Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Discussing China's Go Global Strategy and Investment in Natural Resources

In this essay I will elaborate China’s open door policy in late 1970s. Since then China has increasingly developed its industrial base and agriculture and at the same time attract large inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI). China’s open door policy has further strengthen through its accession to World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 and effective implementation of China’s ‘go global strategy’.

China’s ‘go global strategy’ is a significant point of departure in its journey toward more investment abroad by increasing its overseas direct investment (ODI). This essay seeks to explain how China’s ‘go global strategy’ has further stimulated increased overseas investment in natural resources to supply increasing industrialization in China. Characteristic of Chinese investment will also be described here to provide context or enabling environment for Chinese investment practices overseas.     

China’s Open Door Policy in Late 1970s

Before 1949, China was torn apart by foreign invasions, peasant uprisings, civil wars and drained of its surpluses through imperialist impositions. China at the time lived through classic symptoms of underdevelopment such as economic stagnation, poor technological capacity, political corruption and disorder, social polarization and impoverishment. In 1976 when Mao passed away China had developed into a diversified and self-sufficient industrial structure with some developed capacity in technology. This economic transformation was built on the basic structure of socialist system with strong emphasis on the public ownership (Clegg, 2009). Facing with the US-led anti-communist world system, Mao developed a ‘closed door’ self-reliance and limited engagement with the outside world. This was very damaging to the development of the country. Given this context Mao crafted a combination of ‘top-down’ command system with ‘bottom up’ mobilization for production and social progress leading toward Great Leap Forward in 1958 – 60 and Cultural Revolution in 1966 – 76.

While Maoist self-reliance approach has been used in the context of strong international pressure, Deng Xiaoping was able to come up with a different approach following the normalization of Sino-US relations in 1978. This is a transformation from ‘war and revolution’ to ‘peace and development’. Under Deng’s guidance China was able to reap the benefit of multilateral initiatives, open the China’s door to the outside world and advance the development of the country through export markets and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) toward priority sectors in line with the state’s industrial policies, directing foreign capital inflows into long-term investment projects and into greenfield sites to create new productive capacity.  Building on Mao’s self-reliance model, Deng make use of opportunities available in the global market to advance the country’s development agenda. This is done by still maintaining control over the country’s economic development path and objective (Clegg, 2009).  As Deng once said ‘socialism cannot be built on the basis of poverty’ and the ‘superiority of the socialist system is based on increasing the productive forces and improving people’s material and cultural life’ (R. Halloran, 1999).  

China’s approach in the opening up process is different with that of Russia’s neo-liberal ‘shock therapy in early 1990s. Its open door policy is developed in stages with the aim at strengthening China’s industrial base. This is done by stimulating the spectacular rise of small and medium-sized township and village enterprises (TVEs) that later on provide favorable environment to restructuring of large scale state-owned enterprises (SOEs). From the demand side the government use pricing policy to stimulate domestic production. Therefore in contrast with that of Russia which follows market liberalization path, the opening up of China is more of a planned intervention by the government through expansion of domestic market, shaping demand patterns using pricing policy and create a dynamic between development of agriculture and industrial development. China’s open door policy aimed in the first place to promote China’s production for external markets by seeking to attract foreign investment into the export sector. The focus was not simply on the large-scale Multi-National Corporations (MNCs), but especially on the overseas Chinese investors from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore as well as from elsewhere in East Asia (Clegg, 2009).  Given the Deng’s open door policy above, since 1980 China’s economy has grown at the rate of 9 percent a year and its foreign trade has expanded at the pace of almost 15 percent a year. Its share in world trade rose from less than 1 percent to about 5 percent in 2002.This has also brought changes in the architecture of the world economy and international economic relations especially for countries in East Asia region (Gaulier et al, 2007).  

In 2001, China decided to ascend to the World Trade Organization (WTO). This is part of its plan to embark on a new development trajectory by further deepening engagement with international economic system.  WTO rules require China to remove its protectionist policies and provide more freedom to the inflows of foreign capital. Joining WTO has its own risks however for China this is beyond economic considerations but strategic one. First, by becoming a member of WTO it will reduce China’s vulnerability to the US economic blackmail. It helps stable economic relations with the US and therefore stimulate trade and investment in both countries. Second, through WTO membership China would be able to forge closer ties with Taiwan as the restrictions will be removed through WTO rules. Third, through WTO China will take part in the global technological revolution that can be used by China to accelerate its industrial transformation and upgrade its economic structure (Clegg, 2009).

