The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia, Professor Mahfud MD, stated that the 2024 election of Indonesia will likely remain transactional.
This is because the per capita income of most of the Indonesian population is still low, making it prone for politicians to ‘buy’ votes.
“Our elections will still be transactional because the per capita income is still low. Our democracy will improve if the per capita income rises to USD 5,500. It’s only at USD 4,500,” said the coordinating minister during a public lecture organized by the UGM Directorate of Student Affairs at UGM on Friday (October 6).
The statement about the quality of democracy being related to a country’s per capita income, Coordinating Minister Mahfud admitted, was cited from a speech by Professor Boediono, a professor of economics at the UGM Faculty of Economics and Business, who previously served as vice president from 2009 to 2014.
According to him, transactional politics involves the buying and selling of votes between candidates and voters and happens among candidates and political parties.
Although the democratic system in place is not perfect, it is currently considered the best system of governance.
The imperfections in democracy can pose risks to the people, including the risk of choosing the wrong leaders, transactional politics, and the emergence of self-praising liars in front of the public.
“Democracy is still considered the best because it involves the people periodically and regularly to meet the demands and needs of society,” Professor Mahfud MD said.
Regarding the suboptimal law enforcement, he attributed it to the increasing practice of buying and selling law conducted by law enforcement officials.
“There is something called the legal industry, where the payer makes legal regulations, or there is a practice of buying and selling laws,” he stated.
To address these issues, Professor Mahfud MD mentioned that they are currently reforming the legal system in the country by forming a legal reform acceleration team.
To tackle various issues related to democracy law and improve corruption handling in the future, he emphasized the need for leaders and justice enforcers with integrity, competence, and authority.
“We need to bring forth individuals with integrity, competence, and a sense of nationhood to become leaders in government and state institutions so that our democracy and law can improve,” he concluded.
Author: Gusti Grehenson