Watching Yudhoyono’s tentacles growing
Yesterday, we were shocked by the news that the current Indonesia’s Central Bank Governor, Burhanuddin Abdullah, was declared as a corruptor by the Anti-Corruption Commission, KPK.
There has been a preceding events leading to it. It was the case of the Central Bank’s Liquidity Assistance, the so-called BLBI, which was just turned into a case to be soon investigated by the Commission and passed by the Parliament as its so-called “right for interpelation”.
The case was about the Bank’s financial assistance to save the supposedly-liquidated commercial banks in 1998 during the Asian crisis and, related to that, to purchase a banking law in assurance of the Bank’s untouched status even by the government or any supra-authority in 2004.
I am glad that (though it is already too late) now there is a real action to catch the big fish corruptor. Or at least, leading to catch the big fish. I never consider the previous cases of our government’s anti-corruption movements against the local legislatures, local executives, mid-rank officials, mediocre businessmen by KPK were serious in its intention. They were all just the cover.
My take is as long as the government could not catch the big fish (including the ones surrounding it very closely), anti-corruption movement is just a big BS. It’s just a lipstick policy.
Now that there is seemingly a tough decision to bring the Central Bank’s authority to court and to prison later on, there is a hope. Like a proverb which says, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
But then I questioned myself. How could this present government led by Yudhoyono suddenly turn into a convincing maneuver? Not that difficult to answer in the end. It is part of the bigger picture that Yudhoyono is now trying to sketch: BUILDING HIS OWN TENTACLES OF OLIGARCHY.
A political theory long posited by scholars like Vedi Hadiz or Paul Hutchcroft would fit to read the abovementioned case, and also the subsequent coming soon political events of what Yudhoyono is going to take.
Basically these scholars say that those who reign in power would be exclusively dominated by the oligarchs. Those who are not part of the oligarchy would be ousted.
Hadiz would say that Indonesia has been witnessing the New Order’s oligarchs reorganizing themselves, including by the present Yudhoyono. While Hutchcroft would maintain that during Marcos and after, politics in the Philippines has always been nothing but the reign of land-owning oligarchs including the defunct Marcos and the current Arroyo.
By crushing against the super-body like the Central Bank, Yudhoyono is making sure that he will always get the upper hand among his rivals as well as his allies. Then he would replace these people meddle in his way building the oligarchy by his families, and cronies.
Burhanuddin was just a bridge to destroy, and would be replaced by Yudhoyono’s newly found daughter-in-law’s father who is now acting also as part of the Central Bank’s Board of Governors-Aulia Pohan. (Easy to detect, Mr President!). Too bad some scholars like here does not dare to speak for the Truth. We do not need such euphemism, dear scholar!
One more thing, next week, there will be a change in the Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI). There has been no force majeure faced by the state Bank. So far the shares are doing well, but the government insists on changing the management board.
Guess what, Yudhoyono’s relative (to be precise, his wife’s relative) Gatot Mudiantoro Suwondo is going to replace the current director of the Bank!
People, beware of Yudhoyono’s seemingly calm performance! It is fake. He is basically plundering the nation! Some activists in Jakarta call him “purba”, pretending to be good (“pura-pura baik”). And I think it is really true.