Who Benefits from Economic Nationalism?

Ditulis Oleh :
Aninda Dewayanti (Penerima Bakrie Graduate Fellowship Rajaratnam School of International Studies Nanyang Technological University 2017)

Indonesia’s presidential candidates have been stepping up their campaigns. Much like in 2014, each camp claims strong nationalist credentials when it comes to the economy. Back then Prabowo Subianto set the nationalist tone and Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was often viewed as the more liberal, technocratic type on economic questions.

What has changed this time around? When it comes to Prabowo, the answer is — not much. Prabowo is using exactly the same nationalist playbook as he did in 2014. He claims Indonesia’s current economic system is based on “the economics of stupidity” because of the privatization of lands by foreign investors and the country’s dependence on loans.

In his 2017 book, Paradoks Indonesia (Indonesian Paradox), he argued that despite being a resource-abundant country, Indonesia has experienced an “outflow of national natural resources” because of mismanagement, wrong economic direction and defective elites. He reassures his constituents he could make Indonesia “stand on its own feet” by relying on its national wealth to be self-sufficient (swasembada) and independent of foreign oppression.

He reiterates food imports would destroy the people and weaken the economy. Yet, his target audience for this narrative is hardly identified.
None of Prabowo’s anti-colonial, anti-imperialist and protectionist themes are new. He has consistently used these topes since the 2014 election by condemning foreign actors who were draining Indonesia’s wealth, a characteristic that Australian scholar Edward Aspinall called the “new nationalism”.

However his running mate, Sandiaga Uno, has given a more nuanced view. Sandiaga has been more pragmatic in talking about the economy, even expressing openness for foreign investors and the private sector in Indonesia’s economic growth, especially in the infrastructure and energy sectors.

Sandiaga’s pragmatism in the Prabowo camp is mainly for balancing his running mate’s narrative on the economy. Still, Sandiaga supports the big idea of self-sufficiency and domestic capacity for supplying commodities. He focuses more on domestic economic challenges, such as high commodity prices and a lack of job opportunities, which is aimed at women and the millennials. Yet, the fragmented narrative in Prabowo’s camp is a tricky situation because it makes its narrative inconsistent.
What about Jokowi? It seems that Jokowi was sensitive to claims back in 2014 that he was not nationalist enough and now both his presidency and his campaign have been marked by assertive nationalism.

During his first term in office, Jokowi laid the groundwork to ensure that by 2019 he had kicked plenty of nationalist goals. In December 2018, after three-and-a-half years of negotiations, the government finally declared it had acquired the majority (51 percent) stake in the PT Freeport Indonesia gold mine. Jokowi also directed the state-owned oil and gas company, Pertamina, to acquire the Mahakam gas block in Kalimantan and the Rokan oil block in Riau back on Jan. 1 and July 31 respectively.

Through his social media account, Jokowi expressed his gratitude and commitment “[…] to strive for the national sovereignty of the country’s natural resources through the state’s control of oil and gas”.

These achievements have become a useful tool for Jokowi. For example, when the opposition’s camp accused Jokowi of being pro-foreigner, he defended himself by citing his achievements in retrieving the assets of Indonesia’s natural resources. On Chinese migration, Jokowi claimed that China hosts more than 80,000 Indonesian migrant workers, while Indonesia hosts only 24,000 Chinese workers.

As Australian professor Greg Fealy says, Jokowi has also been establishing the reputation needed to prove his nationalist credentials through economic growth and rapid development.

Jokowi’s nationalism, while assertive, often has a defensive ring to it and looks like a political tool to insulate himself from Prabowo’s aggressive and divisive nationalist attacks, in case they affect his popularity.

However, how much do Indonesians actually care about nationalizing the countries resources? A survey by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in 2017 indicated that people consider the most important issues facing Indonesia today to be corruption, economic management and growth, infrastructure and transportation.

So whose nationalism are the candidates fighting for? Are their narratives on economic nationalism useful for overcoming these vital economic issues? Eventually, Indonesians need to be convinced by the candidates’ blueprints for the next five years, instead of by superficial debates on who is the most nationalist man in the room.



Credit : The Jakarta Post


So Much for Eradicating Corruption in Indonesia


Ditulis Oleh :
Aninda Dewayanti (Penerima Bakrie Graduate Fellowship Rajaratnam School of International Studies Nanyang Technological University 2017)

Over the past week, tens of thousands of university students and activists gathered in some of the biggest simultaneous rallies across the Indonesian archipelago in decades to voice grave concerns over recent moves by their government.

Among many demands, they have focused most on calling President Joko Widodo to revoke an amended law, which they say significantly clips the powers of Indonesia’s anti-graft agency, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

The amended law was passed by the Indonesian parliament barely two weeks ago, just before its term comes to an end in end-September. Police inspector-general Firli Bahuri was also sworn in as KPK chief, despite concerns over unresolved allegations of ethical misconduct.


Many Indonesians are concerned about various controversial aspects of the huge amendments to the KPK law, the first since its establishment in 2002. First, the revised law formally ends KPK’s status as an independent body that can carry out investigations without interference from other arms of government.

Through the establishment of a committee to oversee the KPK, it provides for legislative and executive powers to be exercised in the investigation and prosecution of graft cases, allowing lawmakers and powerful leaders, often the target of KPK investigations, to kill off inquiries before they begin.

