Golkar to conduct "exorcism" over nation`s moral crisis

Surabaya (ANTARA News) - The Golkar Party is to conduct a ruwatan (exorcism) ceremony on the nation`s behalf at the Majapahit archaelogical site at Trowulan, Mojokerto, East Java, on Friday night, a spokesman for the event`s organizers said.

"We will hold the event at the spot where Gajah Mada uttered his Palapa oath," Ridwan Hisyam, chairman of the event`s organizing committee. Gajah Mada was patih (comparable to prime minister) in the ancient kingdom of Majapahit and in his Palapa oath he vowed to unify the peoples inhabiting the Indonesian archipelago.

The Golkar Party would hold the ruwatan in response to "the present breakdown in the nation`s morality", he said, adding the ceremony would be followed by a leather wayang (traditional shadow puppet) performance.

"The moral crisis that has hit the nation is a source of great concern and a very serious problem to our party," Ridwan said.

The wayang performance wpuld be titled "Rama Tambak Overcomes the Nation`s Moral Crisis." and presented by puppet master Ki Manteb Sudarsono.

"The Golkar Party wants to follow in the footsteps of Patih Gajah Mada who was able to unify the archipelago and the ruwatan will hopefully also spur party cadres to help unify the nation that is now in a moral crisis," he said.

The event would be attended by Golkar Party Chairman Aburizal Bakrie and the party`s advisory board chairman Akbar Tanjung. Both would deliver speeches with cultural content.

Puppet master Ki Manteb Sudarsono would conduct the wayang performance with the support of female vocalists from Hungary and Japan.  (*)