July 15, 2024

Democratization of the Public Sector

Early in 2016 the Asean Economic Community (AEC/MEA) has been implemented. This AEC implementation brings about Indonesian existence in Southeast Asia, especially in the political field. Although it is dynamic, this sector gives effects to other sectors.

The dynamics of this sector in the long run will affect education, social and cultural sectors. Therefore, politics must be strengthened to deal with AEC. The objective is to make sure that AEC implementation will not weaken political sector, which indirectly politics will weaken the AEC existence if this sector is not managed professionally.

One of the political roles in Indonesia to face AEC is to strengthen the understanding of democracy. One way is to transform cultural diversity into an institution. As Unity in Diversity country, AEC makes Indonesia as the “benchmark” of peaceful democratic diversity country.

Indonesia, as the largest Moslem country in the world, has been in the spotlight in this sector. Indonesia is able to maintain ethnic diversity across religions and ideologies. This is realized by fully protected minority by the country. Although, from decade to decade there are some groups that are still not ready for democracy. For example, a group that introduce slogans of hatred that confuse the philosophy of religion. These groups need to get a little insight on how to apply the Five Indonesian tenets (Pancasila) deeply and correctly.

In AEC era, a fight that Indonesian will face is not only competition among Indonesian, but also among citizens from other countries. Competition among Indonesian themselves are not well-accommodated, as human rights have not been fully put into practice yet in society and nation.

Values appreciation in facing the AEC has to be “revolutionized”, particularly in the internal of Indonesia, in prioritizing the human rights. This what makes Indonesian tolerate competitions not hatred. If Indonesian face ACE with that attitude and understanding, there are positive expectations that Indonesia will play a major role in AEC -with good democracy that gives equal rights to its citizens.

Roles of the State

Institutionalizing stronger democratic values in AEC era is a challenge for Indonesia as Indonesia is in the position expected to be a pilot country-massive AEC existence will not distance Indonesia with humanity.  The state gives dominant position to democratize the areas that will help the development of the AEC to the lives of many egalitarians.

Politically, the country positions itself as the manager of this system, so that no majority formed oligarchy nor minority eliminated. The position of a country which democratize in politics will nourish other systems-especially on permits application in AEC implementation.

Public sector becomes an important area that needs to be prioritized if Indonesia wants to succeed in AEC. If public sectors, such as bureaucracy is dominated by people who do not have the readiness, such as people who are accustomed to seeking profits in the bureaucracy-they will take advantage of looking for private benefits in this matter- then this will be a problem to get good service in this sector.

Bureaucracy-minded politicians or politician-minded bureaucracy is a disease that continues to rot in key areas of public services in Indonesia. We realize or even experience it themselves, bureaucrats are not friendly in servicing us/citizens. Thus, bad service and information we often experience. In fact, Law No. 14/2008 regarding public disclosure teaches openness to state institutions that can be accessed and known by the society.

These unhealthy mentalities exist in the Province / Regency / City offices. Accessible and transparent website management are difficult to get if we want to get quick access or information. In the end, these offices through the bureaucracy give them as “project” to certain people that benefit them such as their family, groups or certain ethnics.

Democratization of the public sector is not a lightweight matter, which is only discussed at a discourse level. It, however, must be realized with a real involvement of the public sector to show openness. If the sector is good, the people will be more easily in facing intense and dominant competition of AEC.  The economy will show positive side, if licensing problem, openness and corruption can be solved easily and quickly.

Thus, the state plays an important role in conducting democratization in all sectors in the society, especially politics. By doing so, Indonesia will become an example of other countries. How can we compete in AEC? By creating a good state order-one for all, all for one- which does not eliminate the humanitarian solidarity by taking side to all levels of society.


Columnist, A Political Science Of University of Andalas Alumnus

Translated by SL