The Situation of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) is shameful and It needs the National Solution

By : Lieutenant General (Ret) Soedibyo

The internal conflict between two groups of the members of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) had happened affected likely by pro and contra attitude to the predicted excessive budget allocated to the Speaker of Regional Representatives Council (DPD)  that was apparently this leaders of this High State Institution  to have no clear mission and important responsible job  considering  it from the National  Interest and  People Necessity points of view. This situation had apparently become complicated because of the involvement of Law, Regulation and unclear background of implementation of  the Regulation and last but not least the lack of understanding to the background history of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD).

This possible cynical attitude was definitely an understood feeling because there is no clear relation and cooperation between the activities of the House of Representatives (DPR) and the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) which  both of them are designed to struggle for the national interest and people’s necessity, but not any  remarkable output of the Regional Representative Council (DPD)  has been recorded.

There are two important national interest and people’s necessity that could not be definitely neglected those are all efforts to maintain the National Unity attitude as the basic element for the Unitary States of The Republic of Indonesia (NKRI)   to prevent the rise of the idea for the establishment of the United States Republic of Indonesia (RIS) and uniting the Nusantara island avoiding the rise of separatism. The important existence of the Regional Representative Council (DPD) should definitely be seen from these  these points of view.

Accordingly the existence of the Regional Representative Council (DPD) is highly important accordingly it should be maintained proportionally and to give it the firm mission and the highly  responsible jobs  fully based on the background of  interest and necessity  to establish the strong and firm Unitary State of the Republic of  Indonesia (NKRI) and the strong and firm Great Indonesia.

This article is intended to review the historical background of  the existence and establishment of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) as the important high State Institution and the background of the national interest and necessity of its establishment.

This article is also intended to raise the possible idea on the  way to solve the problem and  the internal conflict  also the possibly idea needed to  unite all the members of the Regional Representatives Council.

The historical background of the establishment of the  Regional Representatives Council (DPD)  is started with the history of the fall  of the New Oder and the establishment of the Reformation Order as the new Indonesian Era. People tend to neglect the national history though apparently we always say our oath to struggle for the sake of the existence and the strength of the Great Indonesia.

On the year of 1998 President Suharto  declared  his decision to  stop occupying  his responsible position as the President of The Republic of Indonesia. President Soeharto said he did  not resign  from his responsible position  as the President of The Republic of Indonesia but he stopped his responsibility as the President of the Republic of Indonesia  since May 13, 1998. Accordingly he officially conveyed his responsible job as President of the Republic of Indonesia  to Vice President BJ Habibie.

After  President Suharto declared his decision to stop occupying  his  responsible  position as the President of the Republic of Indonesia (May 13, 1998) and  conveyed   the President job to BJ Habibie, Harmoko the Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly  (MPR) held the General Assembly Meeting to make the Decision to dismantle the President  position of General Suharto and to promulgate BJ Habiie as the President of The Republic of Indonesia.

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Accordingly historically General Suharto stopped his Presidency because of his own wish he was not toppled by  the mass demonstration who had occupied the People’s Consultative Assembly  (MPR) Building. General Suharto stopped occupying his responsible   position  as the President of the Republic of Indonesia  because a big parts of his Ministers had resigned from the Cabinet and he realize he could not work anymore. President Suharto had also ask a group of selected Indonesian figures to support him to solve the critical situation at that moment, but no positive response is given by them.

Under President BJ Habibie  the era of the New Order came to  an End and The Reformation  Order  was starting.  The security situation was vulnerable for the physical conflict  among groups  and the Political  Life was chaos  and needed  the fundamental step to solve.

For this purpose the Political System of the New Order should  be legally abolished  and all Law on Political System of  the New Order should be  dismissed. And then the Political System of the Reformation Order that they – who do not like to the New Order – consider  more bigger Human Right Principles among others the Freedom  of Expression and  the Freedom of Movement are applied.

The People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) under the Speaker of Harmoko  held  its Special General Assembly Meeting in the year of 2000. In this Special General Assembly Meeting Law on Political Party and Social Organization applied during the  New Order period were abolished.

The  People’s Consultative Assembly  (MPR) that was conducting the Special General Assembly Meeting in the year of  2000 was the last  People’s Consultative  Assembly  (MPR) founded during the New Order as the result of the General Election of 1998  designed  to work from 1998 until 2023.

Realizing the situation to have changed after the  Special General Assembly  Meeting the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) under the Speaker of Harmoko  was ending its term and the first People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR)  of the Reformation Order under the Speaker of Amien Rais was founded. In this new People’s Consultative Assembly  (MPR) it  was decided the foundation of the Regional Representative Faction based on the number of the Provinces of Indonesia in the year  of 2000. In the New Order Era  the Regional Elements in the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) were represented by the Great Family of Golkar.

The  Special General Assembly Meeting of the year of 2000 which was held  to abolish   the Law on Political Party  and the Law on  Social Organization applied during the New Order then  the Working Term of the People’s  Consultative Assembly (MPR) under the Speaker of Harmoko was ended.

