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Civil Servant (PNS) Booming & Collective Corruption

In many democratic countries, civil servant or PNS (pegawai negeri sipil) never been a booming “industry”. Rather, it’s the second choice for the young potential & dynamic citizens, even in India. Not in Indonesia. Here, the demand to be a PNS has always been beyond the existing supply. So, for the corrupts Indonesian officials (who are not, anyway?) who got direct or indirect authority to select the new breed of corrupt ‘potentials’, any PNS recruitment day is a harvest season. Time to buy a new luxury car.

For PNS in relatively low level (high school teacher), you need to pay at least Rs 20 million ($2,000), so some of my PNS friends told me their own experience. Mostly through loan. Therefore, corruption practices and corrupt mindset are actually born the time you apply to be a PNS. When your monthly salary are just around $100, how you pay the debt back with your hand still clean? Just a case in point, see special report from Jakarta Post here.

Why PNS still booming now even after Suharto era is over? (1) 32 years economic repression during Suharto era still has its left-over: many young indonesian still got addicted with the dictum of feudalistic attitude: earn much, work less. (2) Uneducated and unfiltered pop-culture influence among the indonesian youth make them want like crazy to live like the celebrities without ever need to work hard (3)The expensive higher-educational cost as a result of retracted subsidy on education make it almost impossible for the poor to further their education and fullfil their dreams.

Indonesia certainly has long way to go towards prosperity for all. Democratic system we’re enjoying now to me is a good beginning to start with.

Between A Leader and Manager

Picture: Baharuddin Lopa the few good men in Indonesia politics

What differentiate between a person with leadership personality and a mere manager? The answer is plenty and will be in a very long list. I’ll just wanna pick up few of those. The order might not necessarily on priority basis.

(1) While the former thinks more on common cause and interest, the latter is busy to sharpen his skill for his own cause;

(2) The former is a more down-to-earth and populist kind of person in-build within him/her, the latter tends to be an elitist;

(3) While the former is humble regardless multi-skills he/she possesses and ready to help and sacrifice for the betterment of his/her surroundings, the latter hold the if-you-need-me-you-gotta-bow-your-knees-before-me kind of attitude.

(4) While the former is unselfish, the latter only remembers one thing: take more and give less. The list is on and on…

Unfortunately, Indonesian education is created to bring up a manager instead of a leader. And hence, the betterment of Indonesian life might not be seen in forseeable future. The reasons are obvious to me:

(1) With the sky-rocketing of higher educational fee, it’s only the middle-class citizens who can afford to further their education in to higher level (undergrad, postgrad, not to say PhD)

(2) The middle-class are clearly those already who have the privelege to live in ‘luxury’. In other words, they further their study not for the purpose of bettering their level of living, rather just to sustain the status quo.

(3) Our middle-class generally is not known for their generosity towards the underpriveleges. They live in extravagant way, luxury accessories without even have time to think and blink to their underprivelege fellows around them. Had they voluntarily lived in more humble way and spend half of their extravagant life-style expense for financing the underpriveleges, life would have been much balanced and better.

Leadership personality is usually not born from that kind of environment.

(4) Most of the poor young generation relatively have more sensitivity towards the society as a whole, hence more leadership instict. If these poor yet potential youth are not nurtured, bad thing like social instability would be just like time bomb waiting to explode.

Education, and opportunities to education for all is very important. If only the leadership out there want to listen.

Senior Junior Relationship

A few months back, I, along with a friend, was invited by a senior Indonesian diplomat in New Delhi. We talked a lot about various issues including current events in Indonesia, international, and some off-the-record stories. What I want to share here with you, my honorable readers, are his comments on senior-junior relationship of Indonesian officials.

He said that as far as old generation of Indonesian officials goes, senior-junior relationship has never been easy. You gotta obey whatever your senior wants you to do, including to mess things up. For example, if a higher official in rank want to “make-up”, or mark-up if you will, the auditing report, all you have to do is just do it or else face the consequences. He’s happy, he said, that the current Ambassador never asked him to do so (unlike his predecessor).

He hopes, that the new generation like me could change the bad trend and has the gut to remind their superior of any power abuse in any form in the future.

