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4 November 2009

Problems facing public services in Indonesia

Reform experienced by Indonesia in 1998 has led to major change nationwide. The change took place as far as governmental administration process. Bureaucracy as part of the government’s job description, was also affected by the reform. The movement towards change required bureaucracy to be more neutral, transparent, responsive, and accountable, politically. Such demand has pushed the bureaucrats to create a new frame and characteristic building in answering their responsibility to fulfill the needs of people as their constituents. In practice, Indonesian bureaucracy truly needed more experience to anticipate this massive change. For example, there were still many handicaps in providing public services. This situation opposed to the previously idealized dream, a government as a good servant for the citizens. Many elements of the current government administration were reluctant to fulfill the people needs voluntarily. Bureaucracy, which initially aimed to simplify administration process, became one the people avoided due to its complex nature. As people live in a modern nation, they need a well-constructed bureaucracy because it is more and more important to fulfill the needs of the people. Development during the 20th century had shown an escalating demand on good governed bureaucracy, which responded to both state and people living within. Therefore, a poorly managed bureaucracy might bring the nation to an end of history. Bureaucrats’ role on present days are expected to play more active, as well as responsive, roles in providing needs of the people, whom they serve. Bureaucracy as the performer of the administration and public service has a great responsibility to fulfill the needs and demands of the people in order to create stability and justice. Bureaucrats are not simply a public service provider. To limit bureaucratic functions means creating a short-term bureaucratic role, which is unable of giving desired outcome to the served ones. In order to achieve such idealism, there must be supporting facilities, for example, legal aspects that contain state administrative laws. Bureaucracy is an important aspect that links government to the people, becomes the mediator of a co-operation between state apparatus and the citizens. Such important role makes it a mediating agent that serves common interests and makes available policies of the government. To accommodate this explanation, the government of the Republic of Indonesia has promulgated Act No. 23/2006 on Citizen Administration. The promulgation of Act No. 23/2006 agrees with the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia 1945, in which article 28 (1) and article 34 (2) require the government to provide services to the citizens and to fulfill their basic needs. It is therefore public services provided by governmental apparatus have become obligation in each sector of life of the nation. However, each staff of the Indonesian government must be aware of problems, which may prevent the service performance. In general, there were three major problems found during the study observation: 1) poor human resource quality in providing services to the citizens, 2) confusion in choosing between methods available to improve service quality to the citizens, and 3) confusion in choosing between alternatives to reconstruct the current regulations, which proved unmatched with the actual situation. To overcome the above problem, the study had the following objectives. First, to describe and to explain the quality of the citizen administration provided by the governmental bureaucrats; second, to explain roles played by the governmental bureaucrats in improving service quality to he citizens; and third, to reconstruct regulations believed to help improve the service quality to the citizens. To this end, the study used a qualitative technique, in which concerned informants were collected and interviewed. Having analyzed and processed the data collected during the observation, at last the study found as follows: 1) poor service quality to the people was due to misconduct of legal principles as the most responsible parties; 2) lacking contribution from the governmental bureaucrats in providing public services; and 3) absence of governmental mutual rules that met the requirements of the Act No. 23/2006 so that the regulatory construction were poorly performed.

Local Government Leaders in Central Java Province

List of Regents in Central Java Province
BanjarnegaraDjasri
BanyumasMardjoko
BloraRM Yudhi Sancoyo
BoyolaliSri Moeljanto
BrebesIndra Kusuma
DemakTafta Zani
GroboganBambang Pudjiono
JeparaHendro Martoyo
KaranganyarRina Iriani Sri Ratnaningsih
KebumenNashiruddin Al Mansyur
KendalSiti Nurmarkesi
KlatenSunarno
KudusMusthofa
MagelangSinggih Sanyoto
PatiTasiman
PekalonganSiti Qomariyah
PemalangMachroes
PurbalinggaTriyono Budi Sasongko
PurworejoKelik Sumrahadi
RembangMoch. Salim
SemarangBambang Guritno
SurakartaJoko Widodo & FX Hadi Rudyatmo
TemanggungHasyim Afandi
WonogiriBegug Poernomosidi
WonosoboKholiq Arif

Islam does not like violence

Violence is not the true look of Islam, nor of other religions. It is simply 'the other side of religion', derived by a group of people who comprehend their belief in shallow or rigid manner. Historical studies have evidenced that violence on behalf of religion implies hidden interests of sort of people in order to reach their goals (self-respect and honor, economic superiority, fear, and apetite for rule). These aspects are actually irrelevant with the essence of God's religion. It is important for any religion to always keep in touch with environment outside. There is a need for religion to experience socio-cultural, socio-historical, and socio-political interactions. Such external aspects are significant to affect the way one looks at his/her religion. As time goes by Indonesia has been eventually occupied by small groups of Muslims with textual knowledge of Islam. Such groups are known as fundamentalists. They make efforts to create religious formalization. They even dare sacrifice their lives violently. Following the above phenomenon, there are also some groups of muslims, known as liberal muslims, who define the religion loosely. They tend to leave "the outer line" of Islam by reducing religious transcedence in favor of freedom. Historical nature and root of both Islamic models can be found in the landscape of the Indonesian history. However, among such extreme tendencies, there are majority people who always try to put weight on a more moderate religious understanding. That is by synchronize ritual and social faiths, religious belief and tolerance due to vary beliefs and cultures. Religious understanding consists of tolerance (tasamuh), tranquility (tawazun), and moderation (tawasuth). They become a spawning foundation on which Islam fundamental syariat to be achieved, preserving and protecting five-fundamental aspects (maqashid as-syari'ah): religion (ad-din), soul (nafs), mind (aql), property (mal), and dignity (nasab). Ad-din protection means preventing individuals from the sins and wrong-doing. Soul protection means creating a human with nobility as humans are the noble creature of God.Mind protection contains an obedience of avoiding things that God requires. In case of this aspect, Islam prohibits believers to consume khamar due to its adverse effects to the mind. Maal protection explains knowledge about how to keep one's properties clean and halal. That is why Islam can not tolerate frauds such as corruption, theft, etc. Finally, Nasab protection implies a persuassion to keep oneself as well as his or her relatives out of sinful deeds by obeying the God's commands. Once maqashid as-syari'ah is achieved and understood, there will not be violences because of rigid understanding about religion, blind fanaticism, or ethnic primordialism according to particular beliefs. Muslims must have a standpoint to which all the people of Indonesia may count on. The good Islam is one that creates harmony in the middle of pluralistic society, where many religions, cultures, and customs take place. It is a big achievement for Indonesian muslims if they can show the world the Islam universalknowledge, to spread understanding about Islam that loves peace, tolerance, generosity, and hospitality. Any violence upon which this religion is based must not be compromised. Wallahu a'lamu bis shawab. Original script (Indonesian): Buletin Jumat, written by Drs. Syamsudin, BS (Vice Chairman of Indonesia Raya Dakwah Board; Social and Religion analyst) Reference: QS. al-Isra' 17:70 | www.cmm.or.id
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