Kompas, 21 Oct 2016

On October 2, 2016, the government of Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Jusuf Kalla was two years old. In this period, many progresses had been achieved, especially in the efforts to do political consolidation in the representative institutions and development in the economic field. Without having to be quantified, the achievement in the two agendas at least is above the satisfactory level.

If the journey of the two-year government was tracked, nearly all of the first year, Jokowi-JK concentrated more on the relations with political powers in the House of Representatives (DPR). In limits of reasoning, this option made sense because of polarization of political strength during the 2014 Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections which forced Jokowi-JK to be able to manage and expand support of the political parties. Reflecting from the constitutional design of President-DPR relations, the failure to manage the power of political parties in the legislature would significantly affect the implementation of the presidential agenda. Besides about legislation, for example, it will be impossible for the President to produce a budget which can support the realization of the promise in Nawacita if the draft of the state budget could not get support from the majority of the political powers in DPR. Moreover, all strategic agendas of the President are almost always in contact with DPR.

With all the plus-minus records, Jokowi-JK managed to increase the number of supports from political parties in DPR. A part of the political parties, which had previously been in the rank supporting the Red White Coalition, moved their support to the government. This means, even though the former division of polarization of political parties has not yet completely gone, the government could increasingly move more conveniently for each agenda related with DPR. Without such a success, the DPR-President relation was certainly feared to be in deadlock.

Coinciding with the increasingly strong penetration of Jokowi-JK in the legislature, the government moved quickly in the development of economic field. Not only giving attention to the issue of infrastructure, the government has issued more than a dozen of packages on the economic field. One of the extraordinary successes is the achievement in the tax amnesty program in the first period, July-September 2016. The achievement of the tax amnesty program can be judged as one of the bests achievements of Jokowi-JK.


Legal agenda

Amids the achievements of political consolidation and economic agendas, the agenda in the field of law seems hobbled and left far behind. In fact, during the process towards the stage of RI-1 and RI-2, a series of promises in the legal fields in Nawacita became one of the "prima donna" of Jokowi-JK. About the legal agenda, it was firmly promised to strengthen the presence of the state in the law reform and law enforcement which is free from corruption, dignified and reliable.

Tracking the strands in Nawacita, the legal agenda was broken down into 11 commitments, among them to build legislation politics which is clear, open, and taking side to the fight against corruption, upholding of human rights, environmental protection, and reform on the law enforcement agencies. Especially against corruption, it will be implemented consistently by strengthening the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Jokowi-JK also promised to eradicate justice mafia which has long become a chronic disease of law enforcement.

In addition to the above matter, Jokowi-JK reiterated commitment to the law enforcement on environment, eradication of drugs and psychotropic substances; legal certainly on land ownership and land dispute settlements; the eradication of banking crimes and money laundering; to protect children, women and marginal groups. Not only that, they were also committed to respect human rights and justifiable settlement of human right violation cases in the past.

Reading in details the promises and commitments in law, Jokowi-JK gave more focus on two fundamental issues of the legal system and law enforcement, namely the issue of legal substance and legal structure, especially the law enforcement apparatuses. Meanwhile, the issue of public law culture and law education does not become the primary focus. A focus on legal substance and legal structure of course is based on the considerations: if the two issues are improved, a part of the legal issues and law enforcement can be resolved.

For two years in office, the commitment to do the legislation reform has not been so visible. The process of formulating the laws still run normally as before Jokowi-JK ruled. If now it is questioned whether it has been proven with the formulation of law with legislation politics which is different for the previous era, certainly it is not easy to give satisfactory answer. Let alone changes of the legislation paradigm, the achievement of laws has always been far below the national legislation program.

With regard to legislation politics, in the "Neglected Law" (Kompas, 22/7) I argued, many facts proved that the formulation of laws was still not fully under the control of the President. For example, related to the revision of law on KPK, even though the President had repeatedly stated not to revise it, maneuver to this direction had not stopped altogether. The proof, thus far there has not been any real step to revoke the revision of law on KPK from the list of the national legislation program. Actually, seeing the negative sentiments of a part of the strength of political parties in DPR against KPK, continuing the revision will very likely undermine the KPK.

Had the revision of law on KPK happens, it is difficult to safeguard and maintain the control of the President in the political legislation. At least, the revision has the potential to sink one of the crowns in Nawacita of Jokowi-JK: prioritizing the eradication of corruption consistently and reliably by strengthening the KPK. Why it has to be nosy to mention, repeat and remind about this matter to Jokowi-JK? The answer is very simple: during 2015, the KPK was ravaged, threatened to be paralyzed totally and barely become a junkyard. It means, if the revision is forwarded, it is tantamount to provide coffins for the future of the KPK.

