#HidungFika – Desember 2016

Kumpulan tulisan fiksi #HidungFika tentang ulasan berita terkini di bulan Desember 2016. Enduslah tulisan ini dengan akal dan humor yang sehat.


“Payung Biru”

Komentar kejadian terkini minggu lalu (5 Desember 2016):

  1. Brigjen Teddy Hernayadi dinyatakan terbuki bersalah dan dijatuhkan vonis seumur hidup oleh Pengadilan Militer Tinggi II atas kasus korupsi di Kementerian Pertahanan. Brigjen Teddy terbukti merugikan negara sebesar USD 12 juta atas penyelewengan dana pembelian pesawat tempur F-16 dan helikopter Apache sejak 2010-2014. Sebagai alternatif alutsista, dikabarkan mulai tahun depan Kementerian Pertahanan menjalin kerjasama dengan negara-negara di Timur Tengah untuk pelatihan pilot permadani terbang.
  2. Forbes telah mengeluarkan daftar nama 50 orang terkaya di Indonesia tahun 2016. Lima orang terkaya di Indonesia adalah Budi & Michael Hartono (BCA), Susilo Wonowidjojo (Gudang Garam), Anthoni Salim (Salim Group), Eka Tjipta Widjaja (Golden Agri-Resources), dan Sri Prakash Lohia (Indorama). Meskipun sudah ada program Tax Amnesty, Menteri Keuangan Sri Mulyani menyayangkan bahwa Mukidi juga belum masuk ke dalam daftar Forbes tersebut.
  3. Setelah sukses menyelenggarakan aksi #SuperDamai212, Gerakan Nasional Pengawal Fatwa (GNPF) MUI yang dimotori oleh Front Pembela Islam (FPI) dikabarkan akan menjadi promotor dan organizer Jakarta Marathon 2017. Ditanya alasannya, perwakilan Kementerian Pariwisata menyatakan, “Ya, karena kami ingin menarik jumlah massa yang besar dan sterilisasi jalan Jakarta yang efektif secara bersamaan”. Ditambahnya, “Alhamdulillah, Bayclin juga sudah sepakat untuk menjadi sponsor utama di tahun depan”.
  4. Revisi UU Informasi dan Transaksi Elektronik (ITE) mulai berlaku semenjak 28 November 2016. Salah satu pokok dalam revisi UU ITE adalah pemberlakuan prinsip “right to be forgotten” yakni seseorang boleh mengajukan penghapusan konten atau informasi tidak benar tentang dirinya yang dipublikasikan di masa lalu. Dikabarkan oleh pengamat digital Keenan Pearce, inilah penyebab mengapa film “Terjebak Nostalgia” yang dibintangi Raisa ditunda rilisnya sampai Desember ini.
  5. Desy Ratnasari (muncul kembali dalam headline #HidungFika) dikabarkan telah dikontak oleh perusahaan rekaman Cikeas untuk recycle lagu, “Payung Biru”.

“Olahraga Jantung”

Komentar kejadian terkini minggu lalu (12 Desember 2016)

