Indonesia requires parties to 'educate' voters

Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - The Indonesian government has issued a regulation obliging political parties to spend at least 60 per cent of assistance funds received from the state budget on voter education programmes.

The regulation requires parties to launch campaigns to educate voters on the democratic process and on the specifics of their policy platforms, with a goal of encouraging a more active democracy and discouraging transactional politics and a reliance on celebrity politicians.

Apung Widadi, a political corruption analyst from the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), said that he welcomed the regulation, despite its flaws.

"One part of the new regulation that we should applaud is that the Supreme Audit Agency [BPK] is now obliged to conduct strict and tight audits of political parties," Widadi said. "This is significant. We have learned from research that almost all nine parliamentary political parties have failed to demonstrate transparent and accountable bookkeeping."

Widadi noted that the regulation lacked monitoring and enforcement mechanisms. "It's a shame [....] Political parties can just ignore the regulation without having to worry about possible sanctions."

Government Regulation (PP) No. 83/2012, which was signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono earlier this month, amends PP No. 5/2009, according to a press release from the Cabinet secretary.

According to the 2011 Political Parties Law, parties are entitled to annual grants from the central and regional governments.

The amount of the "assistance funding" is based on the number of votes that individual parties received in the prior national or regional election, and the parties' number of seats in the House of Representatives and regional legislative councils.

Political parties receive only meagre funding from the central government. In 2010, for instance, Yudhoyono's Democratic Party received 2.34 billion rupiah (US$248,040) from the state coffers, while the Golkar Party received 1.62 billion rupiah and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) received 1.57 billion rupiah.

Earlier this year, the ICW released a report that said that parties had spent the assistance funds, which come from taxpayers, recklessly and without accountability.

Senior leaders of several of the nation's leading parties said they welcomed the regulation.

PDI-P lawmaker Eva Kusuma Sundari said that the party had always allocated its assistance funds for political education and training programmes.

"The new regulation is very good for the regeneration of our members, even though we actually also need the money for our daily operations," Sundari told The Jakarta Post via a text message.

Abdul Malik Haramain of the National Awakening Party (PKB) said that the PKB was ready to make political education a priority in its next fiscal year.

"Political education must continue, especially since the public tends to have the incorrect perception that political parties are busy only during the times before the election," he said.

Meanwhile, United Development Party (PPP) secretary-general Romahurmuziy said that the PPP had been consistent in allocating funds for education programmes.

Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) political analyst Kuskrido "Dodi" Ambardi said that mandatory political education were needed as some parties grew increasingly pragmatic, doing away with ideology and focusing only on fund raising.

"The public has lost trust in political parties, as these organisations don't respond to their needs anymore," Dodi said.

A trend to nominate movie starts and celebrities for high office indicated that parties have been reluctant to educate voters, according to the analyst.

"This shows that parties will resort to any means just to gain votes," he said.

Parties have been reluctant to account for the money the receive from the state budget.

In September, the ICW released a report that said that only a handful of political parties had fulfilled legal requirements to provide financial reports upon request.

The parties holding seats in the House that provided the ICW with financial reports were the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), the PDI-P, the People's Conscience Party (Hanura) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

The non-compliant parties were identified as Golkar, the PKB and the National Mandate Party (PAN).

US$1 = 9627.5 Indonesian rupiah

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors
    No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors

    Instead of filing an opposition, ombudsman prosecutors filed a manifestation yesterday expressing belief that there is no urgent need for Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. “Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient (Cavite) Vice-governor (Jolo) Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice-governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say
    How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say

    CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting to join the Islamic State group and carry out attacks on American soil. A masked, knife-wielding militant from London who is the face of terror in videos showing Western hostages beheaded. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options