Much to be desired in the year of Jokowi-Ma’ruf’s second term

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Al Azhar University’s political observer Ujang Komarudin. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Amazingly, the Joko Widodo-Ma’ruf Amin presidential term has endured for a full year already. From the inauguration on 20 October 2019 until today, 20 October 2020, there are many notes regarding Jokowi-Ma’ruf’s rule. Tauhid Ahmad, INDEF’s Executive Director, stated that many economic targets were not achieved, “Whether in terms of economic growth, poverty eradication, the Gini index, currency exchange rate, or Human Development Index (Indeks Pembangunan Manusia – “IPM”). On the other hand, other targets have been achieved: Inflation reduction, poverty reduction (even if not fully), and trade balance (lowered imports),” he said in an online discussion “A Reflection of Jokowi and Ma’ruf Amin’s Performance in a Year” held by the Ministry of Strategic Review and Actions (Kementrian Kajian dan Aksi Strategis – “KEMENKASTRA”) of Esa Unggul University’s Student Senate on Monday (18/10/2020).

The Government is thus requested to anticipate the State’s dependence on foreign debts. It must make the big leap of reforming the national tax system. “I believe that we need to reform our tax system, our State income system, as it is extremely important,” Tauhid said. “We also need to implement strict law enforcement on tax evaders, including strengthening our tax database. It will in turn strengthen our country’s finances and reduce our dependence on foreign debts. We should also intensify our non-tax income sources. In short, we need to realize that we cannot grow through debt – we grow because we empower the income sources of the State.”

Problems, Problems Everywhere

Al Azhar University political observer Ujang Komarudin states that there are many national issues that remain unresolved in the first year of Jokowi-Ma’ruf rule, the foremost being unequal law enforcement. “People can still trifle with our laws. If law enforcement is not implemented parallel to democracy, crimes will proliferate,” he said.

Ujang stated that the Government must take law reforms seriously, as they are the very basis of government. Everything else will be a mess if the ruling is carelessly executed. “Mr. Jokowi should have no more mental burdens because it’s his final term. Therefore, please make policies that benefit the people, Mr. President. The law should not just benefit specific political parties and persons, but should be fair for everyone,” he said.

Ujang then highlights the problem with democracy: “Our democracy has regressed,” he said. “Many laws are badly revised yet remain validated by the House of Representatives (DPR): The Corruption Eradication Commission Law, the Mineral and Coal Mining Law, the State Financial Policy and Financial System Stability Law No. 2 of 2020, and the Job Creation Law have all given rise to a lot of protests. It’s as if the Government no longer cares to hear the people’s want. This is what happens when 80% of the Government is filled with members of its party coalition – too much power and authority are vested in one place. Even the “people’s representatives” no longer work for the aspiration of the very people who voted for them. Public power and offices are in their grip.”

Global Competition

Speaker of the of the People’s Consultative Assembly Republic of Indonesia (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat Republik Indonesia – “MPR RI”) Bambang Soesatyo (“Bamsoet”) concludes that the Government has been run decently over the past year. However, he requests that relations and communications between ministers can become more synergistic and harmonious. “In this way, the working relations among ministers can synergize better into a greater strength in implementing the president’s vision and mission,” he said at the Parliamentary Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, on Monday (19/10/2020).

Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff of the President, Moeldoko, said that the Job Creation Law can create the biggest opportunity for new jobs, especially for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises and cooperatives. People who needed a long time to get business permits due to complex procedures now can get them quickly through single-window procedures. “Therefore, one should not rush to complain overmuch while lacking full understanding of the content and substance of the latest version of the Job Creation Law. This policy is meant to respond to global competition. I notice that many figures actually don’t understand the law in its entirety, but they already reject it,” he said in his press conference.

Moeldoko said that the Government’s rapid step of instituting the Job Creation Law quickly is a paradox that causes many risks and debates. “However, a leader must dare to take a risk like what President Jokowi did. I see that there are two kinds of leaders: Leaders who enjoy their win, who are afraid to become unpopular and will sacrifice the interest of their people in order to remain popular, and leaders like President Jokowi who choose to be unafraid and to take risks. The latter takes the thorny, climbing path for the sake of their people,” he said.

Moeldoko said nobody is prohibited from expressing their opinion or to protest anything. However, when such expression is made in the form of vandalism, acts or anarchism, or a spreading of hoaxes, it will be a detriment to others. It destroys the people’s sense of safety and harmony. This requires strict disciplining. He further said that there will be at least 35 Government Regulations and five Presidential Regulations being prepared to follow up on the Job Creation Law. “The Government, through the Minister of Labor, still provides access and opportunity to our friends, the workers and laborers, to participate in thinking out how they would respond to the issue later – on how the instrument can be relied on as a balancer in the economy,” he said. (Dan)