  1. Setelah Operasi Tangkap Tangan (OTT) Walikota Cimahi dan suaminya yang juga bekas Walikota Cimahi (2002-2012) atas dugaan penerimaan suap, KPK mengingatkan agar lebih berhati-hati dalam memilih calon kepala daerah dari dinasti politik. Melihat fenomena ini, dikabarkan Badan Ekonomi Kreatif sedang negosiasi dengan Fox Broadcasting Company untuk memulai Spin-off dari serial TV “Empire” di Indonesia.
  2. Polisi menemukan bukti transfer pendanaan makar setelah penangkapan 10 orang pada Jumat dini hari sebelum #AksiDamai212 berjalan. Dikabarkan oleh pengamat intelejen, dana Rp. 300 juta yang diduga diterima oleh Rachmawati Soekarnoputri ternyata adalah dana mahar (bukan makar) untuk down payment suatu pernikahan. Seorang wedding organizer mengamati, “Sis, harga segitu di Jakarta sekarang cuman cukup buat katering Sari Roti sama Equil”.
  3. Ormas yang menamakan dirinya Pembela Ahlus Sunnah membubarkan acara Kebaktian Kebangunan Rohani yang tengah berlangsung di Gedung Sabuga ITB, Bandung (6/12/2016), dengan alasan kebaktian harus digelar di gedung gereja, bukan gedung umum. Dikabarkan Dinas Pertamanan dan Pemakaman DKI Jakarta sedang mempelajari proposal untuk pengalihan biaya pemeliharaan lapangan Monas sebagai perpanjangan kompleks Masjid Istiqlal.
  4. Presiden terpilih AS Donald Trump menerima telepon dari Presiden Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen dan mencuitkan hal tersebut di akun Twitter-nya. Hal ini membuat geram Tiongkok karena selama 4 dekade, AS tidak pernah melanggar protokol komunikasi langsung dengan Presiden Taiwan demi menghargai kebijakan “One China Policy”. Dikabarkan Vanness Wu akan diberikan medali kehormatan oleh Taiwan atas keberhasilannya dalam menjalankan diplomasi “Meteor Garden”.
  5. Selanjutnya ke berita olahraga — Timnas Indonesia lolos ke final Piala AFF 2016 setelah menyingkirkan Vietnam dengan skor agregat 4-3, meskipun Vietnam menguasai permainan dengan penguasaan bola 74 persen. Fu Ming, wasit dari laga terakhir tersebut dikabarkan akan direkrut oleh RS Harapan Kita sebagai pelatih terapis jantung.

“Ginkgo Biloba”

Komentar kejadian terkini minggu lalu (19 Desember 2016)

  1. Polri berhasil menggagalkan upaya pengeboman Istana Negara yang akan menggunakan bom panci berisikan Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP) yang dapat meledakkan segala hal dalam radius 300 m. Tiga tersangka teroris telah dibekuk di Bekasi dan salah satunya adalah Dian Yulia Novi, perempuan mantan TKI di Oman yang akan dijadikan “pengantin” atau pelaku bom bunuh diri yang terdoktrin ISIS. Tim Redaksi #HidungFika tidak ingin berkomentar mengenai kejadian ini karena khawatir dipanggil Bareskrim apabila ini dibilang pengalihan isu Ahok sebagaimana dialami Eko Patrio yang dikutip tanpa persetujuan oleh 7 media online.
  2. Untuk isu Ahok sendiri — banyak Netizen yang opininya terpecah mengenai sidang perdana kasus penistaan agama oleh Gubernur Non Aktif DKI Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok). Netizen menyesali bahwa perdebatan lebih disorot kepada air mata Ahok di persidangan dan bukan substansi perkara. Namun dikabarkan lebih banyak Netizen yang menyesal dan berderai air mata setelah menyadari realitanya tidak akan ada abang ojek yang seganteng Hamish Daud Wyllie.
  3. Pegawai MA, Dora (nama sebenarnya) menjadi perhatian setelah videonya memukul, mencakar, dan menarik baju Polantas Aiptu Sutisna viral di sosial media. Dikabarkan sejumlah pengamat transportasi menyatakan akhirnya kampanye menggolkan proyek tilang elektronik, “Berhasil! Berhasil! Berhasil! Hore!”.
  4. Dikabarkan setelah laga final sepakbola AFF 2016 antara Indonesia melawan Thailand, sejumlah musisi Indonesia mengakui Timnas adalah sumber inspirasi lagu-lagu patah hati. Ini dikarenakan alur ceritanya yang konsisten, “ketika aku mencintaimu setengah mati, selalu saja menjadi yang kedua”.
  5. Kemudian untuk berita luar negeri — pasukan pro-rezim Presiden Bashar al-Assad di Suriah kembali menyerang Aleppo timur, kawasan dimana pasukan pro-pemberontak masih bertahan. Selain menggalang dana untuk bantuan kemanusiaan di Aleppo, dikabarkan sejumlah aktivis juga menggalang pengedaran Ginkgo Biloba di markas PBB untuk mengingatkan mengenai apa yang terjadi di Bosnia dan Rwanda.