This committee will also have say over the KPK’s operational methods, including whether it can carry out wiretaps, yet the law does not specify criteria for the approval of a wiretapping request, nor impose a time limit to come to a decision concerning the request. Second, as a new arm of the government, the KPK will now draw people from the civil service, including the police.

Apart from questions over whether bringing in non-investigators into the KPK might dilute organisational performance, it might also give rise to conflict of interests if this leads to the KPK becoming less willing to investigate the public sector.

Third, the law requires that the KPK discontinue prosecution and investigation processes that have lapsed after two years. But the most serious, egregious corruption cases in Indonesia, such as the ongoing seven-year investigation on the electronic identity card (E-KTP) corruption, which saw former House Speaker Setya Novanto convicted with embezzlement, need more time.

Established in 2002 to facilitate clean governance, the KPK has achieved an astonishing 100 per cent conviction rate, and contributed immensely to improving Indonesia’s position in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, from a position of 122 in 2003 to 89 in 2018.

The KPK’s performance has been outstanding, albeit the harsh political environment it works in and the push-back it has received from the police. It would be a pity if the KPK is now held back from its role of cracking down on corruption and preserving integrity in Indonesia.

Past attempts at revision of the KPK law had failed to win over public opinion in a country where the KPK is revered. So parliament’s passing of sweeping changes despite massive protests was shocking, especially considering how quickly it was finalised over three meetings, where the norm is for laws to be deliberated over many months.

Deputy Speaker of the House Fahri Hamzah has argued that the KPK has failed to build a foundation to solve corruption for the long term, despite having been allocated a big portion of government budget. Similarly, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko claimed that the anti-graft agency has hampered investment. These despite the Investment Coordinating Board’s data showing that the KPK’s anti-corruption drive has been a positive force in attracting foreign investments.

According to the Indonesia Corruption Watch, there have been over 250 members and former members of parliament named suspects in graft cases in over the past five years, with Golkar, a party in Jokowi’s coalition, involved in a signficant number.

The worry is that this move might be a sign of Jokowi’s weakening commitment to eradicate corruption, despite his promise to strengthen the KPK in January 2019. The silver lining is that he is now considering dropping the law, and could annul the amendment by issuing a regulation-in-lieu-of-law.


The public is now split between those that consider the protests necessary to check the government on the one hand, and Jokowi’s supporters on the other, who see them as efforts to forestall the president’s inauguration in October.

There is no denying what started as a peaceful rally has turned violent as clashes with the police have seen the use of tear gas, water cannons and the arrest of almost 100 protesters. A 21-year-old student died after being rushed to hospital suffering from a chest wound as riots erupted on Sulawesi island.

Chief security minister Wiranto has warned of protests being “hijacked” by those seeking to disrupt parliament and Jokowi’s inauguration.

But in Indonesia’s political history, students have been the voice of the nation’s conscience, seeking and defending democratic values at times when these were under attack. In 1998, student protests succeeded in building a crucial momentum that led to Suharto stepping down, thereby ending the New Order regime’s three decades.

Meanwhile polarisation has been emblematic of Indonesia’s post-reform politics. Last May’s divisive presidential election saw voters aligning themselves with either Prabowo, backed by extreme Islamist forces, or Jokowi, who many considered to be more pluralist despite his choice of a conservative Muslim cleric as running-mate.

In 2017, mass mobilisation by hardline groups had prevented the re-election of the Chinese-Christian former Jakarta Ahok and led to his eventual jailing for blasphemy.


Beyond this politically and emotionally charged binarism, however, there have been concerns that the government has demonstrated a track record of “fighting illiberalism with illiberalism”. President Jokowi issued a mass organisation law in 2017 banning organisations deemed not in line with the state ideology, Pancasila.

For many, this is reminiscent of the punitive tactics of the New Order when Pancasila was used as tool to clamp down on differing viewpoints from civil society in the name of preserving social cohesion.

Observers also lament the Electronic Information and Transaction Law, passed in 2016, which gives the government extensive powers to block content and order internet service providers to do so.

In addition to the KPK law, student protesters have also highlighted the revision of the Criminal Code which potentially curbs the freedoms of women, children, religious minorities and LGBT communities, among others.

While protesters must remain vigilant, preserve the integrity of their movement and not allow contentious political interests to hold sway, the Indonesian government no doubt now faces the difficult task of ensuring that it keeps its commitment to democratic reform.

The polarisation between the government’s detractors and supporters should not be used to legitimise sanctioning laws that potentially hamper good governance and democratic ideals.

And of all the laws in the works, the recent move to pass the KPK law poses the gravest challenge to Indonesia’s fight against corruption and should be reconsidered.

Credit : Channel News Asia


Menuju STBM Berkesetaraan Gender dan Inklusif

Ditulis oleh :
Fauzia Firdanisa (Penerima Bakrie Graduate Fellowship Rajaratnam School for International Studies Nanyang Technological University 2017)

Pembangunan Sanitasi Total Berbasis Masyarakat diharapkan sungguh menyasar seluruh kelompok masyarakat tanpa ada satupun yang tertinggal (No One Left Behind). Namun dalam kenyataannya, masih butuh perjuangan panjang untuk membangun komitmen dari seluruh pihak untuk mengawal harapan tersebut.

