Senior Junior Relationship

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.