10 December 2007

Dissolving State Institutions - KPK

The recent selection process to choose the five new commissioners of the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi / KPK) has concluded with the choosing of the Chairperson. The Chairperson was a controversial choice even as a member of the commission let alone as its Chairperson. The general reaction from the community has been negative. Even with calls to have the KPK disbanded and remembered only in the annals of history.

Yet, even with the controversy which has been as much conjecture and rumor as substantiated factual evidence. The reality is that if the evidence is available then it should be made public and the persons it involves called to account. The bickering over the process being political is naive at best. Another unfortunate reality for those so bitterly complaining about the individuals chosen must remember that it is their representatives, those very people elected by them, who are tasked with appointing five of the more than 1000 applicants to the KPK.

Even of the performance of the new KPK is bad then there is quite obviously a degree of accountability that must be assumed by the Commission III of the House of Representatives as it was this Commission that was tasked with vetting the applicants through interviews as well as a fit and proper test. The hope is that this KPK will do better than the last KPK, but this is an eternal hope of humanity that the next generation is and does better than the generation previous. If it is not then we go back to the drawing board and see how we can do things differently in an attempt to get them right.

Nevertheless, this begs the question: Is the solution to all of Indonesia's myriad problems as simple as disbanding an institution if it does not work as it is supposed to or does not provide the result that it should or does not achieve as much as it might? Because if this is the case then the House of Representatives must be disbanded because of the slow pace at which it passes legislation, the courts must be disbanded because they work too slowly and do not always satisfy the communities expectations, the police force and the public prosecution service must be disbanded because they do not achieve outcomes as they are expected to. While we are disbanding things all NGOs are to be disbanded as well because they too have failed in their primary mission of advocating for the little person and making our lives better.

Disbanding the organization is not the way to go...making organizations more effective in accomplishing their respective tasks is the key. There is a need for greater institutional support, public - private partnerships, and a greater role for civil society. If over time these things are allowed to evolve then the outcomes we all so badly want to see will come to fruition in our lifetimes.

Disbanding the KPK is not the answer...the answer is in selecting the right candidates for the job. If the House cannot do the job then the selection process needs to be looked at in terms of how it can be improved.

There is also a need for qualified candidates with corruption fighting credentials to toss their collective hats into the ring and face the selection music. Standing on the outside looking in makes it easy to criticise hiding behind the cover of oversight. If you see it as being broken then you need to have the courage of your convictions to step in and fix it, or at least try. Yet, it is easier to stand on the outside because one is not constrained by the bureaucracy or the law but can make broad ranging statements appealing to the intense emotions that corruption cases generate. It is an unfortunate consequence that the law sometimes provides a legally correct outcome but does not provide the justice that the community craves or perhaps even deserves.

There is no greater calling than public service. The idea of giving back to a community that has given us so much is an honorable pursuit. This reminds me of Robert F. Kennedy who said "each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope...". If each of us was to send forth a tiny ripple of hope our world would be a much greater place for our efforts. So, perhaps it is time that we collectively ask in the words of George Bernard Shaw "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'Why not?'"

1 comment:

Anggara said...

ufortunately, disbanding of KPK become on of the choice from the founfer of YLBHI. I clearly disagree with him. Even if the chairperson of KPK arising big controversy still disbanding is not the best and possible choice. hey can't i choose another identity now?