This phenomenon, where an ‘honest’ officials like him just can do nothing to prevent his superior from doing corrupt practices represents commont trend in Indonesia politic and bureaucracy. Many good individuals can only look with desperation on KKN-ism (corruption, collusion, nepotism) practices done by their superior and ‘forced’ them to do the same.

He told me the story because I used to criticise the KKN practices done by Indonesian officials (PNS – civil servant) in many occasions including contentious debates with him online (in our internal mailing list) and offline (face-to-face meeting).

Deep within my heart, I know exactly how difficult to be a good and clean person in the midth of a dominated corrupt environments. I know in details about it as many of my uncles are among them. But I always maintain all along that nothing can justify any wrong doings. And no evil practices of Indonesian officials should be understood and silently justified. Inaction or quiet justification, on the part of young generation, to me stands for desperation.

And for us, as the young generation and the future Indonesian officials, criticising the current officials for whatever wrongs and corrupt things they do and is still doing, is very important and certainly not only for the sake of criticism; it’s also for reminding ourselves that it’s a big challenge for us: can we stand with our ideals when we are in the same position like them or we just perish and swimming in the mud of corrupt practices like them.

Apart from this, it’s also part of self-criticism. Any individual, community and nation who want to make progress have to look within him/her/itself first, correct anything wrongs; and look without to look for the better practical values done by other individuals, community and nations. Only then we can stand equal with others in making progress towards the better future. I cannot understand some ‘old’ guys who simply cannot understand this kind of reasoning or are you one of those old guys?***

Quietness, as I said above, stands for desperation. A desperate and weak young generation will never do any good for the future of the country.

How to Retire Early

indonesia blog How to retire early? It’s easy. Be a genius techno geek like Google founder. If you are not the one (that’s the most probability), well there’s another choice: go to Iraq, find the whereabouts of a man named Abu Ayyub al-Masri or Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. Yes, he’s Abu Musab al-Zarkawi’s successor. If you’ve found any information leading to his death the US occupying forces in Iraq will reward you a mouth-watering amount of $5 million.

That’s more than enough for you to live a lavish and extravagant lives in Caribian islands or quench your thirst lust of gambling at, where else, Las Vegas surrounded by many glomorous stuff your wildest imagination has ever thought of.

Not sure? Here’s from Al Jazeera

The US is offering a reward of up to $5 million to anyone providing information leading to Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the alleged senior al-Qaeda leader in Iraq.

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, on Friday authorised the reward under the Reward for Justice programme, which has paid more than $62 million to more than 40 people who have provided information to the US.

So, when the Empire feels tired, shaken and confused about what it’s doing in Iraq, this kind of coboy-like style seems very very ‘entertaining’, of course not for those poor Iraqis whose daily deaths are mounting everyday.

For those who have the guts and crazy enough to do the job and going to Iraq, don’t feel reluctant to send me a bucket of cheque flowers in case you were successful in your effort. From far distance part of the world, I wish you the best of luck.

“Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error”
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC-43 BC)

Police Officers Blog

Blogging seems to be spreading its “pendemic” into an alien territory that so far more known for its secrecy: the Police departments. How many police officers or police departments in the world have their own blog? Not much. According to an Indian local newspaper, only three police departments start blogging; two in the US and one in India.

The Boston Police Departments started its blog at November 2005, so it deserves to claim as the first blog by any police dept. anywhere in the world which was then followed eleven days after by Dakshina Kannada District Police in Mangalore, India. And Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) blog comes third.

Wonder, if some Indonesian police departments have any willingness to follow their counterparts in those other parts of the world? Considering the not-so-good image (to say the least) of our police officers, the blog initiative might help them to look more humane…

6 thoughts on “Civil Servant (PNS) Booming & Collective Corruption”

  1. Hate to say this, but you’re TOTALLY right!! My parents are some of them. Seems like the feudalistic mindset has fossilized in the minds of Indonesians since…well, maybe forever. And it’s damn hard to brainwash them. That’s the fact and deal with it! (sorry, a bit furious)

  2. Pingback: A. Fatih Syuhud

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