Gathering resources and uniting for the potential to obtain or maintain victory, such as in the presidential and vice-presidential elections (pilpres), is certainly normal and reasonable.
Support is enumerated, reinforcements are formed, funds are collected, and if necessary any party that is still in doubt or in a gray area is withdrawn. Tactics and strategies are prepared, concepts and ideas are assessed, promises of various programs are designed. Facing the presidential election, all efforts are made as total and complete as possible. In short, all out. It cannot be compared to just a sports match that knows the term of the draw. In the presidential election, what exists is only to win or lose.
So what is unusual? Certainly it is strange, when later the struggle seems to end in victory itself. All parties celebrate and forget to take care of the victory, forget to consolidate promises, and forget to organize work and development programs. The campaign teams seem to stop from all their duties.
We had witnessed such a situation after the 2014 presidential election. Ahead of the presidential inauguration, a series of programs were presented that in terms of format and content seemed like the results of a hasty work. Indeed, it was not an easy thing as 70 programs had to be outlined from the Nawacita (nine-point development program), which became the tagline during the campaign. Therefore, when this is published and at that time the winner of the 2019 presidential election had actually appeared on April 17, hopefully there would be no need to waste much time. Especially when the winner is the incumbent, possibly there is no need to waste any more time. Euphoria must stop and victory must be consolidated immediately.
Will the campaign team be assigned or take some of its members and strengthen it? All of them become the matter of the presidential candidate winning the presidential election. The important thing is that all promises are immediately consolidated. Redefine and compile everything in the form of programs that are better, smoother, and have political weight. It will be much better if at the same time it has the developmental administration’s weight. Or it could have also been done by another team that contains members who are already on the campaign team, who might have been moving clandestinely and strengthened with new experts. The important thing is that all of them know the concept and promise background, as well as the direction and plan for its operationalization. Why is that so?
Forgetting or being too late with the question and only later giving the assignment to an entirely new team will present the formulation that might differ from the background, concepts and promises during the campaign. The same is true when finally giving the task to the bureaucracy. It is certain that this can be done. However, as executors of governance and development programs, which are prohibited from participating and ordered to be away from campaign activities, the bureaucracy must not understand the political concepts, presidential campaign strategies, promises and underlying thought backgrounds.
Moreover, in the matter of designing development plans, bureaucrats tend to stick to the principle of sustainable development. The tendency that usually displays attitudes and actions that are template in designing the programs. Continuing, adding and increasing with the starting point of the programs five years earlier become the usual formula in designing development plans: either medium or long-term plans. Is there anything wrong with that matter?
It’s not a matter of right or wrong. Not only did the bureaucracy not participate in the campaign, it also did not take part in drafting the content of the campaign. How can it consolidate and formulate promises appropriately and describe them in the development program? What will happen if the formulation of the programs are different from the promises, concepts, strategies and backgrounds? Isn’t that a matter of politics? When they later become the driving force of development, what should be done if there is such a thing as a gap between promises and the results of their implementation? It could be that the bureaucracy is blamed, but the one who feels the bad judgment is the leader who has the promises.
Take one of the promises as an example. President Jokowi, the incumbent in the presidential election, appeared without bringing a new volume of Nawacita to his campaign. He maintained and remained consistent with the Nawacita that he has been carrying out since 2014, but with the determination of renewal, improvement, and perfection. One of them is the determination to build on human resources. The human, science and technology base is good and very strategic. It feels like that is the big problem, which from yesterday, now, and later, will become our basic problem. Even if we depart from that one point, it is very important how the promise can be explained properly.
The experience of the last five years provides a lesson on how brief it is to wrap the tagline of the development of human resources with just a new credo of “mental revolution”, let alone as a development program. The words themselves require a lot of translation of what and how.