“Om, Telat Om”

Komentar kejadian terkini minggu lalu (26 Desember 2016):

  1. Tim redaksi #HidungFika turut berduka cita atas jatuhnya pesawat Hercules C130 HA-1334 milik TNI AU di Wamena, yang menewaskan 12 awak dan 1 penumpang. Ini menambah daftar kecelakaan udara di tahun 2016, yakni Skytruck M28 P-4201 milik Polri (jatuh di Pangkalpinang), Helikopter Bell 412 EP HA-5166 milik TNI AD (jatuh di Malinau), Helikopter Bell 205 HA-5073 milik TNI AU (jatuh di Yogyakarta), Helikopter Bell 412 EP HA-5171 milik TNI AD (jatuh di Poso), dan Pesawat Super Tucano TNI AU (jatuh di Malang). Kami mendoakan agar sayap malaikat merupakan alat penerbangan yang lebih diandalkan daripada sistem alutsista Indonesia.
  2. Dikabarkan grup musik asal Skotlandia, Franz Ferdinand, akan mengganti namanya menjadi Andrei Karlov. Hal ini dikabarkan setelah kejadian Dubes Rusia untuk Turki tewas ditembak oleh seorang Polisi Turki di sebuah galeri seni di Ankara, beberapa hari sebelum pertemuan antar Menlu Turki, Rusia, dan Iran untuk membahas proses perdamaian di Suriah.
  3. Kementerian Kehutanan dan Lingkungan Hidup dikabarkan sedang melakukan investigasi terhadap kasus deforestasi tinggi hutan cemara secara mendadak milik Perum Perhutani. Menurut sumber kurang terpercaya, dikabarkan ini akibat dari sweeping dan pemaknaan berlebihan terhadap fatwa MUI yang melarang penggunaan atribut Natal.
  4. Bank Indonesia mengeluarkan mata uang Rupiah dengan desain dan warna baru. Dengan adanya kontroversi seputar pemilihan pahlawan yang ditampilkan di mata uang baru, tidak berjilbabnya Cut Meutia, logo BI yang mirip palu arit, dan indikasi kemiripan dengan Yuan, maka pengamat ekonom aliran klasik mengusulkan agar Indonesia kembali ke sistem barter. “Ya, baiknya kembali ke masa dimana rempah-rempah ditukar dengan kemerdekaan kita”, ujarnya.
  5. Kementerian Kesehatan bersama Kementerian Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan Anak dikabarkan telah meluncurkan kampanye kesehatan reproduksi bertepatan dengan Hari Ibu tanggal 22 Desember 2016. Dikabarkan tagline baru mereka adalah, “Om, Telat Om”.

Sekian recap berita bulan lalu dari #HidungFika; enduslah tulisan ini dengan akal dan humor yang sehat.

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#HidungFika – November 2016

Kumpulan tulisan fiksi #HidungFika tentang ulasan berita terkini di bulan November 2016. Enduslah tulisan ini dengan akal dan humor yang sehat.


“Lebaran Kuda”

Komentar kejadian terkini minggu lalu (published 7 November 2016)

  1. Siapapun ahli ramal Pak SBY, saya mau pakai juga. Karena canggih, sebelum ada tuduhan tunggang-menunggangi demo 4 November 2016 beliau sudah klarifikasi 2 hari sebelumnya. Saya dan segenap crew #HidungFika (saingan Mata Najwa) mengucapkan selamat hari raya Lebaran Kuda.
  2. Dikabarkan penjualan produk topi cowboy dan jaket bomber meningkat. Sejumlah pemilik olshop mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Pak Jokowi. Akhirnya Menteri Keuangan Sri Mulyani memikirkan ulang mengenai rencana pengenaan pajak untuk endorser.
  3. Pemilu Presiden AS minggu ini dan hasil polling antara Clinton dan Trump menunjukkan hasil yang tipis semenjak Direktur FBI menyatakan ada bukti baru terkait kasus email server Hillary Clinton. Dikabarkan sejumlah anggota DPR meminta Kongres AS studi banding ke Indonesia untuk melihat pemakaian Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook yang masih marak dilakukan oleh PNS di Indonesia.
  4. Pak Ahok dikabarkan akan duet dengan Young Lex. Ahok akan special appearance di lagu “Bad” khususnya di bagian “Memang gue anak nakal seringkali ngomong kasar tapi masih batas wajar”. Ditanyakan tanggapannya, Iwa K berkomentar, “Bebas! Lepas! Tinggalkan saja semua beban di hatimu”
  5. Jessica Wongso akan menjalani hukuman penjara selama proses banding vonis 20 tahunnya. Dikabarkan ada petisi Change.org meminta agar Jessica dipindahkan ke Sukamiskin dan dijadikan barista di sana.

