13 July 2010

Legislation Targets in Indonesia...

The Indonesian way with legislation is for the parliament to set targets regarding how much legislation it is going to pass in a five year parliamentary term.

This is then broken down into annual targets. Within these annual targets there is some flexibility to ensure that the parliament has the ability to deal with emergency legislation that might arise as a result on an emerging and urgent happening, such as a global financial crisis for example.

The system also allows for the parliament to prioritise certain pieces of legislation where there is a specific need to ne met.

This system is known as the National Legislation Program (or Program Legislasi Nasional / Prolegnas). The 2010 legislation target was 70 bills. Yes, 70 pieces of important legislation were listed for passage throughout the parliamentary sittings designated for 2010. It is now July 2010, the Indonesian parliament has successfully managed to pass 0 of those targeted bills.

Yes, that is right readers, the Indonesian parliament has not managed to pass a single piece of legislation in 2010. The prolegnas for 2010 has been revised to just 17 pieces of legislation to be passed in 2010. Of these 17 pieces of legislation the two biggest priorities for the parliament are supposedly defense related; a defense cooperation bill with Russia and a ratification of a MOU with Brunei on similar defense issues. Meanwhile, the other priority legislation that the parliament wants to pass in what is left of this year include, among others, bills on immigration, fund transfers, money laundering, clemency, and public accountants.

There is little wonder that the parliament is roundly criticised for its work ethic and being nothing more than a junket where members seek to exploit the public purse in any way that they can. Based on this alone, it would be reasonable to argue that the current members are not earning their salaries, they are an embarrassment to themselves and to their constituents and to the country.

However, in that funny in a perverse kind of a way, the return of the parliament on Monday amid renewed calls for better and more consistent performance nearly did not get underway. The parliament barely managed to meet quorum in terms of members present. The failure of so many members to attend the session was written off to post-World Cup Final fever. Yet, like anything else, staying up late to watch football is hardly an excuse to skip work the next day!

Quite simply, the Indonesian people want better and they deserve better. Members of the Indonesian parliament shame, shame, shame on you as your performance record is a sad joke and a poor reflection on you!

This final image was just one that I found while searching the internet for images of the DPR. Unfortunately, it the place where I located it did not say what year it was taken, but it looks like it is an old one. If anyone who reads these rants of mine has any idea on when this picture might be dated, feel free to leave a comment with what you know.


H. Nizam said...

Hi Rob,
Very nice post.
The DPR seems to have a tradition to set their goals a lot much higher than what they can actually achieve.
Beside very lazy, all they can do is complaining and blaming.
That's why Gus Dur dubbed members of DPR/MPR as kindergarten students.

Rob Baiton said...



Beg to differ on whether the expectation is too high. I do not necessarily think that 70 pieces of legislation is too much.

The process certainly needs some tweaking and there needs to be much greater clarification on what the consultation process is and how that process works so that all stakeholders know what is going on and when.

However, the truth seems to be that the DPR is just not up to getting the job done. Maybe it is laziness or maybe it is that those elected to office are not up to the task. Whatever, the case maybe, there is good reason to change.

Nah, not kindergarten, I would expect more from kindergarten (and get it) :D

umihoney said...

The voters in the constituencies may not know that this is happening. Maybe some of these elected representatives get elected coz they are popular even though they don't deliver. A well informed voters may effect a change so desired.

Rob Baiton said...

@ Umihoney...

Maybe they do not know. Then again, perhaps those voters do not have such high expectations anyway. It might even be quiet resignation to the fact that complaining about it is not going to make an iota of difference in the short term.

Yes, well-informed voters might effect change if they so desire. The question is one of desire.

I think that the Indonesia voting population is a little more informed than they are given credit for. However, it is a democratic system where there is not compulsory voting. So, it is possible that those elected do not represent the majority as a whole but rather the majority of those who voted on the day.

The idea of public service to me is that it is one of the highest callings one can undertake in their lifetime. Nevertheless, I am not naive enough to think that there are not those who see a spot on a parliamentary ticket as a means of guaranteeing their financial future.

rani said...

Well-informed voters might make change if there were qualified candidates to be elected in the first place.

Rob Baiton said...

@ Rani...

Good point!

I think qualified people are out there. Whether or not they are on the ticket or not is a different story.