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#39254 - 23 Dec 06 01:20 JP/Bureaucratic reform needs a push, forum hears
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Pujangga Besar

Registered: 24 Apr 08
Posts: 7508
Loc: Jakarta
Bureaucratic reform needs a push, forum hears

Harry Bhaskara, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia needs to create an "island of integrity" as part of efforts to end the bureaucratic reform stalemate, a discussion here heard.

Roy Salomo of the University of Indonesia says South Korea used this method to remodel its bureaucracy with some success.

"Good governance is only jargon in Indonesia. It is being reduced to a mere political commodity, perhaps because of the practice of corruption," Salomo said.

His was one of several ideas presented Tuesday during a discussion at the Habibie Center on how to reform the bureaucracy.

Joel Hellman of the World Bank said no bureaucracy in the world would reform itself.

"The only way to reform the bureaucracy in Indonesia is when the president forces it to reform. This is the way if you want a comprehensive reform," says Hellman during the discussion, jointly organized by the Habibie Center and the London-based think tank AccountAbility.

Hellman said bureaucratic reform was the most fundamental of all reforms.

"But, remarkably, little has been done in bureaucratic reform (in Indonesia)," he said.

Dewi Anwar, the Habibie Center's program director who moderated the discussion, said part of the difficulty in revamping the country's bureaucracy stemmed from insecurity.

"The Indonesian bureaucracy is politically and financially insecure," she said.

Other speakers at the discussion included Bali's Jembrana Regent I Gede Winasa, Bontang Mayor Sofyan Haslam and Aditya Perdana from Kinship for Public Service, a non-governmental organization.

Dewi challenged the forum to find a way to end the stalemate over bureaucratic reform.

"Given the reform stalemate and an indecisive President, what has to be done now?" she asked.

The forum, featuring about 50 participants, concluded that there had to be a concerted effort from all of society to force the government to improve the bureaucracy.

Regent Winasa expressed bewilderment over the way the central government spent its budget.

"Give me the budget and I will free the people from potholes and high education and health costs," Winasa says.

The national budget of Rp 2 million per head, Winasa said, is much higher than Jembrana's Rp 1.3 million per head, and yet there are no potholes in Jembrana and no school fees up to high school.

"Health services only cost Rp 27,000 for anyone in Jembrana," he said.

Excellent education and health services are also enjoyed by residents of Bontang, a town in East Kalimantan.

"We employ a pre-paid health system in which doctors are paid less when more people are sick and the reverse," Bontang Mayor Sofyan Haslam said.

With regard to clean water, he said every resident would have access to this most basic need by the end of this year.

Jembrana and Bontang are two of about half a dozen regions in Indonesia with reputations for good governance.

Sofyan said his next goal was to improve education standards in Bontang.

"By 2009 every senior high school graduate will have to be able to speak English fluently," he said.

Siti Zuhro, research manager at the Habibie Center, said the future of the country was in the regions.

"The central government has never made accountability indicators. If the central government is not capable of doing this, the regions will take over," she said. "It is clear that resourcefulness is very evident in the regions. This is the era of the regions."

The conclusion of the discussion echoed a remark by Anwar Ibrahim, former deputy prime minister of Malaysia, during an earlier session. "Every component in the society should work together to make sure that accountability works in all sectors, including in the government and corporate sectors," he said in reply to a question.

Anwar, who delivered a keynote speech earlier in the morning, pointed to Hong Kong as a good example of a government with accountability.

"Look at Hong Kong in 2006, it is relatively the cleanest government in the region. When you looked at it in the 1960s, it was impossible," he says.
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#39269 - 23 Dec 06 02:37 Re: JP/Bureaucratic reform needs a push, forum hears [Re: KuKuKaChu]
riccardo Offline

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
It all starts with the rule of law. And that means, specifically, the corrupt judges and prosecutors in this country must go! They need to be replaced, en masse, by UN-recruited judges from the 10 least corrupt countries in the world.

More on this in the thread "A MODEST PROPOSAL" in
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.


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