If a problem that surrounds human resources is considered a focal point, it must be brave to see aspects of mentality, character, and personality in one breath with aspects of its capacity, which refers among other things to the expertise and skills and intellectual abilities in mastering, developing, and utilizing science and technology. Where will it all be based on? The experience of the last five years should be enough to arouse the courage to acknowledge that building human resources cannot be done like this. We must stop evolving in building human resources and all its aspects as mentioned above. Building character, personality, mentality, and intellectual capacity, seems impossible except through education. That is what must be systemic, structured and massive.
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Are there and do we have clear education policies to become a guide so far? This is about the concept of policy to shape the nation and it must be wrong if this political question is easily considered a doctoral matter. The president must answer it clearly and it will be the ministers that describe and implement it. It is not important that the ministers are professors or doctors or others. What is important is that he must truly choose among those who know the content and direction of the president’s politics and national education.
With a large demographic dividend that in the next one or two decades can be an extraordinary asset, it is important that the name of education policy is directed at answering the ideals of the nation’s intelligence that are imprinted in the Preamble of the Constitution. What kind of education do we need, both about the institution and its contents and methods so that this nation is able to manage its life well and overcome the challenges brought about in each change? Should that mean that all Indonesian people must have university degrees, so that each regency must have a university? Or change each educational institution to become a university?
Do we have an education system with a curriculum that is able to sort out which children have talent and ability in mastering and developing knowledge, and which ones should be equipped with skills and expertise through vocational/polytechnic schools? Our closest neighbors have clear policy about that. Exploring this matter is important not because of mere funding factors. More than that, it is actually a natural factor. It is impossible for everyone to be a graduate right? Pushing to have this last thought, without construction foremen, without masons, without steel welding experts, without automotive mechanics, without electric technicians and information technology (IT), without experts in commercial management, without agricultural extension workers, without midwives, nurses and other medical experts, without experts in cookery, without experts in music and dance, etc., is feared there will be a strange social order in the next generation.
Another example of the importance of consolidating the victory also has relation to promises concerning government organizations. In the midst of the growing spread of parliamentary aromas surrounding the presidential system, it is certainly not an easy matter for the president to support the desires of the political parties and other volunteers to be able to participate or ask to be invited to participate in the cabinet that will be formed. After promising a lean, effective and professional government in the 2014 election campaign, but then coming up with a cabinet format with 34 ministers left from the previous government, then what about in 2019? With the increasing number of supporting political parties, some of them have not passed the parliamentary threshold, especially in the midst of millennial appeal, it is very necessary for the president to build the right tips to overcome them.
In addition to defining the format of the organization that is truly in accordance with the objectives to be realized, the president should be active in compiling a description of the functions and tasks of each organ he wants, as well as formulate criteria and requirements for his officials. Political parties and other supporting parties are of course still allowed to propose professionals who are championed, but the key should remain in the hands of the president.
Even though it is appropriate to abandon the practice of asking for rations, it is important for the president to remain firm in holding the design of the organization he makes. As far as fulfilling the criteria and conditions being set, the rules of the game still apply: The president makes the choices. If necessary, it should be reverse. It is the president who offers criteria and requirements. This step is at least important to maintain a presidential government system.
President Jokowi will not be allowed to contest the presidential election in 2024. However, it is also wrong to say that in the next five years President Jokowi can lead a government without burden. A really hard task waits for him. President Jokowi must be able to lay a solid foundation, not only for the smooth transition of power without commotion like so far, but also enable the next generation of state government leadership to overcome the challenges of its era.
Everything is only possible with a good legacy such as laying a solid foundation for human development with Pancasila mentality, character, and personality and high capacity of expertise and skills and scientific abilities; preparing a better state institutional structure and working mechanism; the foundation of a stronger economic life; insight into nationality and increasingly cohesive socio-cultural life; as well as increasingly stable state security and order. All his promises in the 2019 presidential election are precisely for that. Believe it or not. It’s not a light duty.
Bambang Kesowo, Chairman of the board of supervisors of the National Resilience Institute Alumni Association (IKAL)
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Versi cetak artikel ini terbit di harian Kompas edisi 12 Juni 2019 di halaman 6 dengan judul "Mengonsolidasikan Kemenangan".