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Academics launch petition calling for cancelation of research institution merger

Kabar24 - January 9, 2022

Aprianus Doni Tolok, Jakarta (Bisnis.com) – The Narrative Institute along with academics who are part of the Children of the Nation Concern Alliance for Research and National Progress have launched a petition addressed to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on the merger of the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology (LBM) into the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN).

As has been reported, the science and technology institutions which will be merged into BRIN include the National Nuclear Agency (BATAN), the National Space and Aviation Agency (LAPAN), the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and – which has been hotly debated by the public – the LBM Eijkman.

In the petition uploaded to the Change.org website on Sunday January 9, the Alliance says that it regrets President Widodo's decision because it will give rise to problems which they believe will obstruct future research in Indonesia.

"The merger of these institutions actually runs up against regulations on the bureaucratisation of research which ends in the failure to recruit the best researchers for these institutions. Yet they are tested researchers with doctorate degrees, postgraduate degrees and degrees", wrote the Alliance in the petition.

In the petition, which as of Sunday 10.50 am had already been signed by 2,937 people out of a target of 5,000, the Alliance is asking Widodo to restore the institutions which have been merged and leave the BRIN as a research coordinator in Indonesia only.

Nevertheless, the researchers agree with the President's idea of rejuvenating and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of our research institutions in order to support national development to achieve the vision of a Golden Indonesia in 2045.

"If perhaps the Bapak [Mr] President pleases, we are happy to convey our thoughts and ideas about the very basic problems which are faced by our research institutions and the need for reforms which can only be realised if it is supported by the political will of the Bapak President", said the Alliance.

As has been reported, the new head of BRIN, Laksana Tri Handoko, has said that the integration of the LBM Eijkman into the BRIN will strengthen the competency of molecular biological research in Indonesia.

According to Handoko, the inclusion of LBM Eijkman within the BRIN will further improve the competency of LBM Eijkman's research.

"Moreover because the LBM Eijkman has a high culture of research, so this culture will of course be homework for the new head of research", said Handoko.

The link to the petition titled "An Open Letter Rejecting the Merger of Research Institutions into BRIN" is: https://www.change.org/p/presiden-republik-indonesia-ir-h-joko-widodo-surat-terbuka-untuk-tolak-peleburan-lembaga-riset-ke-brin?recruiter=1211254086&utm_source=share_petition&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial&utm_medium=whatsapp&utm_content=washarecopy_31968105_id-ID%3A5&recruited_by_id=7efa3b20-cd9d-11eb-8f6a-652922f476af

The Narrative Institute and the Children of the Nation Concern Alliance for Research and National Progress include:

1. Prof Azyumardi Azra
2. Prof Didin S Damanhuri
3. Prof Agus Pakpahan
4. Prof Amien Soebandrio
5. Prof Satryo Soemantri Brodjonegoro
6. Prof Sofian Effendi (former Gajah Mada University rector and chairperson fo the ASN Commission)
7. Prof Mayling Oey-Gardiner (University of Indonesia professor)
8. Prof Franz Magnis Suseno
9. Dr Abdul Malik
10. Dr Fadhil Hasan
11. Dr Connie Bakrie
12. Sidratun Naim, PhD
13. Prof Lukman Hakim (former LIPI chairperson)
14. Andri BS Sudibyo
15. Bursah Zarnubi
16. Prof Widi Agoes Pratikto (Surabaya Institute of Technology)
17. Prof Hermanto Siregar (Bogor Institute of Agriculture)
18. Dr Anthony Budiawan
19. Dr H Abustan (Jakarta Islamic University)
20. And other figures who have signed this petition

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Akademisi Bikin Petisi ke Jokowi, Tolak Peleburan Eijkman Ke BRIN".]

Source: https://kabar24.bisnis.com/read/20220109/15/1486862/akademisi-bikin-petisi-ke-jokowi-tolak-peleburan-eijkman-ke-bri