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State's apparatus must be reorganized

Kompas - February 20, 1997

Jakarta – The attitude and conduct of the whole state's apparature must totally be reorganized, so that it will be more communicative and persuasive. This is as one of the efforts to lessen, or even check the various riots which presently are ever more flaring up.

"The state servants must really perform their tasks as servants of the society, not that they had to be served. This must be a fact, not talk only," said the ex Minister of Home Affairs Rudini, who is Chairman of the Indonesian Institute for Strategic Studies (LPSI), answering questions from Kompas in Jakarta, Wednesday (19/2).

Rudini, former Chief of Staff of the Army, said that until this moment still too many of the apparature were acting arbitrary, causing anger of the people. Various cases proved this.

He mentioned various cases of condemnation of the people which caused that they could not find a living at other places. This happened because the condemning party, whether is was the government or private enterprise only was concerned about compensation, without observing human aspects.

"For instance, people who for generations have made roof-tiles along the Bekasi railroad. They are said to go away. Compensation. They are said to change profession. Who is responsible for preparing their farming if they want to become farmers. Are the people given money to live continuously," he said.

"We succeeded in chasing away the colonial powers. But the colonial attitude and mentality are still here. Feodalism for instance. Structurally it does not exist, but mentally there is still much," said Rudini.

The attitude and conduct of the apparature experienced no change, while the people's awareness developed very far. In such a situation, the people's anger will easily explode spontaneously.

"Formerly, the people was angry because they were pushed or organized by certain parties. The situation is now different. People is spontaneously angry, then probably there are other parties which take a free ride. A clear proof is the Tanah Abang case. The people could be handled. But then they were asked illegal taxes. The subdistrict head asked, the district head asked, Military Headquarters at district level asked. Chaos," Rudini told.

The political awareness of the people has far increased, according to Rudini, among others proven by the many demonstrations and even riots.

"They are ever more conscious of their rights. In that situation, they must be guided so that they are also conscious of their duty to keep and obey all rules and regulations. So they know the rules of the game," he said.

In political matters, Rudini said, the people proved not just to be able to pierce the picture in the general elections. Proven with the many protests against the candidate legislative list because they feel that they don't know them.

"How can a person feel to be represented if they don't know that member of the House of Representatives. So the opinion is true that order has to be put in the persons in the constitutional institutes," thus Rudini.

He added that change of attitude, mentality and conduct of the apparature is important so that the regional government will not always hastily invite the Armed Forces to act and eradicate riots.

"If there is trouble, let the Armed Forces quickly eradicate it. That is wrong. Keep first order in the government apparature," said Rudini. Thus, he added, the Armed Forces could be utilized for more productive matters.

Rudini saw also many methods to overcome social disharmony if that was one of the reasons for the riots. He said that the collecting of taxes was the best means for the government to increase the social condition of the lower society.

He brought forward that in the capitalistic United States of America 60 percent of income tax was drawn. "Lippo which got much profit with trading of land, has only PBB tax, no income tax. And now much fuss is made about Busang. No need to make such fuss, just place a big tax. Finish. The result is for the people," he said.

Rudini gave an example of the implementation of investment tax at IInd level regions, which thus pressed each second level to invite investors. This will simultaneously increase the welfare of the local people due to employment opportunities.

"Then the province implemented sales tax. To place income tax at a national level," he said. He added that there were so many methods to dig for sources of funds.

"Another example is the erasing of regional offices and project managements approved by the President but rejected by the department because they will loose their livelihood. If that is implemented, how many quintillion rupiah can be set aside from the National Budget, which finally will be used to increase the salary of public servants. There are many methods, we must be innovative," said Rudini.(*)