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Jakarta Post

After the party, piles of problems await Jokowi

  • Hans Nicholas Jong

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 21, 2014   /  09:50 am

As the dust of festivities and the euphoria settle, civil society groups have highlighted programs that the newly inaugurated President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo should prioritize in his administration.

Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) deputy coordinator Agus Sunaryanto said on Monday that the pressure was extremely high for Jokowi to deliver on his promises, considering how enthusiastic people were in celebrating his inauguration.

'€œIf we look at the enthusiasm of the people, this is a president who many people hope will be able to create change,'€ he told The Jakarta Post.

The homework is particularly piling up in combating rampant corruption and enforcing the law, according to Agus.

'€œHe can learn from SBY [former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono] who issued a lot of regulations like the one on speeding up corruption eradication. However, the implementation [of those regulations] is weak, such as the lack of supervision,'€ he said.

For example, he said Yudhoyono had planned to implement e-procurement throughout the country, but with little success.

'€œTherefore, how to monitor the implementation in regions has to be speed up so that the regional heads can force their officials to [implement regulations],'€ he said.

Other things that Jokowi needed to work on were revising regulations on sectors that are prone to corruption, such as forestry and other natural resources, he said.

Besides improving law enforcement, Jokowi should also strengthen coordination among all law enforcers, such as the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the Attorney General'€™s Office (AGO) and the police, as well as improve their quality, said Agus.

Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) executive director Indriaswati D. Saptaningrum, meanwhile, said that Jokowi had a lot of work to do to clean up the mess left by the past administration in terms of protecting human rights and solving past human rights abuse cases.

'€œUntil the end of SBY and [former vice president] Boediono'€™s tenure, none of the past human rights abuse cases had been solved,'€ Indriaswati said in a press statement on Monday. '€œMoreover, minority groups also keep being repressed by intolerant groups without sufficient protection from the state.'€

To make things worse, Yudhoyono issued some regulations that are harmful to human rights, such as the state intelligence law and social conflict law, according to Indriaswati.

'€œThese laws give ample space for the government to control and monitor civil societies,'€ she said.

Another controversial law recently passed during Yudhoyono'€™s administration was that on regional elections, in which the mechanism of regional election voting was reverted to Regional Legislative Councils (DPRD), instead of the direct voting mechanism introduced during Yudhoyono'€™s era in 2005.

Facing heavy criticism from the public, Yudhoyono issued a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to return the voting mechanism to the direct-elections system.

However, the Perppu needs to be approved by the House of Representatives for it to become law.

'€œTherefore, Jokowi has to really guard and monitor [the process in the House] so that the direct-election mechanism can be approved,'€ Titi Anggraini of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) told the Post.

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