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Southeast Asia

Community Empowerment During Covid-19 Pandemic

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During the covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the economic condition of the world community becoming destroyed, social empowerment of the community is said to be the right improvement step for now. And the most basic way and form of concretization is to build human capital as an initial means of empowering human capital (Social Capital) so as to establish the status of empowerment of a quality society and able to reap the results in a transitional era. But in the process of implementation and regulatory certainty about it has not gotten a fresh wind so the government is forced to turn the brain to analyze the problem again, one of which is by means of optimizing communication and policy advocacy, especially in the midst of a pandemic.

Community empowerment itself is a strategy in national development oriented towards giving opportunities to every member of the community to be able to participate in the development process by getting the same opportunities and can enjoy the results of development proportionately, concerning all aspects of life both in the economic, socio-cultural and political fields. As a strategy that is considered important for the progress of the wider community, human capital development in Indonesia is considered not maximal or even stunting in its development. The authors argue that the direction or controlling of human resources capabilities has not been well directed and the container for human capital development in Indonesia itself is still minimal with awareness of the advocacy of the capabilities of the community.

One of the indications of the unrealized consequences of the design or concept of community empowerment through Human Capital is the problem of development (facilities and infrastructure) through the uneven dissemination of expert human resources and accompanied by the unresponsiveness of the government reading the needs of the community so that most policies issued by the government have not been able to realize the durability in the community. For example, social assistance in the form of BLT kepad community affected by covid-19 is uneven and even many reports mention the number of people who have not received any assistance at all. This kind of unresponsiveness causes problems in the community such as prolonged economic inequality, especially the psbb policy that restricts the movement of the community.

Poverty and economic inequality that we see a lot in the wider community can be seen from several factors, such as the fulfillment of needs that have not been adequate or still lack like the quality of life of the people. Retardation, such as low productivity, weak and unformidable human resources facing changes for change, limited access to land even though dependence on the agricultural sector is still very strong, weakening local markets and MSMEs because it tends to be used to supply international trade needs. Our country has long interpreted itself as a country of considerable exporters of raw goods in the world, this if seen from another point of view proves that our country is still less innovating in utilizing raw goods that can be much utilized higher selling value to then be distributed or supplied again to local markets and even global markets. But again the quality of human resources that have not been qualified to achieve such access makes Indonesia can not take advantage of the existing transition era by utilizing the sophistication of artificial intelligence and qualified HR qualifications.

In fact, the state is obliged to empower people through concrete measures that have a direct effect on society. The purpose of community empowerment itself is to enable and established society, especially from poverty and retardation, inequality to helplessness in society. In principle, community empowerment requires community participation by proof of inclusion or even implemented by the directly targeted community. Community empowerment must also have a targeted purpose and real awareness that is actually intended only for the benefit of the community. Enabling people in self-reliance (Human Capital) as well as forms of self-help by utilizing all forms of potential that exist will foster fertile return to the power of society in the face of every change that occurs. Towards the government’s policy that will target directly to the community, the public should also be given the opportunity to be able to know all kinds of information about planning (input), implementation (procces), as well as supervision (output) such as supervision of the proper management of state finances on the objectives and indicators of the main welfare of the community so as to produce the results that the country needs in the era of development as it is today.

An author of Sukarno’s Book of Economic Didikari, Amiruddin Al-Rahab once suggested that jargon or the idea of self-reliance in the economy had been called even made into a political orientation in development. Sukarno’s version of the economic idea is actually ideal if aligned with the current state of the Indonesian nation, unfortunately Sukarno was deposed before having time to implement the whole idea of his brilliance. His desire for the Indonesian nation to be able to stand on its own feet and regardless of foreign intervention of the country’s major capitals is a proclamation that no longer exists for the current government because most socioeconomic circumstances are now inherited from the former colonial economy which has been renewed a little more elite. An elite style that is still suffocating if it continues to be left without any buzz that can paddle the competition of today’s industrial revolution era.

A little wasting feels if all policy inputs are then processed or implemented if only using conditional standardization with the subject matter. The government’s indisciplined public policy design is seen as a result of accountability or accountability that tends to indicate uncertainty about regulation. This is certainly due to several factors and mainly perhaps the authors analyze according to the current condition is the result of diseases that come from the bureaucracy so as to cause a lack of education towards the community of positive progressivity that should be able to be built independently through the government of the people, the government that has the full support for the participation of its people.

Through proactive participatory and comprehensive support from the community towards programs that empower the community is expected to support the community to be more prosperous in the face of the covid-19 pandemic. Self-processing will rebuild the resilience of a society that is able to compete and create new development innovations relevant to the changing times. The nation’s vibrant societal social climate should not be a barrier to the country’s progress, but instead enrich the culture and circumference that blends with indicators of a country’s progress. In terms of the economy, an independent economy supported by the principle of flexibility will also support a conducive economy that is resilient to all forms of change. From the beginning, the state and citizens are a unit that is inseparable from the index of optimization of the welfare of the nation and the state, so that the future principles of the government through human capital development programs can be directed to maximize empowerment programs for the lower middle class so that the future of the economy that is sluggish due to the covid-19 pandemic period is immediately normal.

