Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) senior researcher Siti Zuhro has spoken out about the plan for active TNI (Indonesian military) officers to be placed in strategic posts in ministries and government institutions.
According to Zuhro, if indeed TNI officers are placed in civilian posts Indonesia will return to the New Order era of former President Suharto and the dual socio-political function (dwi-fungsi) of the TNI. Yet, she said, in 2004 Indonesia succeeded in abolishing the TNI’s dwi-fungsi.
“This means that were are already beginning to go back to ABRI’s [the Indonesian Armed Forces as the TNI was known] dwi-fungsi”, said Zuhro speaking at the Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno national secretariat on Tuesday February 26.
Furthermore, she explained, if indeed this does actually happen, then Indonesian democracy will be finished. “If they are placed [in civilian posts] again then we’re back to ABRI’s dwi-fungsi. Meaning our democracy is stagnating, it’s over, peace be upon him”, she continued.
Indonesian democracy will be finished, she said, because there will no longer be any institutions which can perform checks and balances. Because of this therefore she is asking the government to adhere to the State Civil Apparatus Law (ASN) which regulates the performance of the TNI, the national police and the civilian bureaucracy.
“So of course we in an era of democracy like this which, the term is, dependent on there being clear roles on how civil [institutions] manage the state, with of course the TNI and Polri [national police] sticking to their central role”, she explained.
“So each institution under a democratic system is managed properly so there are checks and balances between the DPR [the legislative] and the executive and also with the military in safeguarding our defence, the police safeguard domestic security and at the same time guarding each other, so don’t mix it all up”, she concluded.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “TNI Ditempatkan di Pos Sipil, LIPI: Demokrasi Kita Tamat”.]