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Friday, May 23, 2008

Continuing Reform in Indonesia

By: Firdaus Arifin
Writer: Lecturer Constitutional Law Section and Secretary of Constitutional Studies Center Faculty of Law, University of Pasundan, Bandung, West Java, Indonesian.
Published by: the Daily Pikiran Rakyat, 23 Mei 2008.

TEN years ago, May 21, 1998, Suharto's "left" power that has held for 32 years. With a feeling very difficult to imagine, "ruler" longest in the history of the modern Republic of Indonesia is "abdicated" his position after the transfer to his deputy, BJ Habibie. At that time, almost all of the opinion that the resignation of Suharto is the initial momentum most appropriate for total reform in this country. Argumentation and simple logic, a total reform can not be done without depose Suharto.

May 21, 1998 incident into a clear demarcation line between an attempt to "overthrow" of Suharto from power and total reform effort in the process of state administration. The first effort is arguably the climax of student resistance against the regime of authoritarian rule by Suharto in a long time. If it is considered as an initial stage, its success is measured is by the resignation of Suharto as president. Many believe, success in the early stages it would not matter if all the elements involved in the effort to end the authoritarian rule of Soeharto was not able to perform various sequence changes leading to a better direction. Therefore, almost all elements of the reform advocates agree that there are six important agenda that is required to do (1) eradication of corruption, collusion and nepotism (KKN), (2) elimination of dual function Indonesian National Army (TNI), (3) upholding the rule of law, (4) amendment of the constitution / constitution of 1945, (5) implementation of an egalitarian democratic system, and (6) implementation of regional autonomy. Six it is known as "Six Reform Vision".

After 10 years passed, how the realization of the six reform vision? Shall it be the sixth vision "spirit and breath" in the way the process of constitutional reform in this country? Both are very important questions to be answered, especially in assessing the ten-year journey of reform movements.

Although there are several points that have been implemented, but during the ten-year journey, the six visions of reform that can be said almost drowned along with the passage of time. First, the eradication of corruption. For many people, the eradication of corruption can be considered as a special mandate reform movement to be performed by anyone who becomes a leader in this country.

That is, the eradication of corruption is not merely a political discourse, but must be a concrete agenda. Eradication of corruption is a necessity because the practice of service learning is one of the main causes of the economic crisis in mid-1997. Now, after the reform era gone for 10 years, let alone reduced, the broader practice of service learning, both in quantity and in quality has entered the joints country life. Very worrying, KKN practices are decentralized to the regions in line with the implementation of regional autonomy.

Second, the elimination of dual function of TNI. Deconstruction and review of the concept of dual function of TNI is an urgent need for political reform when the wind was blowing. But unfortunately, until now, after four periods of national leadership changes starting from BJ Habibie, Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), Megawati Sukarnoputri, even Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has not seen any change in repositioning the military's role in substantive.

Although formally been made concrete efforts to eliminate the dual function of TNI, for example by making the separation of military and police seats elimination military and police in the House, but the political role of the TNI is still very dominant in the political developments in Indonesia. In fact, ironically some time ago, had circulated among members of discourse in the House that in fact is a representation of political parties to restore the political rights of members of the TNI.

Third, upholding the rule of law. Law enforcement in the broad sense should be seen from how the government respect and obey the rules of existing law in the practice of statecraft. The policy directions of law (political law) in the People's Consultative Assembly Decree No. 3 digits IV/MPR/1999 said consistently enforce the law to guarantee legal certainty, justice, and righteousness, the rule of law, and respect for human rights (human rights).

However, the reality is there just to show during the last ten years upholding the rule of law is still a luxury item in Indonesia. There are many cases that may be presented to prove that the rule of law is not implemented properly. For example, legal certainty regarding the legal process of Soeharto corruption case and the case of funds megakorupsi Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance (BLBI) which until now still in limbo.

Fourth, reform of the constitution / constitution in 1945. As is known, during the reform era has been conducted four times the 1945 amendment. Although fundamental changes have been made against some of the material substance of the 1945 Constitution, the amendment made is far from the effort to create a mechanism of checks and balances in the administration of the state.

In fact, honestly speaking, the results of the 1945 change was biased political interests (political interest) political parties and members of the House. For example, the 1945 changes have been implicitly encouraged the House to state institutions superbody between state institutions that exist.

This fact is very difficult to argue that almost all the current state of power in the hands of Parliament. Most likely, in the implementation of the next administration will bring "concentration of power and responsibility upon the House of Representatives" like a presidential powers under the 1945 Constitution before the amendment. In addition, the discrepancy between the position and authority of the House of Representatives and Regional Representative Council (DPD) in the implementation of the Law-making functions (legislation) and the disputes of authority between the Supreme Court (MA), the Judicial Commission (KY), particularly in terms of supervision over judges issue happens in 2006, also is clear evidence that the constitutional reform carried out in 1999-2004 period is not fully into the constitutional problem solving suffered by the Indonesian people for about 53 years under the 1945 Constitution before the amendment.

Fifth, regarding the implementation of regional autonomy (Regional Autonomy). Implementation of Regional Autonomy has launched by the central government since 2001 has brought significant changes in the implementation of the local government system. Implementation of Regional Autonomy is an attempt to reform the total of the state administration system in the region, especially in the districts. This is done with the intention that the community can organize and manage their interests according to his own initiative based on the aspirations of developing in the community and in accordance with the area's potential.

In addition, the implementation of Regional Autonomy also intended to level the welfare of the people living in the area can be increased. However, until now the implementation of Regional Autonomy is not fully provide a positive effect on local community life, a fact which indicates precisely the opposite happened. Implementation of Regional Autonomy has lasted almost seven years only to move the previous oligarchy of power in the hands of central government to the little princes in the region.

Therefore, if the inequality and injustice is allowed to happen it would appear dangerous potential in the life of nation and state. These potentials include the disintegration of the nation, the wide differences between rich and poor, slow economic growth, and at certain stages could explode and harm the Indonesian people as a whole.

Observing various factual developments that occurred in the top, the public assessment that "reforms to die young" more as a mere expression of disappointment. I believe, is happening now is not real reform, but only to die young "reform of suspended animation". There is still a chance to revive the reform. These opportunities may only be done by students and some other reform advocates strength left. This must be done the right way.

First, as the front guard in the reform movement, the student must continue to voice any actual developments that occurred in the current government line. However, it is not enough. Still needed another systemic agenda, noted track record of all the political actors (politicians) who is now to be submitted to the public before the 2009 election.

Second, minimize the differences in the level of the students while trying to find a common enemy to become a central issue that can be sold to a wider public.

Third, consolidating back all the forces and supporting elements of the 1998 reform movement left, and then together to refine and consolidate the six visions of reform that have been agreed with the reform movement of 1998.

I am sure, if the above attempted to be intelligent and systematic, hopes to make a total reform in this country is still very open. Hopefully.









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