With the accession of China to WTO the flow of FDI into China’s economy is increasing. China in fact has gone through stages in its FDI. The first stage is experimental phase from 1979 – 1991. The second stage is the boom phase from 1992 to 2001 and the third stage is the post-WTO phase from 2002 – 2007. In the experimental phase FDI was still low following the Deng’s open door policy. The relatively low flow of FDI in this period partly due to high investment costs, restrictive price controls, poor infrastructure and legal framework. In the boom phase FDI increased rapidly with improving infrastructure and legal frameworks. However due to East Asian financial crises in 1997 as well as informal relationships and corruptions had made decline in FDI flow. Restrictions on the type of FDI due to China’s policy to allocate them to its development priorities are also other reasons for the slow down. China’s accession to WTO with the consequence of lifting the FDI restrictions have revived the trend of FDI flows into China from US$46.88 billion in 2001 to US$74.8 billion in 2007 (Chen, 2009).    

All the above have led China to become an international power second only to the United States in the first decade of the twentieth century. Its major economic power has become key source of international economic growth. In 2010 China’s foreign reserves reaching more than US$ 2.6 trillion as a result of its trade surpluses and remain as the largest destination of FDI with total investment worth US$ 100 billion. However China’s growth remains heavily resource intensive with strong economic impacts on the resource exporters worldwide including countries in Southeast Asia. In order to sustain its long-term growth China uses its financial surpluses to buy long-term supplies of oil, gas and other resources from resource rich countries in the world (Morrison, 2009). 

With the sluggish global economy today and the rise of protectionist policies worldwide China is facing new challenges. China can no longer expect external demand only to contribute to its economic growth like in the past. On the other hand China is also facing domestic problem with declining working age population as a result of its one-child policy. China needs to find a new global competitive advantage such as improving quality of products as opposed to price competitiveness given the increasing domestic production costs. Other important dimension of China’s strategy is its overseas direct investment (ODI) program using its large foreign assets and promoting Chinese firms investment abroad (Lemoine, 2013). The following sections will specifically discuss about the China’s overseas direct investment (ODI) which has been less studied compared to its FDI.

China’s ‘Go Global Strategy’ and Investment in Natural Resources  

Literature on China as the top recipient of foreign direct investment in the recent decades and how it has contributed to national economic development of the country is robust. In contrast systematic studies on China’s increasing role as the source of foreign investment is still limited. An attempt for this has been undertaken by Buckley, et all (2010) by laying out FDI general theories and how that would be relevant to China’s outward direct investment (ODI). Looking into China’s statistical data Buckley (2010) tried to establish destinations of China’s ODI since its ‘open door’ policy and what are the enabling institutions and strategic considerations that have contributed to China’s overseas investment. 

In fact since 2002, following the effective implementation of China’s ‘Go Global Strategy’ there has been significant growth in Chinese ODI. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) also has predicted that China would become a ‘top three’ source country for FDI before the end of 2008 and the annual flows of Chinese ODI would reach US$ 60 billion by 2010. These projections to some extend have come true in recent years. 

One of the purposes of China’s ODI is the pursuit of domestically-scarce natural resources. This will help the country to stabilize the supply of these resources thus will help generate a more sustained growth (Lu, 2002). The Increase in ODI after 2003 also include private investors although mostly undertaken by China’s SOEs. It is important to note, however, that even private companies investing abroad are still associated with the Chinese government, serving the national development agenda. In recent years administrative control has been relaxed and approval process and procedures have been streamlined which further allow Chinese investors to invest abroad.  This is part of the China’s ‘go global agenda’ as advocated by Deng Xiaoping (Sauvant, 2005).

As Buckely et al (2010) pointed out in their studies that there are at least three key considerations for China’s ODI which are seeking new markets, seeking new knowledge and technology and seeking natural resources to supply domestic demand for industrialization. In the period of the ‘open door’ policy (1992 – 1998) most of the China’s ODI are invested in developed countries such as Canada, Australia and the US. However interestingly looking deeper in the scope of business Chinese investment in these countries is still dominated by securing energy and mineral resources. After the effective implementation of its ‘go global strategy’ and also its accession to WTO China increasingly expands its investment to other countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.  Resource seeking FDI from emerging economies is aimed at securing resource supply to increasing domestic demand for industrialization process. In particular, FDI in the energy and minerals sectors was encouraged to meet growing needs at home (Lawrence, 2002). In this sense, China has built some of its Multi-National Enterprises (MNEs), as did Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia to secure natural resources at home (Heenan and Keegan, 1979).

