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Sukarno, first president of Indonesia

De-Sukarnoization, also spelled de-Soekarnoization,[1] is a policy from the transition to the New Order with which Suharto intended to defame Indonesia's first president, Sukarno, and lessen his presence in Indonesian history.


In 1965–1966, Sukarno still enjoyed the Indonesian people's sympathy, but for Suharto to take that place, he had to downplay Sukarno's importance to the Indonesians.[2] The de-Sukarnoization process started in 1967[1] after the Provisional People's Consultative Assembly (MPRS) stripped Sukarno of his presidential powers and put him under house arrest. While in custody, Sukarno was denied access to health care, which led to his death in 1970. Suharto denied Sukarno's request to be buried in Istana Batu Tulis in Bogor; instead, Sukarno was buried in Blitar, a city then-government said as his birthplace. Suharto is said to have feared that if his predecessor's grave had been located in Bogor it could become a focal point for fomenting opposition to his New Order.[3]

The New Order renamed many places that had been named after Sukarno: Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex was replaced by "Senayan Sports Complex", the city "Sukarnapura" (Sukarno City) was changed to "Jayapura" and "Puncak Sukarno" (Sukarno Peak) to "Puncak Jaya".[2]

Other efforts to reduce Sukarno's influence included denying his major contribution in creating the Indonesian national ideology, Pancasila. The New Order's historian, Nugroho Notosusanto, instead posed that Mohammad Yamin came up first with the principles of Pancasila, while Sukarno was merely the first to use the term. This interpretation was supported by the New Order government and became the official historical interpretation taught at schools.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Kusuma, A.B.; Elson, R.E. (2011). "A note on the sources for the 1945 constitutional debates in Indonesia". Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia. 167 (2–3): 196–209. doi:10.1163/22134379-90003589.
  2. ^ a b Winarno, Hery H (21 June 2013). "De-Soekarnoisasi, Soeharto 'bunuh' Bung Karno di hati rakyat". (in Indonesian).
  3. ^ Feith, Herbert (October 1968). "Suharto's Search for a Political Format". Indonesia (6): 88–105. doi:10.2307/3350713. JSTOR 3350713.