A study done by Harvard Kennedy School and Rajawali Foundation resulted that reforms have played a big role in changing economic, political, social and cultural orders. Although it was difficult in that period to imagine a change due to authoritarian system backed up by military support, it is negated by the birth of the reform. “Military power which we had imagined to be difficult to be shifted to civilian in fact happened,” said Prof. Dr. Muhadjir Darwin, M.P.A. at the Center’s office, Wednesday (9/2).
Discussing a book entitled Indonesia Decides Its Fate: from Reform to Institutional Transformation, Muhadjir said that the book discusses the political and government transformation, particularly with the emergence of democratic and decentralization process. In the book, it is admitted that economic advancement after reform did occur but slower than other Asian countries. “It seems that the unavailabilty of transformation institutionally has caused problems,” the Head of Center for Demography and Policy Studies of UGM explained.
This book puts economic advancement as the goal and social (institutional) transformation as the instrument. Unfortunately, there is no analysis for achievement of social goals such as POLI and MDG’s. “Therefore, it is very difficult to explain cigarettes issue, women workers and underground economy as saviors of crisis of 1997 up to now,” Muhadjir added.
Responding to the 222-page book published by Kompas, Prof. Mudrajad Kuncoro, Ph.D., the Head of Economic Sciences Department, Faculty of Economics and Business UGM gave opinion that institutional transformation inherits a past which heavily burdens the quality of existing institutions. Although the reform has changed most formal institutional infrastructures of the New Order, the new institutions still seem “locked”. According to Mudrajad, the reform should make a step farther from the changes in formal order of institutions. Therefore, Indonesia needs to transform institutions immediately to gain the biggest profit from globalization. “Therefore, it needs effort to avoid the trap of over-dependence on natural resources and wages of workers in manufacture industries which are seen as low,” he explained.