It is therefore obvious that Chinese government has used ODI to ensure the supply of domestically scarce factor inputs as the Chinese economy has grown (Ye,1992; Zhan, 1995). Key resources include minerals, petroleum, timber, fishery and agricultural products (Cai, 1999; Wu and Sia, 2002). Purchases of stakes in Australian mineral and food companies by CITIC and the acquisition of Canada-based PetroKaz by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) are examples (Wu and Sia, 2002). This shows positive relation between natural resource endowment and China’s decision to invest. In short destination of Chinese investment strongly links to natural resource endowment of the target countries (Buckley and Casson, 1976).

Chinese companies mostly SOEs investing in natural resources abroad enjoy strong support from the Chinese government. This normally in the forms of direct financial assistance, negotiation of bilateral investment treaties, trade agreements with the host countries and close inter-governmental relationship that China is now trying to revive as part of its global south strategy reaching out to developing countries. Leading recipients of ODI in natural resources include Zambia (copper), Peru, (Iron, Ore), some west and central Asian countries and resource rich East Asian countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. There is some evidence to suggest that China’s official development aid (ODA) has been used to access market or obtaining exploitation rights of petroleum or mineral resources (Pan, 2006; Evans and Downs, 2006). In short expansion of China’s ODI in natural resources has been subsidized by the Chinese government through various mechanisms including ODA.

Characteristic of China’s ODI

There is widely known that Chinese investment in natural resources has disregarded associated risks be it human, social, environmental and political as opposed to traditional Western investment. According to Buckley, et.al (2010) this is due to capital market imperfections in China which emerge from a number of particular and interrelated imperfections such as inefficient banking systems that provide soft loans to outward investors, subsidies provide by the government to rather inefficient conglomerate, family owned firms access to capital from family members and later invest overseas and SOEs capital in the form of soft-budget constraints. These have contributed to low standards of Chinese investment abroad. State sponsored soft budget constraints make it normal for a Chinese enterprise entering into a host economy with its own rules and the banks or financial institutions are unable to restructure or exit inefficient firms.  

Given the unconstraint rules at home, Chinese investors abroad are largely pragmatic and opportunistic in a sense that the rules they use in one country may be different in other countries depending on how the rules are enforced. Chinese investors are unconstrained by the ethical and governance obligations that are normally expected from the Western MNEs today. Chinese firms behavior is very much contingent upon the evolution of institutions and rules of the game at home which at this stage still fall below the conventional standards. This clearly explains why Chinese investment in natural resources in resource rich countries has been marked by deeper institutional breakdown in the respective countries.  

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Lower oil prices create challenges, opportunities for government

This Op-ed was jointly written with my colleague, Patrick Heller, and published in Jakarta Post on March 23, 2015. See : http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/03/23/lower-oil-prices-create-challenges-opportunities-government.html

I reproduce it below :

When President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was sworn in as Indonesia’s seventh president on Oct. 20, 2014, Brent crude oil traded at US$85 per barrel and experts worldwide asked “how low can it go?” Five months later, prices stand around $55, with analysts divided over recovery prospects.

What does this mean for Indonesia’s efforts at petroleum sector reform? Looking at Indonesia in the light of broader trends worldwide generates answers variously troubling and encouraging.

The price drop poses steep challenges for Indonesia’s “upstream” — the identification and extraction of hydrocarbon deposits — and may have harsh effects on government budgets in petroleum-rich localities.

At the same time, the drop strengthens incentives for reform that can confer longer-term economic benefits.

On balance, the fiscal pain caused by the decline will not be as severe for Indonesia as for the likes of Venezuela or Russia, where government budgets are extremely dependent upon petroleum revenues. (Indonesia derived a reasonable 20 percent of public revenues from oil in 2014.) And much of the reduction in these revenues may be offset by savings to be gained from reducing outlays on fuel subsidies.

