NGO coalition for clean and effective parliament launched

Source – November 5, 2004
Formappi Director Sebastian Salang (Tribune)
Formappi Director Sebastian Salang (Tribune)

Melly Febrida, Jakarta – The poor performance of the People’s Representative Assembly (DPR) has provoked four non-government organisations (NGOs) to launch the NGO Coalition for Clean and Effective Parliament (Koalisi LSM untuk Parlemen Bersih dan Efektif).

The coalition is made up of the Indonesian Forum for Budgetary Transparency (Fitra), the Indonesian Parliamentary Social Concern Forum (Formappi), Indonesia Procurement Watch (IPW) and the Jakarta chapter of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (LBH).

The launch was held earlier today on Friday November 5 at the parliamentary press room in Senayan, South Jakarta, and attended by four speakers, Arif Nur Alam from Fitra, Erna Ratnaningsih from LBH, Ibet and Sebastian from Formappi.

In a press release they said that the coalition was formed to control the performance of the parliament, promote public participation, promote transparency in public institutions and promote change within the parliament.

The background to the formation of the commission was the performance and behaviour of DPR members during the period 1999-2004 which was less than satisfactory and failed to fulfil the public’s expectations.

In terms of their functioning, the coalition said that the 1999-2004 parliament was unable to finish the enactment of new legislation and had been incapable properly carrying out the function of checks and controls, was not transparent in terms of its budgetary functions and became an arena for corruption (individual enrichment).

They said that the behaviour of the parliament during the last period was also of concern, that is formally of factually members often failed to or pretended to attend sessions. The code of ethics was not enforced and the issue of corruption by legislators damaged the image of the DPR as a people’s representative body.

In terms of fulfilling society’s aspirations meanwhile, it is not clear at the moment if the DPR will act in the public’s interests. In institutional terms it is also unclear who will do this as access to information this matter is difficult to obtain.

Now, because the members of the DPR for the period 2004-2009 is made up of many new faces, it has created a new hope within society. The public has high hopes that the parliament can be the key to the future development of democracy.

Unfortunately, they have started their term of office by fighting over leadership positions in the DPR’s Commission I. This said Sebastian, could create public mistrust and even an allergy to politics. (gtp)

[Translated by James Balowski.]