Blogger Indonesia of the Week (84): Muhyiddin

Blogger Indonesia of the Week (84): Muhyiddin

I hardly review a blog owned by a PNS (Pegawai Negeri Sipil) – an Indonesian civil servant. Most of the times I wrote very disgenerous articles–both in my English or in Bahasa Indonesia blogs– to them, the bureaucrats as a people or as an institution. See for example this post:

… corruption practices and corrupt mindset are actually born the time you apply to be a PNS. When your monthly salary are just around $100/month, how will you pay the debt back with your hand still clean? Just a case in point, see special report from the Jakarta Post here [more …]

I wrote a lot more critical writings in Bahasa Indonesia blogs, here some of them: Korupsi KBRI dan alasan gaji kecil PNS, Semua Pejabat Korup Sampai Terbukti Sebaliknya, Korupsi itu Halal, Bung! , SBY, TRANSPARANSI dan KKN-isme, Mental Kuli. See the list here.

Taking all those into account, one may wonder why I choose Muhyiddin, A Bureaucrat and Planner at National Development Planning Agency/ Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional (BAPPENAS)
, as Blogger Indonesia of the Week.

If you’re a regular visitor of his blog both in English and Bahasa Indonesia you’d know why. Udin is among the “rare breed” outthere who are willing to be self-critical against his own corp, the KORPRI (Indonesia’s civil servant corp). See for example here and especially here in which he wrote:

In Indonesia, a problem of corruption is very gravely. I am sorry that fighting against corruption is not the number one priority in either Mid Term National Development Planning (Rencana Pembangunan Nasional Jangka Menengah) 2004-2009 or Government Work Plan (Rencana Kerja Pemerintah) 2007 and 2008.

When I was studying economics I wrote a thesis showing that fighting corruption is very benefecial for developing countries such as Indonesia because there is a big portion of government expenditure in funding development.

Corruption is surely the most hazardous stumbling block of a country and nation’s development. And the biggest problem of all says Paolo Mauro of IMF

once a corrupt system is in place, and a majority of people operate within that system, individuals have no incentive to try to change it or to refrain from taking part in it, even if everybody would be better off if corruption were to be eliminated.

But I’m not as pessimistic as Paolo Mauro. I believe corrupt practices can still be cured here in Indonesia sooner or later as long as (1) there is a strong willingness among the top level of policy makers and legislatures to change the course by making more uncompromised punshment & higher rewards and no-more-block-hole regulation and (2) PNS tries to change their extravagant lifestyle into a more humble one. Lavish lifestyle is exactly what change a saint into a greedy robber.

I have a hope to someone like Muhyiddin or Udin along with other like-minded bureaucrats to change that course.

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