Dalam lokakarya nasional yang bertajuk Sanitasi Total Berbasis Masyarakat yang Berkesetaraan Gender dan Inklusif (STBM-GESI) yang digelar Kementerian Kesehatan dan Yayasan Plan Internasional Indonesia (YPII) pada 13 November 2018, terungkap berbagai potret pelaksanaan STBM di tingkat akar rumput, sekaligus harapan untuk perbaikan implementasi STBM yang merangkul semua kalangan, terutama yang termarginalkan.

Lima narasumber hadir menyampaikan permasalahan gender dan inklusi social yang dihadapi dalam pelaksanaan STBM di wilayah Nusa Tenggara Barat dan Nusa Tenggara Timur.  Pimpinan Organisasi Forsani asal NTT, Fina yang juga penyandang disabilitas berkisah tentang sulitnya orang berkursi roda mengakses jamban/ toilet. Memang sudah banyak jamban dibangun, namun sulit diakses kaum penyandang disabilitas.

“Disini perlunya kami dilibatkan sejak awal agar kebutuhan kami dapat diakomodir karena kami yang benar-benar tahu kebutuhan tersebut,” ungkapnya.

Narasumber lainnya, Agnes Jeni, champion perempuan STBM dari Kabupaten Kupang menekankan pentingnya peran serta dan pelibatan perempuan dalam pengambilan keputusan di bidang STBM.  Perempuan dan anak sering kali ditugasi mengambil air untuk keperluan domestik.

“Pengambilan keputusan masih menjadi urusan bapak-bapak. Ketika mau mengambil keputusan, para ibu disuruh ke dapur untuk mengurusi makan bapak-bapak dalam rapat, padahal kami lebih tahu dimana sumber air dan kondisi sanitasi di desa kami,” kisah mama Jeni.

Satu narasumber lain asal Nusa Tenggara Barat, Rudi Purnomo, seorang wirausahawan sanitasi dan penerima AMPL Award 2017 menekankan perlunya social entrepreneurship yang tidak mementingkan keuntungan dalam penyediaan sarana sanitasi. Sebagai pengusaha sanitasi (wusan) yang telah membuat lebih dari 4000 jamban, Pak Pur lebih mendahulukan hati dan komitmen untuk berpihak pada kaum marginal termasuk penyandang disabilitas.

“Kemampuan ilmu konstruksi saya terbatas, tetapi saya selalu mencari cara untuk dapat membantu kaum disabilitas dan lansia mengakses jamban. Ini saya lakukan saat membangun jamban di rumah panggung seorang lansia yang tidak bisa bergerak banyak,” ungkap Purnomo yang mengakui merasa dikuatkan oleh airmata dan ungkapan terimakasih dari orang-orang yang telah dibantunya, namun tidak mampu membayar ongkos pembangunan jamban.

Para pejabat dari Kementerian Kesehatan, Kementerian Desa, Pembangunan Daerah Tertinggal dan Transmigrasi, Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, Kementerian PUPR yang hadir menyambut positif masukan dari narasumber ini.

Direktur Kesehatan Lingkungan, Kementerian Kesehatan Dr Imran Agus Nurali, Sp.KO menekankan perlunya verifikasi data agar setiap pelaksanaan STBM dapat tepat sasaran, Kementerian juga akan mengupayakan adanya standardisasi terkait STBM, UKS dan Manajemen Kebersihan Sanitasi ditingkat masyarakat dan sekolah.

Bito Wikantoso, Direktur PSD di Kementerian Desa, Daerah Tertinggal dan Transmigrasi menegaskan juga bahwa kaum perempuan, anak, penyandang disabilitas dan kaum marginal diprioritaskan dalam pengunaan dana desa. Karenanya, mereka harus difasilitasi agar suara mereka didengar dan kebutuhan mereka dimasukkan dalam perencanaan desa.

“Kesehatan lingkungan termasuk kebutuhan kelompok marginal belum disasar dan belum menjadi prioritas para kepala desa. Mereka lebih suka membangun tugu selamat datang,” ujar Pak Dito.

Hal senada juga diungkapkan Dewi, Direktorat PPLP PUPR dimana perempuan dilibatkan sebagai pengawas pembangunann infrastruktur dan program-program sanitasi masyarakat (Sanimas) diarahkan pada kelompok masyarakat berpenghasilan rendah.

Prinsip pelaksanaan pembangunan STBM “No One Left Behind” diharapkan menjiwai setiap upaya pencapaian target pembangunan yang mengacu pada pencapaian Tujuan Pembangunan Berkelanjutan yang memberikan akses universal kepada semua orang tanpa kecuali.

Credit : Jejaring AMPL


Unicorns and Millennials’ Aspirations

Ditulis oleh :
Aninda Dewayanti (Penerima Bakrie Graduate Fellowship Rajaratnam School for International Studies Nanyang Technological University 2017)

The term unicorn became a trending topic after the latest presidential candidate debate. Both candidates voiced support for unicorns through tax cuts, infrastructure and business friendly regulations. Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, however, mentioned the potential for wider economic disparities and capital outflows because of the unicorns’ expansion. Yet today’s most important task is to link Industry 4.0 with job creation among educated youths in Indonesia.

Millennials, who are people aged between 20 and 35 years old, account for 24 percent of Indonesia’s population, or 63.4 million people. The economic aspirations of millennials matter. As ISEAS researcher Budi Irawanto points out, their unique behavior as strategic voters makes them highly likely to determine the outcome of elections.