“Saatnya ke Mars”

Komentar kejadian terkini minggu lalu (published 14 November 2016)

  1. Donald Trump terpilih menjadi Presiden AS setelah memenangkan 306 dari 270 electoral vote yang dibutuhkan, sementara Hillary Clinton meraih 232 electoral vote, meskipun memenangkan popular vote. Dikabarkan Elon Musk mendapatkan tambahan investasi untuk segera menyelesaikan proyek misinya ke Mars setelah website imigrasi Kanada crash.
  2. Menyaksikan kemenangan Trump, warga Kabupaten Bekasi merasa tidak terlalu bersedih dengan kemungkinan Ahmad Dhani menjadi Wakil Bupati. Namun sejumlah anggota masyarakat memastikan kembali kepada Mahkamah Konstitusi bahwa pasal Penghinaan Presiden benar-benar dihapus sebelum Setya Novanto dan Fadli Zon foto bersama dengan Ahmad Dhani di 2019.
  3. BPS rilis angka pertumbuhan ekonomi nasional di Q3 2016 yakni 5,02%. Beberapa analis ekonom menyebutkan kontraksi ekonomi ini karena ekspor yang menurun dan pemotongan anggaran yang menyeluruh di seluruh kementerian. Melihat situasi ini, dikabarkan bahwa Dimas Kanjeng Taat Pribadi dan tujuh mahaguru-nya akan diangkat sebagai Tenaga Ahli di Kementerian Keuangan.
  4. Mantan ketua KPK Antasari Azhar mendapatkan status bebas bersyarat dari LP Kelas 1 Tangerang setelah ditahan selama 7,5 tahun atas kasus pembunuhan Nasrudin Zulkarnain yang diduga terlibat cinta segitiga dengan caddy golf Rani Juliani. Baju korban yang hilang sebagai bukti kunci dari kasus ini masih merupakan misteri. Pengamat politik menyatakan ini sama misteriusnya dengan alasan pernikahan Rey Utami dan Pablo Putra Benua.
  5. Gubernur BI Agus Martowardojo diperiksa KPK terkait kasus korupsi proyek e-KTP. KPK sudah menetapkan mantan Dirjen Dukcapil Irman dan mantan Direktur Pengelola Informasi Administrasi Kependudukan Ditjen Dukcapil Kementerian Dalam Negeri Sugiharto sebagai tersangka. Kerugian negara dari mark-up proyek e-KTP ditaksir mencapai Rp. 2,3 T dan KPK menduga kasus ini akan melibatkan lebih banyak tersangka. Dikabarkan sebagian dana mark-up digunakan untuk memproduseri lagu “Alamat Palsu” dari Ayu Ting Ting sebagai jingle dan promosi penggunaan e-KTP.

“Daddy Wes”

Komentar kejadian terkini minggu lalu (published 21 November 2016)

