Thursday, September 04, 2014

The New Indonesia and Its Challenges

The victory of Joko Widodo or Jokowi, as many Indonesian affectionately call him, in Indonesia's 2014 presidential election truly is the watershed moment for this great archipelagic nation. Now, many people expect that the next five years will be a period where genuine democracy will be practiced and safeguarded, past human rights violation will be brought to court --at least push toward the court-- and discrimination based on religion and ethnicity will soon be punishable, especially in the case of Syiah and Ahmadiyyah followers. In the economy front, people now is hoping for a more bold move to end the fuel subsidy, narrowing the inequality level between the wealthy and the poor and more emphasize on creative industries, steping away from our dependency toward oil and gas industries.

Can all be realized by Jokowi's administration?

Few have doubts or question the intention of the new president. Almost everyone agree that Jokowi has his policies' priorities in the right place, but many agree that the task will be daunting, even near impossible. When so many things have gone right in the election, at the same time, many things can still go wrong. More so, since the foundation that create Indonesia in the last couple of decades remain unchanged.

We can take a few sector as case studies. First the police and the judiciary system in general. The police, attorney general office and the court have not undergo the necessary reform they truly need. The structure of power remain intact, where police officers climbs their way up not through a full meritocracy system but via a patchwork of promotion system that relies heavily on connections and cliques. The prosecutors and the judges are not better off, which is why it is very hard to find a figure from within the law enforcement institution that can lead the reform from within.

Another sector is the political arena. We may complement the General Election Committee for its applaudable works in organizing the presidential election, but do not forget that just a couple of months ago, we criticize the same institution heavily for the lack of order in their vote counting mechanism in the legislative election, last April. A number of complaints were lodged in, without apparent result. It is clear that KPU has not develop a robust-anti fraud mechanism in the legislative election.

And we havent discuss the media sector yet. The election showed us how divisive the media were and how vulnerable our newsroom to pressure and intervention from its owner. We witnessed in embarrasment how formerly respected TV stations with its highly regarded journalists and news anchor turned out to be just a mouth-piece for the politician who happened to own their media. We also watched in disbelieve how institution that were tasked with the responsibility to make sure all of this never happened, stood helpless, unable to enact a single punishment for the repeated offender.

All of this has to change. Without changing this very foundation, the fundamental sectors which supported the old-corrupt-bloated Indonesia, we will never be able to realize the change people were hoping when they elect a modest man from Solo to be our next president. (*)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Presiden Pilihan Parpol

Pemilihan Presiden akan berlangsung pada 9 Juli 2014 mendatang. Artinya masih enam bulan lagi. Di benak banyak orang sudah mulai ada bayangan siapa sosok yang akan mereka pilih di bilik suara nanti. Tapi semuanya masih bisa berubah, karena untuk dicalonkan, para kandidat yang sekarang digadang-gadang, harus direstui partai politik.

Artinya, Jokowi yang sering disebut-sebut sebagai calon RI-1 belum tentu dicalonkan PDIP. Anies Baswedan yang kerap dibicarakan sebagai calon pengganti SBY, belum tentu dicalonkan Partai Demokrat --seperti juga Dahlan Iskan, atau Gita Wirjawan. Mahfud Md masih harus bersaing dengan beberapa kandidat lain --seperti Rhoma Irama-- di PKB.

Di PDIP, Jokowi harus lulus seleksi internal yang dipimpin Megawati. Sementara di Demokrat, Anies, Dahlan dan Gita harus berjuang agar mereka dipilih rakyat lewat konvensi. Di PKB, Mahfud masih bersafari keliling Indonesia agar popularitasnya bisa mendongkrak suara partainya.

Hanya calon presiden yang juga orang paling berkuasa di partainya, yang sudah pasti maju ke pemilihan. Aburizal Bakrie, Prabowo Subianto, Hatta Radjasa, Yusril Ihza Mahendra, 100 persen pasti disokong oleh Golkar, Gerindra, PAN dan PBB.

Fenomena ini menandakan bahwa partai rupanya masih berminat membangun oligarki kekuasaan. Hanya capres yang asli, murni, dibesarkan oleh partai, yang melenggang tanpa filter aneh-aneh. Mereka yang dianggap non-partai, harus lewat banyak jalan berliku, sebelum pasti dicalonkan.

Secerdas apapun mereka, semuda apapun, seidealis apapun, sepopuler apapun, semuanya bukan jaminan. Partai menyediakan hanya dua jalur politik. Satu jalur jalan tol untuk kader-kader mereka sendiri, dan satunya jalur jalan memutar buat tokoh masyarakat atau aktivis yang ingin maju ikut pemilihan pejabat publik.

Ini tidak sehat. Terlebih di era ketika masyarakat antipati pada partai. Perilaku korup sebagian petinggi parpol membuat publik jijik pada partai. Akibatnya, mereka yang bersih, antikorupsi, berintegritas dan cerdas, cenderung menjauhkan diri dari partai.

Jalur non-tol untuk mereka yang memutuskan terjun ke politik tentu bisa membuat situasi makin parah. Justru orang parpol harus berterimakasih pada figur seperti Dahlan, Anies, Jokowi, Gita, Mahfud, yang tak punya rekam jejak meniti karir di partai politik, namun mau mendekati parpol untuk mewujudkan mimpi mereka mengabdi pada publik.

Tokoh-tokoh seperti mereka pada akhirnya akan jadi penawar buat rasa benci publik pada parpol. Kalau parpol diibaratkan kaos putih yang sedang kusam dan kotor, maka orang-orang cerdas, bersih berintegritas ini adalah cairan pemutih yang akan membuat parpol kembali disayangi dan dihormati khalayak.

Apalagi kelak kalau Anies Baswedan menjadi Ketua Umum Demokrat, Jokowi menjadi Ketua Umum PDIP, Mahfud menjadi Ketua Umum PKB misalnya, maka citra negatif parpol pasti berangsur membaik. Kalau itu benar-benar terjadi maka parpol sudah berhasil menunaikan tugasnya dalam sistem politik yang ideal: menjadi sarana sirkulasi dan mobilisasi pemimpin di masyarakat kita yang makin maju dan majemuk. (*)