Educated millennials might perceive the economy differently. The Economist coined the term “millennial socialism” to identify those who demand more equality yet do not entirely oppose the market economy. Meanwhile, those in Europe who reject Brexit do not neglect the importance of being economically integrated for more access to jobs and education.

Both candidates should be aware of their uniqueness in perceiving economic policies and how it would affect wealth creation in this demographic segment. Citing Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data, former finance minister Chatib Basri expressed concern over educated youth unemployment. It has been said that those with higher education, particularly from senior high school and upwards, are lacking in job opportunities. Could unicorns be a solution?

In the Indonesian context, we have seen new opportunities when new entrepreneurship trends emerge. There are those who would rather take the initiative, create their own space to channel their creativity and market it online. A survey by IDN Research Institute found that seven out of 10 millennials in 12 cities in Indonesia were aiming to be entrepreneurs.

Economic incentives are necessary to support them, especially those with the capacity to recruit young talent. Go-Jek, for instance, has facilitated the development of social capital through human resource allocation and business partnerships. Bukalapak, an online commerce platform, has promoted #BukaJalanPulang (“pave the way home”) to attract highly skilled Indonesian talent from overseas. This snowball method of providing jobs builds the skills of youngsters in facing the country’s demographic bonus.

Although hopes for the unicorns are high, millennials in rural areas are more likely to have less access to training as well as the resources required to face the new wave of industrialization. BPS data reveals that both the urban and rural population in the country has fulfilled basic education.

But because access to the internet and other resources in rural areas is lacking, the need to direct these youth to alternative industries and various job opportunities becomes crucial. They need to be exposed to the digital economy.

Moreover, demand for the skills required for Industry 4.0 could grow quickly. Both digital literacy and entrepreneurial spirit are vital for every millennial to overcome the challenges of industrialization. If the candidates cannot accommodate millennials’ interests for a fairer share of economic gains, it could eventually pose a danger, as they will vote emotionally to frustration and insecurity.

Furthermore, as economic nationalism remains a key issue in the presidential debates, the sentiment might not be appealing for urban youngsters anymore. When millennials start running a business, they want to attract more investment, domestic or foreign. Internet and social media platforms have allowed their startups to operate across borders. Right-positioning of local business in the global economic environment can be an option to boost the mood.

Credit : Jakarta Post


Pendekatan Human Centered Design untuk Manajemen Kebersihan Menstruasi

Ditulis oleh :
Fauzia Firdanisa (Penerima Bakrie Graduate Fellowship Rajaratnam School for International Studies Nanyang Technological University 2017)

Human Centered Design atau HCD adalah salah satu jenis pendekatan yang saat ini sering digunakan untuk mendesain sebuah program. Pada awalnya, HCD lebih banyak digunakan oleh perusahaan for-profit untuk mendesain produk untuk dijual. Akan tetapi, saat ini pendekatan HCD juga telah banyak diaplikasikan oleh NGO maupun organisasi non-profit lainnya untuk mendesain sebuah program yang dapat memberikan dampak positif lebih besar dan sustainable bagi masyarakat, termasuk dalam sektor air minum dan penyehatan lingkungan. Negara-negara seperti Ethiopia, Filipina, India, dan Nepal sudah menerapkan pendekatan HCD untuk memecahkan masalah sanitasi.

Pendekatan HCD adalah sebuah cara berpikir dan penyelesaian masalah yang menempatkan orang-orang yang dilayani (target) dan stakeholder lainnya sebagai pusat dari proses desain dan implementasi program (USAID Global Health Bureau, Engage HCD). Dalam HCD, desainer melibatkan masyarakat (target program) untuk turut terlibat dalam proses mendesain dan memecahkan masalah karena terdapat kepercayaan bahwa masyarakat juga mempunyai potensi untuk memecahkan masalahnya sendiri. Selain itu, keterlibatan masyarakat dalam proses juga akan menumbuhkan rasa memiliki terhadap program sehingga keberlanjutan program tersebut terjamin.

Dalam HCD terdapat tiga tahapan yaitu Inspiration, Ideation, dan Implementation. Pada fase Inspiration, desainer membuat formulir tantangan desain pada timnya untuk brainstorming sebelum turun ke lapangan. Masing-masing anggota tim akan mengisi form yang berisi pertanyaan-pertanyaan seperti; masalah apa yang ingin diselesaikan, dampak apa yang ingin dicapai, dan seterusnya.

Setelah itu, observasi aktif dilakukan. Desainer juga dapat mempraktikkan “mendengarkan aktif” inspirasi serta ide-ide dari target program. Terakhir adalah fase implementation, dimana solusi yang sudah dirancang bersama akan diplementasikan. Akan tetapi, implementasi program bukan berarti sempurna. Trial and error juga tidak lepas dalam pendekatan HCD. Akan tetapi, dengan HCD revisi dan perbaikan program dapat dilakukan dengan cepat.

