indonesia corners

indonesia corners

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Weird DPD First Interpellation

Nine years have elapsed before members of Regional Representatives Board (DPD)  one day in October this year realized that they had interpellation right to question the government if they did not agree with its policy.

But what a surprise,  the first interpellation right they use after so many years kept silent was about the Low Cost Green Car (LCGC), not the strategic issues related to the regional autonomy, say, for example, the creation of new autonomous regions.

Spearheaded by A.M Fatwa, a regional representative from Jakarta, around three fourth of 132 DPD members agreed to use such right. They argue that the infrastructure is not enough to support the existing cars. The rich people will have greater possibilities to buy LCGCs and rent them to poor people.

DPD members thought that they find a better solution by proposing to the government to sit down with rich people and discuss how to settle the problem of mass rapid transportation, rather than enabling common people to buy LCGCs.

How come that those distinguished DPD members have such mediocre arguments? Don’t they know that Indonesia is not Jakarta? More than half of the car population is concentrated in the Capital city. Look to the street in small cities outside Jakarta, look to the road in outer islands that the majority of DPD members represent, aren’t they all deserted?
Those grim conditions are caused by the fact that the cars sold in the market are too expensive so that most people cannot afford to buy. Of course, the policy cannot accommodate common people to buy such LCGC but at least it increases the opportunity to buy.

Irman Gusman, DPD head, said that the interpellation was raised because he got a lot of questions from people in small cities. His argument seems paradoxical. If those notable members are fair, they should question expensive cars circulating in Jakarta and welcome instead the cheap cars. 

Actually there is no need to respond such dim questions but constitutionally the government should answer the interpellation. The President, represented Coordinating Minister of Economics, Hatta Rajasa, Minister of Industry, MS Hidayat and Minister of Transportation, E.E. Mangindaan, responded that the policy of LCGCs is enacted to anticipate the upcoming ASEAN International Free Trade in 2015 and to meet the need of common people to have a car.

LCGCs will not become the causal factor of a traffic jam because the cars will be distributed mainly in a small city and villages where the cars are still very limited and traffic jam never happens. Besides, the government has taken priority to develop public transportation in six metropolitan cities and buffer zones to curb the traffic jam.

The honorable DPD members,

Next time you raise an interpellation, it should be the one that is more strategic and more valuable for the regions you are represented.

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