  1. Presiden Jokowi menghadiri Munas Alim Ulama PPP dan menyatakan penyesalan terhadap penggunaan akun sosial media yang tidak bijak, yang isinya saling menghujat, adu domba dan provokasi. Menurut Pak Jokowi, hal semacam ini tidak mencerminkan tata nilai bangsa Indonesia. Menanggapi hal ini, seorang pakar komunikasi menyarankan Pak Jokowi lebih sering membuka bagian komentar Youtube Awkarin dan Instagram @lambe_turah.
  2. Warga dunia menyaksikan fenomena “Supermoon” pada tanggal 14 November 2016. Fenomena purnama raksasa ini merupakan yang paling besar dan terang semenjak 26 Januari 1948. Seorang pengamat astrolog menyatakan bahwa ini kemungkinan besar penyebab banyaknya perempuan Indonesia yang hormonal atau moody. “Ya, antara ini atau ekspektasi berlebihan terhadap pasangan yang tidak tersampaikan setelah melihat pernikahan Sandra Dewi di Tokyo Disneyland”, ujarnya.
  3. Gubernur DKI Jakarta non aktif, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama ditetapkan sebagai tersangka dalam kasus penistaan agama. Dikabarkan oleh Kemristekdikti bahwa terjadi peningkatan minat program studi Bahasa Indonesia, seiring dengan meningkatnya permintaan ahli bahasa yang #dipakai dalam persidangan pencemaran nama baik, penistaan agama, dan perkara libel lainnya yang marak di Indonesia.
  4. Presiden terpilih AS Donald Trump berencana menerapkan kebijakan database imigran Muslim seperti era administrasi George Bush di tahun 2002-2011. Sejumlah kritik mengatakan kebijakan ini seperti “internment camps” keturunan Jepang-Amerika paska kejadian Pearl Harbor. Namun demikian, beberapa jomblo melihat hal positifnya terhadap kemungkinan peningkatan opsi calon pasangan di MuslimMatrimony.com.
  5. Dikabarkan setelah selesai masa tayang “Golden Ways” di Kompas TV bulan Oktober lalu, Mario Teguh berencana bermitra dengan sebuah klinik fertilitas untuk membuka chain klinik tes DNA “Daddy Wes”. Deddy Corbuzier dikabarkan tertarik untuk menanamkan sahamnya dan juga membuka layanan perawatan rambut di klinik tersebut.

“Obliviate!”

Komentar kejadian terkini minggu lalu (published 28 November 2016)

  1. Mendikbud memutuskan untuk menghentikan sementara sistem Ujian Nasional (UN) mulai tahun depan dan ujian akhir siswa diserahkan ke pemerintah provinsi (untuk SMA, SMK, atau sederajatnya) dan pemerintah kabupaten/kota (untuk SD, SMP atau sederajatnya). Nantinya, kelulusan siswa tidak ditentukan oleh ujian akhir namun ditentukan oleh sekolah masing-masing. Mengetahui hal ini, dikabarkan sejumlah calo soal UN akan beralih profesi menjadi calo tiket konser Coldplay.
  2. Setelah video viral Mannequin Challenge dari Satlantas Aceh Besar dan Satlantas Brebes, juri kompetisi Mannequin Challenge Nasional, Desy Ratnasari, memutuskan pemenangnya adalah TMC Polda Metro Jaya. Ditanya alasannya, Desy menjawab, “Iya, karena mereka konsisten tidak bergerak setiap jam pulang kantor di jalanan Thamrin dan Sudirman”.
  3. Perwakilan Gerakan Nasional Pengawal Fatwa (GNPF) MUI yang juga Sekjen FPI, Novel Bamukmin menegaskan untuk tetap melakukan demo besar di jalanan utama Jakarta pada tanggal 2 Desember 2016. Hal ini mengundang polemik dari sejumlah tokoh nasional. Namun pengamat Robbie Abas menyarankan daripada demo di jalanan akan lebih bermanfaat untuk demo masak bersama Chef Aiko.
  4. Perdana Menteri Belanda Mark Rutte melakukan pertemuan bilateral dengan Presiden Jokowi. PM Rutte datang untuk menawar namun hanya mendapatkan koin Rp. 1.000 dari Presiden Jokowi meskipun sudah memberikan 1 keris sebagai simbolis pengembalian 1.500 benda yang ada di museum Belanda.
  5. Pemerintah dikabarkan sedang melakukan penelusuran apakah Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) beroperasi di Indonesia. Hal ini karena adanya indikasi mantera Obliviate yang digunakan secara massal menjelang terpilihnya Setya Novanto menjadi Ketua DPR kembali.

Sekian rangkuman berita bulan ini dari #HidungFika — enduslah tulisan ini dengan akal dan humor yang sehat.

In Indonesian Football, it’s Politics over Talents

What do you do after your football team just lost 10-0 in a Pre-World Cup match? Boycott the media, because they presented you in a bad light. At least that’s what the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) did.

The humiliating defeat to Bahrain last week was a culminating point in a series of Indonesia’s mismanagement in the country’s beloved sport. The current PSSI fired coach Alfred Riedl after his success in putting the national team as runner-up in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup; they sacked four members of their executive committee; there is still confusion in the dualism of the Indonesian Premier League; even after FIFA had to step in through a “normalization committee” to elect a new PSSI chief because the previous one was a convicted corruptor.