Saat ini, pendekatan HCD juga dilakukan untuk Manajemen Kebersihan Menstruasi (MKM) remaja. Pada bulan Oktober 2018 diselenggarakan pelatihan HCD untuk Manajemen Kebersihan Menstruasi di Tangerang. Mentor-mentor MKM di Tangerang belajar bagaimana cara mengaplikasikan pendekatan HCD yang melibatkan aktif remaja dalam segala prosesnya dari fasilitator UNICEF, Handa. Mentor diajak untuk mengerti dan mendalami bagaimana caranya melibatkan remaja untuk lebih sadar akan pentingnya MKM karena remaja memiliki bahasa sendiri dan sifatnya berbeda-beda. Salah satu metode dalam fase ideation yang disarankan adalah pembuatan kolase dari majalah bekas. Remaja ditantang untuk membuat solusi dari masalah dengan membuat kolase atau kliping. Menurut Handa, metode ini cukup efektif membuat remaja yang pendiam pun terlibat dalam proses.

Mentor-mentor mengaku mendapatkan banyak ilmu baru yang berharga dan akan mengaplikasikannya untuk mendesain program mengenai MKM yang lebih bagus untuk remaja-remaja di Tangerang.

Credit : Jejaring AMPL


Work for The New Energy Minister: Restoring Public Trust


After a few delays, finally President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced his Cabinet. And once again, he successfully surprised many.

One of the surprises was the appointment of the energy and mineral resources minister. Sudirman Said, the new minister, was not among the names initially circulated as candidates for the post, and furthermore, he is less-known to the industry than other candidates. Regardless of how well-known he is, many tasks needs to be solved immediately.

Sudirman Said, an anti-corruption activist, graduated from the prestigious State College of Accountancy (STAN) in 1984 and continued his education in one of the best MBA schools in the US, George Washington University, in 1994. His experience in the energy sector started in 2008, when state-owned PT Pertamina recruited him.

But his service in Pertamina was very brief, lasting less than one year. Before he accepted his appointment as minister, he was a vice president at a private oil company and president director of state-owned PT PINDAD weapon manufacturer.

Sudirman needs to take immediate action to clean and distance the ministry from the oil mafia in order to restore the public’s trust in the ministry. Perhaps what he can do is to follow Jokowi’s initiative, i.e. to involve the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) to screen, select and appoint key personnel in the ministry.

This organizational clean up needs to be done immediately, not only to prove that the speculation is wrong but also to restore the ministry’s credibility, which was badly tattered after a series of corruption cases involving a former minister and the former head of the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKKMigas).

Failure to restore the ministry’s credibility and prove that the speculation is wrong will make it more difficult for Said to get support from key stakeholders when he has to make a tough call, let say increasing the fuel price.

Jokowi has said repeatedly the fuel subsidy must be reduced. It seems that this will be the first major policy in the energy sector.

Like it or not, the public will perceive any fuel price increase is a ministry policy. Therefore, gaining credibility and the trust of the public should be his first and most important task.

There will be another uphill battle for him after the fuel price increase. The global economy is slowing down and commodity prices are slumping, external factors he has to cope with. This global phenomenon is likely to continue throughout his term.

In 2013, energy and mineral resources contributed Rp 398.4 trillion (US$33 billion), or approximately 26 percent, to the state revenue. With this new global economic landscape, revenue derived from energy and mineral resources is likely to decrease significantly.

What Said needs to do is slow the decrease. This can be done by ensuring the production levels of key commodities, such as oil and gas.

This brings up the next issue in the oil and gas sector. During his term, 20 oil production sharing contracts (PSCs) will expire.

These PSCs represent about 635,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day or roughly 76 percent of domestic oil production.

Production continuity in these areas is very important. The government needs to give clear direction and make decisions as early as possible on the fate of these areas.

It is also worth noting that taking over these areas arbitrarily, nationalizing them and giving the privilege of managing these concessions to state or domestic oil companies immediately on contract expiry may be a risky decision.

Giving preferential treatment to national companies is good political rhetoric.

But what we need at this moment is more than mere political rhetoric. We need a policy and action that will ensure prosperity for Indonesians.

Giving privileges to national companies, in most cases, poses a moral hazard. While in some cases local preference is needed, this must be done transparently.

No company should be given the right to manage these concessions without a transparent competitive bid.

To maximize benefit for the country, other forms of contract may be introduced for these areas. The PSC format may no longer suitable because these blocks carry no (or minimum) exploration risk.

As we know, exploration risk is the key feature in a PSC. A service agreement may now be more suitable for these blocks.

In a service agreement, the government can maintain complete control and ownership of the block, as mandated by Article 33 of the Constitution.

Contractors are engaged only to produce the oil and gas on a cost plus fee basis. This form of contract is not uncommon in the oil business. Many Latin American and Middle Eastern countries are using pure service or risk service agreements.

Whatever contractual relationship or fiscal regime the government decides to use for these expired contracts, it should be governed under the prevailing oil and gas law.

Unfortunately, the existing oil and gas law (Law No. 22/2001) has articles ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court (MK).

Therefore, it is also important that the new government works closely with the House of Representatives to expedite the issuance of a new oil and gas law.

While the new law is still under discussion in the House, the government should issue a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to address critical governance matters.

One of these critical governance matters is the existence of the SKKMigas. The new government has reportedly considered disbanding SKKMigas. Whatever the reason for the disbandment, the government must not repeat the chaos caused when BP Migas was dismantled by the court in 2012.

The disbandment of a regulatory body of this significance should be done with due consideration and planning.

A new body assigned to complete jobs left by SKKMigas should be supported by an adequate legal basis. A Perppu instead of a presidential decree (Perpres) could be used to support the establishment of a new regulatory body.