Southeast Asia

Why Indonesian Democracy Stays in Place due to Presidential Threshold Provision

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Image source: Wikipedia

Indonesia as one of the largest democracy states in the globe and considered quite successful in cohabitating democracy values and Islamic values is indeed worth a raise thumb. Paradoxically, Indonesia democracy does not sign significantly positive progress.

Although, Indonesia has already implemented the democracy government since the reformation which ended the authoritarian regime under the Soeharto Administration. The fact that the Indonesia corruption perception index (CPI) is not much better compared to the other democracy states from year to year.. Then the question is what is wrong with the implementation of democracy in Indonesia?

Indonesia has already practiced the direct democracy since 2004.  Where the people exclusively have the right to vote president and vice president directly.  President, Susilo Bambang Yudhono (SBY) became the first Indonesian to be elected as the president along with Jusuf Kalla as the vice President.

Chosen directly by the people, did not make the SBY’s Administration spared from acts of corruption. During his tenure at that time 2004-2009 and 2009-2014, a number of his minister were convicted in corruption cases. Allegedly the corruption case in his administration due to the formation of the cabinet is not based on the meritocracy but the distribution of seats amongst the President supporting parties.

The President often held hostage in forming cabinet with the necessity to accommodate the interest of the supporting parties. So that the seat of the minister becomes one of the strategic positions that are traded. The presence of supporting parties in the president nomination makes Indonesia democracy process hampered.   

Presidential Threshold is governed by the President Election Acts. Namely the obligation to obtain political party support. For instance, minimum gaining 10 percent political party vote in the president election 2004, and 20 percent in the 2009 and 2014. Then possibility of sustained percentage at president election in 2024 ahead. This circumstance stimulates the political process of cow trading or bargaining between the president candidate and political party.  The president nomination process being unfair and create the political scandal to run as president.

President threshold which requires the support of political party has already critized by constitutional law scholar. This discourse becomes hot debate because the presidential threshold closes the opportunity to emerge the alternative president candidate and produce the condition where the right of people to be candidate of president abolished. The difficulties to gain the political party support only creates the process of president nomination monopolized by the major party and old party.

Unfortunately, Indonesia legal politics still maintains the existence of a presidential threshold system in election. In fact, this presidential threshold system is seen as no longer relevant when the election system in Indonesia no longer separates the legislative and presidential election as stated by Constitutional Court decision number 14/PUU-IX/2013. This verdict clearly articulated that the Indonesia electoral system is concurrent. As consequences, there is no legal basis to use the previous percentage of vote in the five years ago to the next five years election to come. It means that the PT is compatible as well as useless.

Surprisingly, The Constitutional Court decision did not explicitly mention the abolition of the PT.  In the decision of Judicial review on PT, CC states that PT is open legal policy whereby the legislator can legislate the PT provision into the laws as long as it is not for be discriminatory and restrict the rights of citizen to nominate as president. called in a number of CC decision, namely Decision Number 51-52-59/PUU-VI/2008 as well as Decision Number 53/PUU-XV/2017

But the fact, the PT limits the right of citizen that already guaranteed in the constitution to be involved in the governance. The PT issue is also tested back by Rizal Ramli, former minister of Economy of Republic of Indonesia in 2020. Because He felt the hostage even been insisted a number of funds to be nominated as president by political party. Surely, this practice is not healthy for Indonesia democracy ahead.

The Majority of CC Justice still limit themselves by not wanting to cancel the PT. Meanwhile, some other justices namely (5:4) out of a total of 9 justices, thought that this notion should be erased. Public looked at the split of justice in seeing the issue of PT. Justice Saldi, Suhartoyo, Enny, and Manahan agree to tested back this notion but five others rejected the petition of Rizal Ramli.

Compared to USA as the presidential and democratic state, they do not apply any restriction on presidential nomination by using the PT. all parties have the similar opportunity to run for president as long as they get support from political party without a percentage of political party support.

The PT is actually contrary to the principle of fairness where the election should be implemented in a fair and equitable.  Cited by John Rawls in his book A Theory of Justice, the inequality access in the fulfillment of socio-political rights is one of the sources of unjust. Because it against the equal opportunity principle. Should any political party which is contesting   has the same opportunities and access to nominate the president and vice president despite the chance, they had to win is very tiny, but keep the fair competition is the key in reaching the election justice.

Rawls argues that justice will only be created if all people have an equal access regardless of the background and limitations of the individual. So, He explains that to start the justice, each individual should be at the original position. There is no difference in status, position, or level. All are balance and start in same line. There is no distinction between old party and new party in the right to nominate president and vice president.

