Proven politicization of Social Aid by the incumbent is a violation

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Ujang Komarudin, Permanent Lecturer and Political Observer of Al Azhar Indonesia University and Executive Director of the Indonesia Political Review: “Money is not everything, but politics without money will not create anything.” (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – After the issuance of Government Regulation (Perpu) No. 2 of 2020 which becomes a legal umbrella for the holding of the local elections (Pilkada) on December 9, 2020, there were all kinds of violations and abuses of authority 6 months before the appointment of regional head candidates who are to participate in the simultaneous elections of 2020. According to the Perpu, election violations are divided into 3 types, namely, administrative violations, criminal violations, and ethical code violations. “There are as many as 43 criminal articles in Law 10 of 2016, with the subject of every particular individual,” explained a member of the Indonesian Election Supervisory Body Coordinator (Bawaslu), Ratna Dewi Pettalolo in the Online Discussion of Information & Education Channels (SIE) entitled “The Phenomenon of Social Aid amid Covid-19 Pandemic; Pure Humanity or Covert Campaign?” Monday (11/05/2020). 

Ratna further said that based on Article 71 of Law Number 10 the Year 2016, there are at least 11 authorities who have the potential to commit violations including state officials, regional officials, state civil employees, members of the armed forces, members of the National Police, village head / other designations, governor or deputy governor, regent or deputy regent, mayor or deputy mayor, acting governor or, acting regent/mayor, or the incumbent. According to that article, prohibited acts include making a decision that is favorable or detrimental to one of the pairs of contestants, exert authority or set programs and activities that benefit or harm one of the pairs in their area or other regions. “But the act can be said to be a violation of election crimes if the findings are an event that occurs after the determination of the pairs of candidates. Or events that occur within 6 months before the determination of candidates. Third, events that can be reported or become findings are events that occur within 6 months before the determination of candidates until the determination of elected candidates,” she explained. 

Ratna reiterated: “Of the 270 regions that will hold the 2020 elections, there are 230 regions that have the potential to host incumbents. With the occurrence of social assistance distribution from the government which has been misused, the provincial and national Bawaslu have carried out supervision conducted by the ranks of the City Districts, noting that there are at least 12 provinces with 23 municipal districts where there is a distribution of social aid suspected of being politicized, by attaching images of regional heads that have the potential to become an incumbent, namely: Bengkulu, Riau, South Sumatra, Lampung, Banten West Java, Central Java, Gorontalo, and Papua. “Related to this, Bawaslu has issued a ban on social aid for Covid-19 to be used for political purposes. Bawaslu appealed to the Head of the Regions and Regional Officials to carry out the Policy following the Laws and Regulations Mechanism,” she concluded. 

Chairman of Committee II in Parliament, Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung did not deny that the incumbent’s chance to win again was no longer a secret. “Incumbent always has a better chance to win the contest. That is the reason why an incumbent is only allowed to run twice,” he explained. Doli was also concerned about the various social assistance abuse that occurred in several regions. “I am one of the people who fiercely oppose regional heads who label social assistance from government and regional funds,” he explained. For him, the current condition of the Coronavirus pandemic cannot be exploited by incumbents. Challengers and even newcomers can take advantage of opportunities by processing sectoral issues such as uncovering the fact of the delay in social aid provided by regional heads who are also incumbent in their communities. “For me, the transactional process in the community has taken root. “Regarding the misuse of social aid which is labeled with the incumbent’s image, it is already in the category of ‘moral hazard’,” he said 

Perfection in politics 
Meanwhile, Lecturer and Political Observer of the Al Azhar University and Executive Director of the Indonesian Political Review Ujang Komarudin said various forms of misuse of social aid can be made by an incumbent, ranging from dividing food packages that are labeled, masks, hand sanitizers, vouchers to umrah packages to influential figures in the candidate’s territory. According to him, this happened since a long time ago and continues to this day. For the incumbent, the matter is wide open because he is supported to win himself by use of the regional budget, the prosecutor’s office, the police, the bureaucracy, to the election organizers. “Politicians are all playing A to Z so all have been secured so that there are no gaps and the law is not working,” he explained. 

But for him, Incumbents can be defeated even by a newcomer. One way to defeat the power of the bureaucracy and the existing government infrastructure is with the power of money. “Indeed, money is not everything, but politics without money will not succeed,” he said. He cited an incident 15 years ago where a newcomer could defeat the incumbent who over the survey won 80%. But all could be reversed by spreading among 1,500 voters from 2,000 voters in one of West Java regencies with IDR 20 thousand per person. “This is real and it happens that the candidate’s parents were landlords in the area. After winning, I asked him, how much he spent , he confessed (his parents) had spent IDR 40 billion,” Ujang explained. 

According to Ujang money bribing practices carried out on election day are difficult to eradicate. “From the survey that I did, the most effective distribution of the envelope containing money was on the voting day,” he explained. 

Related to the misuse of social aid for incumbent imaging, Ujang said that incumbents have been perfecting it in politics. How could they not have a bureaucracy, a party network, and money – so don’t be surprised if many regional entrepreneurs have built political dynasties for 20 years or even 60 years. (dan)