Apart from the legislation politics and KPK, another issue, which needs to get attention, is the human rights. As disclosed by Todung Mulya Lubis when he was invited by President Jokowi in the Palace (22/9), even though the law state index rose (thinly) from 5.18 to 5.32 (of the scale of 1-10), human rights occupies the lowest grade, namely 3.82. The parameter used to assess the 2015 State Law Index on Human Rights, is the guarantee for the right of life, the right to be free from torture, the right not to be enslaved, the right not to be imprisoned based on contractual obligations, the right not to be punished for actions which not a crime and the right to the freedom of thought, religion and belief.

Similar with the eradication of drugs and psychotropic substances, thus far the efforts being made still face a kind of a great wall. Actually the threat of the danger to be caused really becomes a real threat for the young generation and at the same time the future of this country. Many circles judge, as long the law enforcement action fails to touch profit-taking parties, do not think that trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances can be terminated. The way to do it is by ensuring the law enforcement does not fall in and be clean from illicit good business.


Referring to the above notes, it does not mean during the two-year government of Jokowi-JK the legal agenda did not get attention at all. One of the examples, was about the commitment on the law enforcement in environment. Many circles admit, the Jokowi-JK government shows serious efforts to stop the burning of forests and lands. Apparently there is no previous government which did such a serious effort. However, the huge efforts being carried out have not been proportional to the number of burners whose cases were settled through courts. Even in several areas, the cases of forest and land fires were closed without any intension to take the step to hand over them to the court. Finally, the law enforcement for the forest and land burners, especially the giant investors, experiences a kind of apparent death.

Meanwhile, about the many regional legal products which contradict the higher regulations, the government efforts to revoke about 3,000 regional legal products got special appreciation from some circles. However, the measures had not been made in the design for the settlement of chaotic legal products comprehensively, especially between the central and regional governments. Complaints from the regions are that it is impossible for the regional legal products to be in sync as long as the legal products prepared by the central government are not in sync. This condition get increasingly complicated because the sectoral laws also add stifle to the regions.

The latest development, President Jokowi gave attention to extortion issue. As part of the exit strategy from the shackles of illegal levies, the President formed a task force to eradicate extortion named Extortion Clean Sweep (Saber Pungli). Even though it is positively welcome, this step has not become a detailed description of the strategic steps of the law enforcement as stated in Nawacita. Previous experience in establishing a task force, the big step was felt at the beginning before it was sinking in the design of the law enforcement. With regard to this, let us look at the mirror on the experience of the task force to eradicate the law mafia in the era of President SBY.

Therefore, President Jokowi in the Saber Pungli agenda has to be seen and interpreted as a warm-up to fulfill the promises and commitments for the law enforcement in Nawacita. For example, by using the promise in legislation politics, Jokowi-JK has to initiate systemic and comprehensive steps to improve the law substance which give important contribution for the chaotic face of the law enforcement. The way is that the presidential office has to have a scalable control range against law materials in the area of the executive.

Concrete steps which need to be done are making inventory of laws which are still valid to find conflicting substances. Then, when it will discuss a draft law, it has to be assured that there will not be any overlaps with other valid laws. The key factor, which need to get attention, is eliminating ego-sectoral among government institutions. Do not stop to the law. A similar effort also has to be made on legal products in the executive areas such as government regulations, presidential regulations, ministerial regulations and others. Then similar steps have to be done on legal products in the regions.

In addition to the legal substance, Jokowi-JK have to give more attention on the law enforcement agencies, especially which are under the presidential institution. Whatever it is, thus far, the reform movement in the police and prosecutor's office is still slow. The evidence which is hard to argue still exists between the law enforcers who utilize the law enforcement authorities to obtain unlawful profits. If the President will issue a policy package in the legal field, the package for the police and prosecutors' office should be made more details so that it will lead to the fundamental internal reform. If the law enforcement in the upstream (police and prosecutors' office) can be fixed, the next process will follow.

But what is far more important is after being sidelined for two years, the legal agenda has to be carried out in an accelerated pace. Without it, the legal agenda will remain left from the political needs and agenda in the economic field. When it is continuously left, political consolidation and economic agenda will move wildly without any legal foundation.

Saldi Isra

Professor of Constitutional Law and Director Of Constitutional Studies Center (PUSaKO) Of The School Of Law, University Of Andalas

source: http://print.kompas.com/baca/english/2016/10/21/OPINION-Accelerating-Legal-Agenda