A strong legal basis is necessary to provide the legal certainty required by oil and gas companies to invest and operate in Indonesia.

Many other issues require immediate action by the new minister, ranging from electricity shortages to the amendment of mining contracts.

Having limited exposure to the industry, he has a lot to prove and a lot to do.



No company should be given the right to manage concessions without a transparent competitive bid.



The writer, a Harvard University alumnus, is founder and director of the PPRL Group, an Indonesian oil company. The views expressed are his own.


Insight: Mental Revolution vs Oil Mafia


In the past few weeks there has been a lot of discussion about the oil mafia. Maybe this was triggered by concerns about the fuel supply, but when the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named former energy and mineral resources minister Jero Wacik as a corruption suspect, the public realized there was a mafia in the oil industry. To fight this oil mafia, the government must lead a concerted effort. The industry needs a mental revolution.

Corruption in our oil and gas industry dates back to the oil boom in the early 1970s, when OPEC’s oil embargo caused oil prices to surge to new levels. The oil and gas industry was administered by the government through Pertamina, which certainly enjoyed windfall profits.



Poor management, many government interventions and a large windfall profit turned out to be a deadly mix for Pertamina. Using this windfall profit and in the name of national economic development, Pertamina made many unwise investments and expended capital. The party quickly ended in 1975 when the state oil company almost went bankrupt with over a US$10.5 billion debt burden, and the government had to bail out Pertamina.


The Oil and Gas Law of 2001 terminated Pertamina’s monopoly, turning it into a corporate entity but still wholly state owned. All regulating authorities were transferred to the now dissolved Upstream Oil and Gas Executive Agency (BP Migas) for the upstream industry and the Downstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Agency (BPH Migas) for downstream operations. The oil mafia, groomed during Pertamina’s monopoly, started to feel the pinch.


While BP Migas was still in place, we rarely heard of a major corruption case (as a result of oil mafia involvement) in the upstream oil industry. Part of this success was attributed to R. Priyono’s initiative to have formal cooperation between the KPK and BP Migas, under which a KPK official was assigned as part of BP Migas’ management. By doing so, corruption could be minimized at the source.


The oil mafia gained the upper hand again when the Constitutional Court decided to dismantle BP Migas. The government quickly formed a new regulatory body called the Upstream Oil And Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKK Migas) as a transition institution to replace BP Migas. However, eight months later SKK Migas head Rudi Rubiandini was caught by the KPK accepting bribes. Less than two years later the energy and mineral resources minister was also indicted in a different corruption case. The oil mafia won the game and two senior government officers were trapped in the middle of it.


In the downstream industry, the oil mafia is much stronger. For example, in crude oil importation, the oil mafia dominates the supply of crude oil to Pertamina. Even though crude oil is refined partly to fulfill the domestic supply of subsidized fuel, the decision to import crude oil, the type and quantity, remains in the hands of Pertamina’s management. No one but Pertamina has the technical ability to judge the soundness of crude oil imports.


Because two major Pertamina refineries (Balikpapan and Cilacap) use cocktail crude feedstock, the crude being refined can vary. A cocktail feed stock without a firm (long term) baseline crude certainly gives wider room to design an ad-hoc crude mix. A refinery can decide to use a different baseline crude that is more suitable to certain types of crude each time the refineries make their monthly refining plan.


By using a different combination of crude, the refinery can give an economic calculation that favors certain types of crude. Once a refinery has worked out its feedstock scenario, the Petral company is then instructed by Pertamina management to procure crude oil. Thus, most of the time, the crude bought by Petral is that held by the oil mafia. It is all by design, not by coincidence.


The presence of an oil mafia and corruption are also felt in the import and distribution of subsidized fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The government gives a monopoly privilege to Pertamina to procure and distribute subsidized fuel and LPG. As domestic production cannot meet domestic demand, much of this fuel and LPG has to be imported.


As a matter of trading convenience, Pertamina assigns this procurement task to Petral. Petral conducted its procurement through a tender, but various sources say most supply orders were given to a group of related companies, namely oil mafia members.


The distribution of subsidized fuel and LPG are also problematic. The huge price disparity in the domestic market between subsidized and non-subsidized fuel and LPG creates room for theft and illegal trading.


The oil mafia has always used Pertamina as its operations’ centerpiece. Thus, one key to fight the oil mafia is to reform, restructure, reengineer and reposition Pertamina. The new Pertamina CEO should have strong technical proficiency and impeccable integrity.


We can also learn from the experience of BP Migas under the leadership of R.Priyono. Deterrence and prevention are always better than fighting the oil mafia and corruption. The presence of KPK personnel in BP Migas proved to be successful in discouraging the oil mafia.





The writer, a Harvard University alumnus, is founder and director of the PPRL Group, an Indonesian oil company. The views expressed are his own.


Tenaga Kerja di Banyak UKM Otomotif Bekasi, Kok Bukan Penduduk Lokal?

Penetapan kawasan industri di Kabupaten Bekasi yang telah dimulai sejak tahun 1990-an memberikan berbagai dampak positif terhadap pertumbuhan wilayah ini. Sejak dibangunnya kawasan-kawasan industri di Kabupaten Bekasi, memberikan kesempatan terhadap pertumbuhan ekonomi di wilayah ini melalui kedatangan industri-industri besar baik PMA maupun PMDN.

