hand, Gus Dur's power can bring a new color to the political world of the archipelago. The other side of Gus Dur's power is considered controversial. All of this is because Gus Dur's political steps are often against many parties, including his own ranks in the government.

The problem was clearly seen when Gus Dur began to apologize to sympathizers and the families of the victims regarding the massacre of the 1965-1966 PKI. Gus Dur considered that not everyone had to bear the sin of the September 30th Movement (G30S) rebellion.

Moreover, those who are not included in the political world of the PKI. Gus Dur continued the decision by being the proposer so that the MPRS Decree No XXV/1966 regarding the dissolution of the PKI and the prohibition of the spread of the teachings of Marxism, Communism and Leninism will soon be lifted.

Gus Dur's controversy did not end soon. He also began to see the relationship between Indonesia and Israel, which was often tense, had to be calmed down. He wanted Indonesia to start opening up with Israel and establish relations in the trade sector. In fact, relations with Israel's attitude has never changed. Indonesia will never want to open up relations with countries that colonize Palestine.

The nine months of government, President Gus Dur actually appeared as a person full of controversy, both in terms of speech and in terms of actions, it was felt that more confusion in society.

From various words made, for example, on a reactive occasion the president accused three of his ministers of being involved in corruption, collusion, and nepotism (KKN). Another opportunity, he wants to pardon former President Suharto, open up Israeli trade relations, remove five members of his cabinet, wanting to remove MPRS' provisions regarding the violations of the teachings of Marxism, Leninism, and Communism, and several other controversial remarks, written in Gus Dur's Political Journey book (2010).

A series of controversies continued. Gus Dur's relationship with his staff was then not fine. Gus Dur's decision to change the name of Irian Jaya to Papua until the permit to fly the Morning Star flag, for example. The decision received strong opposition from the Police.

The opposition made the relationship between Gus Dur and the National Police not okay. As a result, the relationship interfered with the power of the National Police Chief, Bimantoro. He began to be labeled as not in favor of the government. Moreover, the feud was continued with another feud.

Gus Dur also made a decision. He did not want to keep Bimantoro as the National Police Chief. Gus Dur then fired Bimantoro on June 1, 2001. Bimantoro was replaced by his deputy, Chairuddin Ismail one day later, or on June 2, 2001.

The Bimantoro, who was appointed by Gus Dur on September 18, 2000, was officially dismissed by Gus Dur on June 1, 2001. Bimantoro did not accept being fired just like that, he fought back by gathering a number of retired police officers to support him.

"A day after the dismissal, the Central Executive of the Indonesian National Police Retired Center (PP Polri Pusat) expressed his attitude to support the attitude of Birmantoro who refused to replace himself. The following day, he mobilized 98 high-ranking officers to issue a statement against political interference within the National Police organization," explained Virdika Rizky Utama in the bookjerat Gus Dur (2020).