Press Release | PATTIRO: The Inauguration of Hambit Bintih Injures Justice and Hurts the Feelings of the People

Despite being opposed and rejected by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the Ministry of Home Affairs (Kemdagri) stated that it would still inaugurate the elected Regent of Gunung Mas district, Central Kalimantan province, Hambit Bintih. The Minister of Home Affairs (Mendagri) Gamawan Fauzi stated that the inauguration of Hambit Bintih had to be carried out to deactivate the suspect in the alleged bribery case in the regional head election dispute. Meanwhile, the KPK stated that apart from not wanting to harm the state, it did not want to repeat the bad experience when it allowed the Mayor of Tomohon, South Sulawesi, Jefferson Rumajar to attend his inauguration as regional head in January 2011.

At that time Jefferson was a KPK detainee who was caught up in a corruption case in the Tomohon City APBD worth Rp. 19.8 billion. According to the KPK, after taking office, Jefferson placed certain people in the government and returned to commit acts of corruption. Jefferson was again suspected of committing the crime of bribery to members of the South Sulawesi Audit Board (BPK) to provide an unqualified assessment of the financial reports of Tomohon City.

The Center for Information and Regional Studies (PATTIRO) supports the KPK’s actions in rejecting the inauguration and asking the Ministry of Home Affairs not to inaugurate Hambit Bintih. The inauguration of Hambit Bintih will hurt the sense of justice and hurt the feelings of the Indonesian people, especially the people of Gunung Mas district who generally also reject the inauguration. Even though the Ministry of Home Affairs argued that the inauguration was only temporary, then temporarily disabled, the inauguration of Hambit Bintih will disturb the sense of justice and set a bad precedent for law enforcement in this country. A corruption suspect, which is an extraordinary crime, can be appointed as a public official.

The desire of the Ministry of Home Affairs to follow and uphold the positive law (the law that is currently in effect) by appointing Hambit Bintih so that he can be deactivated may be understandable. Officials at the Ministry of Home Affairs are bureaucrats who always work according to positive law, so they cannot be blamed for the reason that they work according to the applicable statutory provisions. For the Hambit Bintih case, according to PATTIRO, the Ministry of Home Affairs should be able to apply progressive laws (laws that are advanced). The application of progressive law initiated by the late prof. Satjipto Rahardjo in this case will restore a sense of justice.

According to prof. Satjipto Rahardjo (late) progressive law is a series of radical actions, by changing the legal system, including changing legal regulations if necessary, so that the law is more useful, especially in raising self-esteem and guaranteeing human happiness and welfare. Progressive law, based on the principle that law is for humans, not the other way around. The law does not exist for itself, but for something broader, namely for human dignity, happiness, welfare, and human glory. On the basis of these progressive legal principles, the Ministry of Home Affairs should not appoint Hambit Bintih for reasons of law enforcement and creating justice in society.

To prevent this problem from recurring in the future, PATTIRO suggested that the solution to this problem be included in a regulation. Law number 32 of 2004 concerning Regional Government (UU Pemda) only regulates the prerequisites for regional head candidates before post-conflict local elections are held. When a regional head candidate is elected and determined by the General Elections Commission (KPU) to be the winner but has not been sworn in, then he is involved in legal issues, there are no provisions governing this. The regulations should include provisions that when a pair of regional head candidates has been determined by the KPU to be the winner but has not been inaugurated, then becomes involved and becomes a suspect in legal issues that are extra ordinary crimes such as corruption and terrorism, then the win must be canceled or aborted. This provision can be included in the revision of the Regional Government Law which is currently rolling in the DPR. (***)

Jakarta January 20, 2014

Sad Dian Utomo | Executive Director PATTIRO | 0812 800 3045

Contact Person:
Iskandar Saharudin | Policy Reform Specialist | 0852 6045 0446




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