Keberadaan industri-industri besar tersebut memberikan multiplier effect bagi perekonomian lokal baik dalam bentuk munculnya kegiatan ekonomi di berbagai sektor yang menunjang kegiatan industri besar dan semakin besar kesempatan bekerja melalui penambahan lapangan pekerjaan. Industri otomotif merupakan salah satu sektor industri yang juga menggiurkan bagi perkembangan ekonomi lokal. Berbagai penelitian menunjukkan bahwa industri otomotif mampu menciptakan keterkaitan mata rantai industri yang cukup besar antara industri besar, industri menengah, dan industri kecil. Salah satu keterkaitan mata rantai tersebut dalam bentuk hubungan input-output dimana industri yang lebih kecil menyuplai barang dan jasa sebagai bahan baku proses produksi industri besar. Berdasarkan hal tersebut, semakin banyaknya UKM-UKM otomotif yang tumbuh di Kabupaten Bekasi sehingga menyediakan lapangan pekerjaan. Hal ini dapat dimanfaatkan oleh penduduk lokal dalam berpartisipasi sebagai tenaga kerja. Akan tetapi hingga saat ini, tingkat penyerapan tenaga kerja lokal di UKM otomotif Kabupaten Bekasi masih rendah. Adanya kesenjangan antara kemauan dan kemampuan yang dibutuhkan oleh UKM serta yang dimiliki oleh penduduk lokal dapat menjadi penyebab rendahnya penyerapan tenaga kerja ini.

Peluang Lapangan Pekerjaan di UKM Otomotif

Seiring berkembangnya jaman, telah terjadi perubahan karakteristik proses produksi pada industri otomotif dimana pada awalnya proses produksi dilakukan oleh satu perusahaan tunggal dari awal bahan baku hingga menjadi kendaraan (era Fordism). Akan tetapi dalam rangka efisiensi produksi, saat ini proses produksi dilakukan oleh bermacam-macam perusahaan melalui spesialisasi tertentu yang saling terintegrasi antara industri besar dengan industri-industri yang lebih kecil (era Post-Fordism). Dengan perubahan sistem produksi ini, industri otomotif memiliki keterkaitan mata rantai produksi yang panjang sehingga mampu memberikan multipier effect yang pada akhirnya mengembangkan perekonomian lokal. Keberadaan industri-industri besar otomotif di Kabupaten Bekasi memberikan kesempatan berkembangnya industri-industri kecil dan menengah (UKM) yang memiliki keterkaitan mata rantai produksi berdasarkan sistem hirarki tertentu. Industri-industri kecil dan menengah tersebut dikenal dengan istilah vendor, anak perusahaan, ataupun subkon yang mampu menciptakan lapangan pekerjaan bagi penduduk lokal.

Meskipun demikian, karakteristik UKM otomotif berbeda dengan industri-industri besar dari segi sistem produksi maupun sistem manajemen perusahaan. UKM memiliki sistem manajemen dan produksi yang lebih sederhana dibandingkan industri besar sehingga berpengaruh terhadap jumlah tenaga kerja yang diserap tidak sebanyak industri besar. Tingkat upah dan jaminan kesejahteraan bagi tenaga kerja juga tidak setinggi pada industri besar. Akan tetapi berdasarkan keterbatasan tersebut, peluang berkembangnya UKM otomotif yang cukup pesat mampu memberikan kesempatan lapangan pekerjaan bagi penduduk lokal di Kabupaten Bekasi.

Kompetensi Tenaga Kerja yang Dibutuhkan di UKM Otomotif

Seperti halnya pada industri besar, penyerapan tenaga kerja di UKM otomotif terjadi ketika tenaga kerja mampu memenuhi kualifikasi yang dibutuhkan oleh perusahaan. Berbagai kualifikasi tersebut dapat dibedakan berdasarkan tiga hal yaitu kompetensi kognitif (pengetahuan), kompetensi fungsional (keterampilan), dan kompetensi sosial (sikap dan perilaku) (Deist & Winterton, What is Competence?, 2005). Ketiga hal tersebut menjadi dasar dalam melihat kebutuhan tenaga kerja di UKM sehingga dapat dibandingkan dengan kompetensi yang dimiliki oleh penduduk lokal apakah terjadi kesesuaian atau tidak.

