During a public discussion titled “Revitalize DPD As the Lower Chamber of Parliament” (03/07), an expert on constitutional law, Saldi Isra, argues that the Parliament should revitalize the role of Local Representative Chamber (DPD) as the lower chamber of the Parliament. DPD should not be a mere accessory to Indonesian democracy where they do not have sufficient authority to challenge the decision made by the higher chamber.
“No matter how weak DPD is compared to the higher chambers, they still have the rights to reject any bill formulated by the higher chambers,” says Saldi in Jakarta (03/07).
According to Saldi, the public should never worry that, if DPD has equal authority with the National Parliament (DPR), then the Parliament will be more indolent in producing laws. It can be resolved by setting up strict rule upfront that forbid parliament members to delay the passing of a law.
“In the United States, to prevent any delay in passing a law, there is a regulation that regulate how long parliament is allowed to delay a bill,” says Saldi.
Saldo then says that poorly managed parliament institution has caused the legislative body to be sluggish in producing laws. In Netherlands and Japan, Saldi says, the parliament is able to produce more than one hundreds laws in a year. Indonesia is only able to produce 30 laws a year.
“This ineffectiveness is not caused by the bicameral system, but by poorly executed parliament management. We need to improve this situation by setting up a rule to improve parliament’s productivity,” says Saldi.