Broad Outlines of State Policies set for rebirth

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Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Fahri Hamzah after attending the MPR Annual Session, Parliament Complex, Senayan, Central Jakarta, Friday (08/16/2019). (photo: IO/Yoga)

IO, Jakarta – House of Representative (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) deputy Speaker Fahri Hamzah stated that the plan to revive Broad Outlines of the State’s Policies (Garis Besar Haluan Negara – “GBHN”) is “unnatural”. He further questions the revival of the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat – “MPR“)’s authority to validate the GBHN by changing a number of articles in the 1945 Constitution. “How to avoid such a detailed trap, as if it’s something that the MPR creates it will not be easy to overturn. This is dangerous,” he stated at the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) last weekend.

Since the GBHN was repealed in 2000, Government-based development is related to technical discussions of the Long-term Development Plan (Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Panjang – “RPJP”) and the Medium-term National Development Plan (Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Nasional – “RPJMN”). “What is GBHN nowadays? It is already expressed in the RPJMN, so who discusses GBHN now?”

Fahri stated that any discussion of GBHN needs to be adjusted to suit current conditions. He believes that any plan to revive GBHN requires study before it can be re-implemented in Indonesia. After all, national policy is sufficiently regulated by our Constitution and the Pancasila.

Former DPR RI Deputy Speaker Akbar Tanjung stated that amendments to the Constitution of 1945 can be legislated if there are significant reasons to do so. However, if the MPR has no valid reasons, such amendments are unnecessary. “If there are significant and valid reasons to make amendments in the future, it is possible to do so,” he said.

Akbar stated that Article 37 of the Constitution of 1945 does allow amendments. Historically, Indonesia has actually amended the Constitution of 1945 four times, i.e. in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002. If there is another amendment to be made, the MPR must determine which rulings are to be amended, submit reasons for these amendments, and supporting evidence for such reasons as well.

The MPR has made a recommendation that the MPR draft the GBHN during the 2019-2024 term; it was proposed in the MPR’s Annual Assembly. MPR Chairman Zulkifli Hasan stated that the idea of returning GBHN is not a mere plan, but is an official recommendation of the MPR. “Everything is ready. The materials we will be proposing for subsequent MPR members. It is ready for the last Assembly for this term on 27 September – this is definitely our recommendation for the DPR in the next term,” he stated at the Senayan Parliamentary Complex. “This is a political decision. In the next MPR, decisions will be made by 600-700 people. It is not just about leadership.” (Dan)