Kompetensi kognitif biasanya dikaitkan dengan pengetahuan yang dimiliki oleh tenaga kerja dan dapat dilihat berdasarkan lulusan pendidikan formal. Berdasarkan hal ini, UKM otomotif sebagian besar membutuhkan tenaga kerja dengan lulusan pendidikan SMK bidang otomotif agar memiliki keterampilan dasar mengenai keteknikan. Akan tetapi, banyak pula UKM otomotif yang tidak mempermasalahkan lulusan pendidikan asalkan tenaga kerja memiliki kemauan untuk belajar. Kompetensi fungsional merupakan kompetensi yang dilihat berdasarkan keterampilan yang dimiliki oleh tenaga kerja. Berdasarkan kompetensi fungsional, UKM otomotif membutuhkan tenaga kerja yang kreatif dan bisa mengerjakan berbagai macam pekerjaan (multiple task). Tenaga kerja kreatif yang dimaksud pada level operator yaitu orang yang mampu berpikir bagaimana cara untuk menyelesaikan target pekerjaan dengan waktu yang cepat dan hasil yang baik. Hal ini dikarenakan UKM memiliki target produksi yang cukup padat untuk memenuhi permintaan barang dari industri besar yang tidak memiliki toleransi keterlambatan pengiriman barang. UKM otomotif juga membutuhkan tenaga kerja yang serba bisa karena jenis produksi barang sangat fleksibel dan dinamis sehingga perlu adaptasi yang cepat, tetapi jumlah tenaga kerja terbatas. Dengan kondisi seperti ini, tenaga kerja yang lebih fleksibel atau tidak terspesialisasi pada satu pekerjaan saja lebih diutamakan. Yang terakhir dan tak kalah penting yaitu mengenai kompetensi sosial atau sikap dan perilaku yang dimiliki oleh tenaga kerja. UKM otomotif membutuhkan tenaga kerja dengan etos kerja yang baik serta berbagai sikap lainnya seperti tekun, jujur, mampu bekerja sama, dll. Etos kerja yang dimaksud yaitu tenaga kerja yang memiliki sikap produktif, disiplin, dan tanggung jawab sehingga mencerminkan etos kerja yang baik. Kompetensi sosial menjadi salah satu persyaratan penting dalam merekrut tenaga kerja, bahkan terdapat UKM yang tidak melihat lulusan pendidikan dalam arti dapat merekrut tenaga kerja yang tidak lulus sekolah sekalipun, tetapi memenuhi kriteria kompetensi sosial yang ditetapkan.

Permasalahan dalam Penyerapan Tenaga Kerja Lokal

Hingga saat ini, sebagian besar tenaga kerja yang bekerja di UKM otomotif memang tidak berasal dari penduduk lokal, melainkan penduduk di luar Kabupaten Bekasi seperti Cianjur, Ciamis, Jawa Tengah, dan Jawa Timur. Hal ini dapat disebabkan dua hal yaitu penduduk lokal tidak mampu memenuhi kompetensi yang dibutuhkan oleh UKM otomotif dan/atau penduduk lokal tidak memiliki kemauan untuk bekerja di UKM otomotif. Penduduk lokal di Kabupaten Bekasi mungkin tidak mampu memenuhi kompetensi yang dibutuhkan oleh UKM, baik secara kognitif, fungsional, maupun sosial. Secara kognitif misalnya, penduduk lokal memiliki tingkat pendidikan yang rendah setara SD dan SMP sehingga sulit untuk masuk kepada UKM yang mensyaratkan lulusan pendidikan SMK. Begitu pula mungkin terjadi pada kompetensi fungsional dan sosial. Berdasarkan kemauan bekerja penduduk lokal di UKM otomotif, pertimbangan tingkat pendapatan atau upah menjadi salah satu faktor penting yang mempengaruhi. Penduduk lokal masih belum banyak yang tertarik bekerja di UKM karena melihat tingkat upah yang lebih rendah dibandingkan industri besar. Dengan orientasi mencari upah setinggi-tingginya, sulit untuk beradaptasi bekerja di UKM otomotif yang biasanya mengharapkan tenaga kerja yang semangat untuk mendapatkan pengalaman dan peningkatan keterampilan disamping upah saja. Gengsi di lingkungan sekitar untuk menjadi buruh di UKM ataupun industri besar juga turut mempengaruhi kemauan bekerja di UKM otomotif. Jika penyerapan tenaga kerja lokal di UKM otomotif tidak mengalami peningkatan, maka keberadaan industri-industri di Kabupaten Bekasi tidak dapat dimanfaatkan oleh penduduk lokal sehingga tidak dapat meningkatkan kesejahteraan penduduknya. Jumlah pengangguran akan terus bertambah sehingga tingkat kemiskinan tidak berkurang. Selain itu, kecemburuan sosial akan timbul diantara penduduk lokal dan pendatang sehingga mengakibatkan adanya permasalahan sosial. Penduduk lokal hanya akan menjadi “penonton” bagi perkembangan ekonomi di wilayahnya sendiri, sedangkan yang merasakan manfaatnya yaitu penduduk yang bermigran ke Kabupaten Bekasi.

Dengan berbagai permasalahan tersebut, Pemerintah Kabupaten Bekasi dan Provinsi Jawa Barat dapat memberikan kebijakan dan arahan program yang mampu meningkatkan kemampuan dan kemauan penduduk lokal untuk bekerja di UKM otomotif. Terkait permasalahan mengenai kemampuan, Pemerintah dapat memberikan akses terhadap perkembangan kompetensi kognitif penduduk lokal melalui dorongan untuk bersekolah di SMK, maupun memberikan pelatihan/kursus keterampilan bidang otomotif. Sedangkan untuk kompetensi fungsional dan sosial, Pemerintah dapat melaksanakan berbagai program yang berkaitan dengan perubahan perilaku penduduk lokal melalui pendekatan sosial. Dengan adanya upaya tersebut, diharapkan tingkat penyerapan tenaga kerja lokal di UKM otomotif dapat semakin meningkat sehingga pada akhirnya dengan adanya kawasan industri dan perkembangan ekonomi akibat industri dapat meningkatkan kesejahteraan penduduk lokal di Kabupaten Bekasi.


Mahasiswa Penerima Beasiswa Bakrie Center Foundation 2012, Program Magister Perencanaan Wilayah dan Kota, KK Perencanaan Wilayah dan Perdesaan, SAPPK – ITB