Mr. Johar Arifin, the current PSSI chief, was quick to point out that Bahrain and the referee for the match was to be blamed for the loss. FIFA will conduct an investigation, considering that the 10 point win was too convenient for Bahrain who needed it to advance to the next round. However, this does not mean that PSSI is free from the scrutiny of not bringing their best players for the match, even though they had no chance of advancing themselves.

In the interview, Mr. Arifin responded that the reason of why they’re not bringing the senior players on the field was because “they are all mafia because they have been contaminated by the ways and behaviors of the old PSSI”. Despite their talent, many shining footballers were unable to wear the Garuda emblem on their chest because they did not follow the rules of the “new PSSI” or they did not play in the official PSSI league.

There’s a saying in Indonesia, “buruk muka cermin dibelah“, you break the mirror for your ugly face, which means that you’re blaming others for your mistake. Why can’t PSSI look straight in that mirror and see that they are in dire straits and in need of serious organizational reshaping?

Intermezzo: “Last Dictator Standing”

Just finished final exams, here’s something to cheer the pundits.

In case you are wondering, it is Mugabe featuring several other figures such as Gaddafi, Mao, Saddam Hussein, P.W. Botha and Idi Amin. If Zimbabwe had any significant relations with Indonesia I’m betting that Soeharto would be featured as well.

h/t Reuben (I think).

The Future of Indonesia’s Bureaucracy

AFTER the cabinet reshuffle, many have scrutinized President Yudhonoyo’s decision to appoint several deputy ministers in ministries which did not have the position beforehand, or his decision to favor ministers from political parties than those who have a more professional background. Although one can only guess the reasons behind his decisions, one thing out of the commotion is clear: there is definitely a greater demand from the people of Indonesia to have a more competent and professional bureaucracy. The question is, how do we ensure that we get it?

AFTER the cabinet reshuffle, many have scrutinized President Yudhonoyo’s decision to appoint several deputy ministers in ministries which did not have the position beforehand, or his decision to favor ministers from political parties than those who have a more professional background.

Although one can only guess the reasons behind his decisions, one thing out of the commotion is clear: there is definitely a greater demand from the people of Indonesia to have a more competent and professional bureaucracy. The question is, how do we ensure that we get it?

***

First of all, let me be clear that when I say bureaucracy, I am referring to the Weberian notion of bureaucracy, a formal hierarchical structure of non-elected officials working in a governmental organization that carries out the rules and laws of its institution. A competent and professional bureaucracy is therefore needed to guarantee that the state is able to deliver public goods to its people.

Without a doubt, I position myself in seeing that the role of the state is crucial, and agrees that investing in the capacity of state institutions should be first and foremost a necessary step for government policies to work.

The people inside those state institutions, consequently, are those who will shape the outcomes of whatever it is that they are producing. Getting the right people to work there, however, proves to be difficult.

I once asked a quick survey to my twitter friends (who are 20-somethings who work in the private and public sector) on what are the factors that deter you from working for the public service. Three major reasons on why they don’t want to work for the government: low pay, bad organizational culture, and limited room for professional growth.

It is a well known fact that most civil servants in Indonesia don’t pay as much as the private sector. A government job is not easy, and yet there is that added level of difficulty because it’s already hard for them to make their ends meet due to the low pay. Some, therefore, argue that this is why corruption is so rampant in Indonesia.

As a part of their bureaucratic reform strategy, some government ministries have raised the main salary of their workers, on top of other additional remuneration and facilities. Singapore for example, benchmarks the salary of their civil servants in a level where it is competitive compared with the private sector.

Although salary is an important financial incentive, it is not enough.

Some civil servants that I know often complain about the bad organizational culture that is apparent in their agencies as well as the limited room for their professional growth. Bright, young and optimistic civil servants often have to deal with their seniors who conducts business-as-usual and often not receptive towards their ideas and proposals that might shape up their organization.

It could be because of the hierarchical structure, but it could also be due to the fact that there is no incentive for better performance. It is not uncommon for me to hear that if you work in a government agency, whether you do good or bad you end up getting the same take-home pay. I’m glad to hear that some performance management principles are already applied into some ministries, but unfortunately this is still the exception.

