House Speaker: Foreigners can manipulate Indonesia through money politics

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National Seminar on the theme of Reflection and Projection of Democracy after the 2019 Election held at Grand Cempaka Hotel, Central Jakarta, Saturday (08/24/2019). (photo: IO/Dan)

IO, Jakarta – The election is over, but the conditions and problems faced by the Indonesian people are still heating up. “The 2019 post-election era is very difficult for us, the people of Indonesia, especially the national situation. In the last few weeks, we have even been confronted with something that should never happen, namely overt racism,” said Jakarta PMII PKC Chairman Daud Gerung in a seminar with the theme “Reflection and Projection of Democracy after the 2019 Election” at the Grand Cempaka Hotel, Central Jakarta, Saturday (08/24/2019).

Daud urged all elements of society to restore the spirit of nationalism and democracy, namely, the values ​​of brotherhood. According to him, “There is no name for differences in ethnicity, region or organization, we return to the spirit of nationality and our democracy”.

Speaker of the House, Bambang Soesatyo (Bamsoet) said the 2019 election was the toughest and biggest political contest in Indonesia and even the world, as five different elections were held simultaneously. Bamsoet said there was a danger of money politics that lurked in every election. He said only those with deep pockets could win and take power. The electoral system in Indonesia is vulnerable to the practice of money politics. According to him, the practice of money politics only provides room for people with deep pockets to win votes. “If we continue with this system, then don’t be surprised if the House of representatives will be filled by people with deep pockets, of a rich background; either local officials or  business-magnates,” he said.

According to him the practice of money politics has the potential to open the doors for foreign players to interfere. He is concerned that the entry of foreign interests will exert an impact on Indonesia’s political and economic policies. “There is no need to send warships, torpedoes, rockets, to seize control of Indonesia, simply because the existing system that we choose is the most powerful political party. Our pillars are political parties. But if our political parties are controlled by bribes, by foreigners who tempt political parties, then maybe later those entering Indonesia to influence policy and control the nation will work through political party donations in the next 10-20 years,” he added.

Check and Balances

The Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) posits that the political map in the upcoming 2019-2024 Parliament will not change much, compared to the current Parliament. The composition of political parties included in the coalition supporting President Joko Widodo-Ma’ruf Amin as well as those in the coalition supporting Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno may potentially impose stability and support in the Parliament. Currently, government coalition parties, consisting of PDI-Perjuangan, Golkar, PKB, Nasdem, and PPP hold 54.9 percent of Parliament, while Gerindra, Democrats, PAN and PKS account for 35.39 percent. “But we are also still waiting for the Gerindra Party National Convention, which is planned to be held on September 21st, 2019, to determine whether the decision is to join the government or remain outside,” he explained.

According to him, even if all political parties get ministerial seats, it will not reduce the effectiveness of the Parliament to carry out its duties and functions as a critical balance to the government. The check and balance process will continue because there are still many critical members of the Indonesian Parliament. There are still many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that feel they can criticize the administration. “Especially now that the netizens’ strength is enormous, with all its information and observations across social media, which is sometimes more fierce than professional observers and sharper than members of the Indonesian Parliament. President Joko Widodo has also paid attention to the atmosphere in social media which contributes to the smoothness of checks and balances system in the government,” he said. (Dan)