Political Observer from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Dr. Mada Sukmajati, assessed that President Joko Widodo’s second term of administration has no longer involved public participation in supporting his policy-making. It was different compared to his first term in which he used to involve the level of public participation to carry out the effectiveness of his government. As proof, KPK recently detained two of his ministers over their involvement in corruption scandals.
Even one of the arrested ministers once generated a controversial policy that ignited various diverse public opinions. Yet, it all seemed as if he let that controversy arise and didn’t really put enough response until KPK's sting operation. “It seems that Pak Jokowi throws over public participation because he feels capable of dealing with political parties alone or even has been already integrated to the political power itself,” said Mada Sukmajati in response to the ministerial performance evaluation and Jokowi’s possible cabinet reshuffle at the end of the year, Wednesday (16/12).
The two ministers, Edhi Prabowo and Juliari Batubara, according to Mada, both came from political parties, which were similar to the previous graft-involved ministers from the first term, Idrus Marham and Imam Nahrawi. He argued ministers from parties have the potential to commit corrupt practices in policy-making within the ministry. This is because they often become the parties’ source of funding. “It is an open secret that those of high-level positions in ministries, state-owned enterprises, and institutions have been cash cows for the parties to run their organizations, campaigns, and improve their public image,” he said.
According to him, Jokowi’s plan to replace the Social and Fisheries Minister positions, whose prospective candidates are still from political parties, could be momentum for Jokowi to restore public trust. “It is not easy for President Jokowi to escape the shackles of the parties. His leadership will be tested in this reshuffle, if not, it will give birth to the same phenomenon of the upcoming potential of corruption scandals by his ministers,” he said.
Regarding the criteria for the soon-to-be-elected ministerial candidates, he suggested that Jokowi considers the aspects of integrity, competence, and their political parties’ pressure-free degree. “It is not only about performance, but integrity and politics because ministers are not completely free from political pressure,” he explained.
Besides, Mada also suggested that Jokowi re-engage public participation to support each of his policies. This is because currently, the public thinks that President Jokowi has been consolidated by the oligarchy of political parties. “President Jokowi needs to open himself to the energy of public participation when dealing with political parties,” he concluded.
Author: Gusti Grehenson