Ultimately, in building a career in the bureaucracy, you want to reach to the top. But as we have witnessed with the recent cabinet reshuffle, the person at the top might be someone who is alien to the whole ministry and might not even have the matching professional background. The trade-off then, perhaps is the reason why professional deputy ministers are appointed. This might be inevitable because in the end, you can’t separate government from politics.

The only hope that I have is that despite any unwanted political changes at the leadership position, we would still need to have an efficient working bureaucracy.

I would see that the future of Indonesia’s bureaucracy depends on Indonesia’s youth. The Youth Pledge to unite Indonesia was 83 years ago, and the current challenge for Indonesia’s youth is to ask whether they want to serve for their country.

I am proud of my friends who are now working for the government and their sincerity and credibility is attested because they have gone through a competitive merit-based selection process in which most Indonesian civil servant entry tests are now conducted.

It is now up to the current government officials to realize that in order for their organizations to work efficiently, they need to not only attract, but retain the best talent that they can get.

Will the real civil society please stand up?

A group of young ladies in tight-fitted white shirts and short pants demonstrated outside of KPK’s office holding “I Love Banggar DPR” and “Don’t Slander Banggar” posters. Are they an example of civil society in Indonesia? I argue why they are not.

A group of young ladies in tight-fitted white shirts and short pants. No, it’s not the latest advertisement for a clothing company, but instead a group of demonstrators (for the lack of a better term) outside of the Corruption Eradication Commission’s office holding “I Love Banggar DPR” and “Don’t Slander Banggar” posters.

Banggar is an acronym for Badan Anggaran, the Budgetary Body of the Indonesian Legislative Council (DPR). However, some of the ladies thought that Banggar was, in fact, a person.

***

Anti Corruption Princesses - Photo by Seto Wardhana/TEMPO

One would really question the sincerity of the message these demonstrators are carrying out, whether they are truly voicing out their opinions as a part of the civil society, or are they simply just paid models/actresses hired by other actors to mobilize certain issues up front on the national agenda.

To be honest, paid demonstrators is not a new thing in Indonesia. I know some people whose job is to mobilize groups of people protesting on various issues and usually it involves with a price – let’s say the minimum would be providing a lunch box and transportation for each of these so-called “demonstrators”.

For a long time under Soekarno’s and Soeharto’s authoritarian regime, people who go to the streets and actually protest were considered brave and their messages are seen to be meaningful, because if you voice out an opinion not sanctioned by the government, you would’ve been ostracized.

Fast forward to today, freedom of speech and expression are one of the privileges that Indonesians are entitled to after our transition to democracy post-1998. Some say, we have taken that right too far.

Now, if you look at the case of paid demonstrators, it is not a case of democracy gone too far, but it’s just that the culture of democracy – in which how to express those rights under the due process of the law – is not yet understood by the people.

I would see that in the case of paid demonstrators, they themselves as individuals are not lacking the capacity to organize themselves, but they lack the determination and courage to use one’s intelligence without being guided by another (as in Immanuel Kant’s Enlightenment).

In the words of Ernest Gellner, “no civil society, no democracy”. Paid demonstrators are not what I define as civil society and therefore, as much as Indonesia would like to call itself as a liberal democracy, it is not there yet – or perhaps it is not where it is heading.

J.S. Mill stated that “the worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it” – in other words, society should be seen as a classroom for future governance.

Only after our civil society has matured it can truly balance the power of the state. If Indonesians are willing to be paid for voicing an opinion that they don’t truly believe in – as we assume in the case of these young ladies – then it is no surprise that we now see our elected officials speaks not on behalf of the interests of the people , but on behalf of monetary interests.

Ironically, the message that these young ladies are carrying out exemplifies exactly why the DPR’s Budgetary Body is problematic.

Disillusioned by Corruption

The current Nazaruddin saga have perfectly captured Indonesia’s struggle in the fight against corruption. Did Indonesia’s government lost the battle, or was the duel insincere to begin with?

The current Nazaruddin saga have perfectly captured Indonesia’s struggle in the fight against corruption. Did Indonesia’s government lost the battle, or was the duel insincere to begin with?