The PT policy is already reviewed many times by CC. This situation signs the electoral justice embodied by CC previous Decision has not fulfilled yet. Even perhaps it can be said that keep PT in concurrent election is the wrong decision ever made by CC. An adagium stated that errorehumaniumest, trupe in erroreperseverare,  means  that error is humane but it is not good to hold on the error track. CC should challenge and review the PT provision. Legal principle named ius curia novit, Justice knows the law so they have to correct each unjust provision including the PT under Indonesia Election Laws.

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Southeast Asia

Learning to build a community from a ”Solok Literacy Community”in the West Sumatra

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Established on September 21, 2020 in Solok City, West Sumatra Province, Indonesia. Solok Literacy Community initiated by the young people of Solok City has grown rapidly into a community that has its own trendsetter among young people. Bringing narratives smelling of education, The Literacy Solok Community has a movement with measurable progressiveness that can be seen from its flagship programs.

Starting from the free reading stall movement that has been moving in various corners of Solok City over the past few months. The concept of film surgery that provides proactive discussion space for all segmentation in society. “Diskusi Ngopi” activities which in fact is the concept of FGD (Focus Group Discussion), run with interesting themes and issues so that it can be considered as one of the favorite programs that are often attended by many young people in Solok. Then a class of interests and talents aimed at reactivating the soft skills and great talents of the children of Solok City.

Solok Literacy Community has a long-term goal of making Solok City as a Literacy City in 2025. With these noble targets, of course we together need small steps in the form of programs that run consistently over time. Because after all, a long journey will always begin with small steps in the process of achieving it.

Many appreciations and positive impressions from the surrounding community continue to be received by the Solok Literacy Community. This is certainly a big responsibility for the Solok Literacy Community to continue to commit to grounding literacy in Solok City. Solok Literacy Community activities can be checked directly through instagram social media accounts @solok_literasi. Carrying the tagline #penetrategloomy or penetrating the gloom and #lawanpembodohan, members of the Solok Literacy Community or better known as Soliters, will always make innovative breakthroughs in completing the goal of making Solok City 2025 as a Literacy City.

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia Submit Extended Continental Shelf Proposal Amidst Pandemic: Why now is important?

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Authors: Aristyo Rizka Darmawan and Arie Afriansyah*

Indonesia’s active cases of coronavirus have been getting more worrying with more than 100.000 active cases. With nearly a year of pandemic, Indonesia’s not only facing a serious health crisis but also an economic catastrophe. People lose their jobs and GDP expected to shrink by 1.5 percent. Jakarta government therefore should work hard to anticipate the worst condition in 2021.

With this serious economic threat, Indonesia surely has to explore maximize its maritime geographic potential to pass this economic crisis and gain more national revenue to recover from the impact of the pandemic. And there where the Extended Continental Shelf submission should play an important role.

Recently this week, Indonesia submit a second proposal for the extended continental shelf in the southwest of the island of Sumatra to the United Nations Commission on the Limit of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). Continental shelf is that part of the seabed over which a coastal State exercises sovereign rights concerning the exploration and exploitation of natural resources including oil and gas deposits as well as other minerals and biological resources.

Therefore, this article argues that now is the right time for Indonesia to maximize its Continental Shelf claim under the law of the sea convention for at least three reasons.

First, one could not underestimate the economic potential of the Continental Shelf, since the US Truman Proclamation in 1945, countries have been aware of the economic potential from the oil and gas exploration in the continental shelf.

By being able to explore and exploit natural resources in the strategic continental shelf, at least Indonesia will gain more revenue to recover the economy. Even though indeed the oil and gas business is also hit by the pandemic, however, Indonesia’s extended continental shelf area might give a future potentials area for exploitation in long term. Therefore, it will help Indonesia prepare a long-term economic strategy to recover from the pandemic. After Indonesia can prove that there is a natural prolongation of the continental shelf.

Second, as the Indo-Pacific region is getting more significant in world affairs, it is strategic for Indonesia to have a more strategic presence in the region. This will make Indonesia not only an object of the geopolitical competition to utilize resources in the region, but also a player in getting the economic potential of the region.

And third, it is also showing that President Joko Widodo’s global maritime fulcrum agenda is not yet to perish. Even though in his second term of administration global maritime fulcrum has nearly never been discussed, this momentum could be a good time to prove that Indonesia are still committed to the Global maritime fulcrum by enhancing more maritime diplomacy.

Though this is not the first time Indonesia submit an extended Continental Shelf proposal to the CLCS, this time it is more likely to be accepted by the commission. Not to mention the geographical elements of natural prolongation of the continental shelf that has to be proved by geologist.

The fact that Indonesia has no maritime border with any neighboring states in the Southwest of Sumatra. Therefore, unlike Malaysia’s extended continental shelf proposal in the South China Sea that provoke many political responses from many states, it is less likely that Indonesia extended continental shelf proposal will raise protest from any states.

However, the most important thing to realize the potential benefit of the extended continental shelf as discussed earlier, Indonesia should have a strategy and road map how what to do after Indonesia gets the extended continental shelf.

*Arie Afriansyah is a Senior Lecturer in international law and Chairman of the Center for Sustainable Ocean Policy at University of Indonesia.

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