The General Assembly Meeting  of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) held in the year  of 2000 as the last People’s  Consultative   Assembly (MPR) of the New Order which work loyally  based on the Constitution of  the year of 45  had apparently inspired the Reform Activists to hold the General Assembly Meeting of The People’s Consultative Assembly  (MPR) under the Speaker of Amien Rais to amend  the Constitution of the year of 45 in line with the struggle  of the Reformation Order. Though this idea was rejected by the majority of the Indonesian People who had struggled for the National Independence in 1945 but this idea was forced by the Supporters of the Reformation Order and the General Assembly Meeting  of the new People’s  Consultative Assembly (MPR)  to amend the Constitution of 45 was held  on the  Year  of 2002 and ended in the year of 2004 led by Amien Rais.  The Product   of the amended Constitution 45 was approved  by President Megawati. In this amendment all articles of the Constitution of the year of 45 had been changed, the only permanent part of the Constitution 45 as its origin  is the Opening or the Pre-ambule of the Constitution. Accordingly the amended Constitution of 2004 is permanently called the Constitution 45.

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In this amended Constitution is was decided the establishment  three  High State Institution indicating the country  of Indonesia  highly respects the People’s Sovereignty namely :  The Regional Representative Council (DPD) ; the House of Representatives  (DPR);  and The People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR).

The first Regional Representative Council (DPD) was founded  based on the result of the General Election of  of 2004 that had its working term  until the year of 2009.

The Second Regional Representatives Council (DPD) was founded based on the result of the General Election  of 2009  and to have the working term  until 2014.

The Third Regional Representative Council was founded based on the result of The General Election of  2014 and to have the working term until 2019 under the Speaker of Irman Gusman. In the beginning of the term of the Third Regional Representatives Council (DPD) there was a proposal to change  the working term of the Speaker of The Regional Representatives (DPD) from 5 to 2,5 years but it was rejected by Irman Gusman.

Unfortunately  Irman Gusman was detained by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) because  of criminal accusation and he should resign from his job as the Speaker of the Regional Representative Council and replaced by M Saleh.  Under M Saleh as the Speaker of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) the proposal to change the Working Term of the Speaker of The Regional Representatives Council  from 5 to 2,5 years was approved by the Plenum Meeting of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) and The Regulation and Order No 1 of the Year of 2017 was made and conveyed to the Supreme Court for approval. This Proposal was approved by the Supreme Court however the Chairman of The Supreme Court Hatta Ali was out of the Country, he was going to Mekkah for Umroh. The approval has been likely approved by the Vice Chairman of the Supreme Court Soekardi.

The Regulation and Order No 1 of the year of 2017 was then apparently terminated by Chairman of theSupreme Court Hatta Ali and the working term  of the Speaker  of  The Regional Representative Council was back to 5 years again. However apparently Oesman Sapta Odang (OSO) the Chairman of the Hanura Party agreed to be appointed and promulgated as the Speaker of the Regional Representatives Council  with  working term of 2,5 years (2017-2019)

Since then the members of the Regional Representatives Council has split into  two groups, the first Group keeps  supporting the old Regulation and Order No 1 of the year 2014 that the working  term of The Speaker of The Regional Representative Council DPD) is 5 years and the second group wishes the working term of the Speaker of The Regional Representatives Council (DPD) to be changed from 5 to 2,5 years.

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Unpredictably the approval of the Supreme Court to the Regulation and Order No 1 of the year of 2017 is terminated by likely the Chairman of The Supreme Court Hatta Ali and the  Working  Term  was back to The Regulation and Order No 1 of the year of 2014  (working term of 5 years).

This split had made the situation in the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) has been full of conflict and chaos. The most serious incidence happened on April 3, 2017 in the Plenum Meeting led by GKR Hemas. The similar conflicts had happened again when OSO tried to lead the Plenum Meeting of The Regional Representative Council (DPD). Vice President JK described the situation of the Regional Representatives  Council  as  shameful and creating  the Indonesian image abroad is not respected.  The situation is worse because the presence of OSO as the Speaker of the Regional Representatives  Council (DPD)  is considered  illegal and becomes the additional factor of the internal conflict. A significant number of the members of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) are opposing him.

The expression of Vice President Jusuf Kalla that what happened in the Regional Representatives Council is shameful  to be indicating  not any one of  the Government Compartment felt concerning and also no other High State Institution, mainly The People’s Consultative  Assembly (MPR) and The House of   Representatives (DPR),  to have paid serious attention. People likely start to question why these  High State Institution (The People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), The House of Representatives (DPR) and any Government Compartment Kabinet) took quiet attitude concerning   this shameful situation of The  Regional Representatives Council.

Since the involvement of  the High State Institution to support  solving the problem happened in the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) it is definitely  important, it is likely necessary President Jokowi as the Head of the State to take steps to coordinate all the High State Institution to discuss the matter  together.

General analysis

From the general analysis it tend to be sure the core reason of the problem is likely clear because the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) to have  no apparently  any clear mission and responsible job. Likely a certain kind of jealousy to have happened among  the members of the Regional Representative Council (DPD) to the Speaker of this high State Institution who is predicted to have enjoyed  a big number  of operational budget but without clear output of job.

So it is definitely important the discussion among those High State Institution, mainly The People’s Consultative Assembly  (MPR) and the House of Representatives (DPR)  and the Government Compartment concerns under the coordination of the President Jokowi to be necessary held  to design the clear and firm  description of the mission and the responsibility job of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) including its Speaker.

*)Written by Political and Security Observer. The former of State Intelligence Coordination Agency (BAKIN) chief.

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