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It worries me that some Indonesians deals the issue of corruption with cynicism, followed by apathy, and are sometimes subdued to its practices because it is seen to be “entrenched” in the system – as if there is no exit and no hope in trying to curb it out.

What also worries me is that the whole issue on corruption has taken over Indonesia’s mainstream and social media, leaving other important issues such as public health, education, the environment, and many others behind.

Last year, Prof. Robert Klitgaard, a renowned scholar on corruption, gave a talk on his five ingredients for the recipe to fight systemic corruption:

  1. Improve structure, leadership and incentives
  2. Take a whole-government approach
  3. Involve business and the people
  4. Subvert corruption
  5. Emphasize morality

Prof. Klitgaard firstly argues that we shouldn’t target corrupt individuals, but target corrupt structures. Corruption, can be seen in this formula:

Corruption = Monopoly + Discretion – Accountability

By using this formula, a successful anti-corruption effort is to reduce monopolies over a good and service, limit and clarify discretion, and raise accountability. My question to this statement is that just by raising accountability, it does not necessarily mean that it can control corruption straight away. I looked at the Worldwide Governance Indicators and compared Indonesia with its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia and China, based on voice and accountability and control of corruption.

World Governance Indicators on Voice and Accountability and Control on Corruption for selected countries in Southeast Asia and China

Indonesia tops the list in terms of voice and accountability, but when it comes to control on corruption, it is one of the poor performing countries. Based on the chart above[1], it gives me a certain confidence that voice and accountability[2] alone is not enough in controlling corruption. A critical media and transparency principles are needed to perform the checks and balances that are needed, but I would argue that the rule of law, especially the law enforcement agencies and judiciary institutions are pertinent to this equation.

An insulated and professional law enforcement agencies and judiciary are thus important, and it is what I see still lacking in Indonesia.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – KPK) is one of the approach that Indonesia takes into curbing corruption. But this is where Prof. Klitgaard’s second ingredient comes in: a whole-government approach. Putting the weight into KPK as a single institution to fight corruption will not work, because a national anti-corruption agency is futile “if it cannot coordinate with the other ministries and agencies vital to prevent, prosecute, and punish corruption“. It is also dangerous to put all the power in KPK, as KPK itself is not free of political interests, and its investigators and prosecutors do come from the police force and the attorney general’s office as well.

Rather than focusing too much on who’s going to head KPK, tell me, how are we going so far with our reforms in the police force, attorney general’s office, and the supreme court? Not to forget our bureaucracy reform progress to correct Gayus and the likes in the tax department.

The basic concept of supply and demand in my sense can also be applied in corruption. The reason why bureaucrats and public officials become corrupt is because there is a demand and incentive for them to do so. And if the system provides that window of opportunity for misbehavior, then you got yourself a case. Businesspeople, lawyers, accountants, and other stakeholders involved with state institutions in general in their daily business, must be engaged actively in reducing corruption from the demand side.

This is exactly what is also happening in India, as an op-ed in the New York Times have suggested that there is a selective rage over corruption, whereby their citizens direct their rage towards the corrupt government, but they’re lenient towards the companies who did it too. It takes two hands to clap, anyway.

Now, if people were strategic about subverting corruption, one would make use of whistle-blowers. In Indonesia, however, the price for being a whistle-blower is too high. Sadly, sometimes if you’re telling the truth, you are offering yourself in a risky position.

Take for example the case of Siami, a housewife and mother from Surabaya, whereby she was forced by her neighbors to move out from her house after she reported a national exam cheating case in her son’s class at a state elementary school. How can you say no to corruption when cheating is seen as a customary practice in schools? Have society gone mad now that an honest person is seen as the bad guy?

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I fear that corruption is an issue which is now used as a political rhetoric. Every politician talks about it, how serious and detrimental it is, but no one has actually an idea and the strong will to get rid of it.

Perhaps because the very institution where these politicians come from are the breeding grounds for corruption itself. Nazaruddin was the (former) treasurer of the ruling political party after all.

[1] Chart methodology: Kaufmann D., A. Kraay, and M. Mastruzzi (2010), The Worldwide Governance Indicators: Methodology and Analytical Issues

[2] According to WGI, voice and accountability captures perceptions of the extent to which a country’s citizens are able to participate in selecting their government, as well as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and a free media