But the pain of revenue reductions will not be equally borne by all Indonesians. Indonesia’s decentralized distribution of oil revenues means that some subnational governments, many of them excessively dependent on petroleum revenues, face a rude awakening. The provincial government of East Kalimantan derives more than 50 percent of its revenues from oil and gas.

The district government of Bojonegoro in East Java expects revenue transfers from the central government to be 63 percent lower this year than originally projected.

Jokowi came to office seeking to revitalize investment in exploration, with the aim of staving off large declines in reserves and production. Even during the 2004-2013 boom, with countries worldwide ramping up exploration and production to take advantage of high prices, Indonesia’s efforts to replace aging fields stalled, with production falling by 22 percent and reserves by 13 percent.
State companies like Pertamina find themselves with reduced access to credit, and on less attractive terms. 

The government’s multifaceted strategy for increasing investment — attracting greater interest from international companies by streamlining procedures while simultaneously increasing state operator Pertamina’s share of the domestic market — would have been a tightrope walk under any circumstances. With the drop in prices, a successful reinvigoration in the near term is virtually impossible.

A recent Wall Street Journal survey of economic forecasters indicated that the downturn has already substantially impacted petroleum sector capital expenditure worldwide, with a further “sharp pullback” expected throughout 2015. Such cuts have a particular impact on exploration and development of new projects.

Within this global context, the projection by the Indonesian Petroleum Association that capital expenditure by contractors will decline by 20 percent in 2015 should come as no surprise. Nor should Pertamina’s plan to cut capital expenditure by almost 50 percent, pulling back dramatically on earlier plans for expansion.

Access to financing has tightened across the world, and as the perception of risk in the industry grows, state companies like Pertamina find themselves with reduced access to credit, and on less attractive terms.

The impact of this delay in investment will not be felt by most Indonesians today, since new investments in exploration were unlikely to produce immediate fiscal gains. Rather, they will have an impact over time, making it that much harder for the country to develop anytime soon the new fields that would reverse the production decline.

Despite the negative impact on investment in Indonesia’s upstream oil sector, many analysts, including those at the Wall Street Journal and Moody’s, suggest that on balance the near-term impact of the price drop on the country’s economy will be marginally positive.

The biggest reason for this is that Indonesia uses more oil and gas than it produces, so lower prices confer a net benefit. It will benefit Indonesian firms that rely heavily on fuel imports, at least partially offsetting the impacts of the depreciating rupiah on the cost of other imported inputs.

More significantly, the drop provides Jokowi’s government with the opportunity to remove costly subsidies from the fiscal ledger while minimizing short-term harm to consumers.

The long-term potential benefits of subsidy reform are well documented. Subsidies have devoured as much as 21 percent of the national budget in recent years. Dramatically reducing them will free up substantial funds to invest in priority sectors that can promote long-term growth instead of consumption.

The government has already begun to pursue such a shift, as seen in the proposal to double capital expenditure in the 2015 budget. By improving perceptions of the country’s fiscal sustainability, the reforms can contribute to improved investor perceptions, as evidenced by the speculation that Standard & Poor’s may give Indonesia an investment-grade credit rating.

Even within the oil and gas sector, the downturn creates incentives for reform that can benefit Indonesia in the long term. New constraints on access to capital increase the pressure on Pertamina and other state companies to improve corporate governance and clear balance sheets of costly non-core assets if they want to convince markets of their credit-worthiness.

Today’s market forces also intensify the need for Indonesia to clarify procedures and implement real institutional reform with respect to international companies. Confusion around the fate of SKK Migas and the future of Indonesia’s upstream contract regime have clouded the industry for years.

The price drop brings the urgency for reform into sharper relief. And steps by the government to remove redundancies, increase accountability and consistently enforce conflict-of-interest protections would have effects that last beyond the downturn. Progress on the long-delayed changes to the Oil and Gas Law would provide a platform for these critical institutional reforms.

Finally, the new landscape requires better communication from the government to the Indonesian people. Indonesia was suspended last month by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) for persistent delays and inconsistencies in publishing reports.

Resolving those problems and vigorously implementing EITI is an important step. Generally, developing better platforms for consistent, two-way communication around the sector is more critical now than ever.
Emanuel Bria is the Asia Pacific senior officer at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) and Patrick Heller is NRGI’s director of legal and economic programs. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Mahakam Block : Resource Nationalism or National Development?

This article was published by Petrominer for July 2015 edition.

I reproduce it below :

Emanuel Bria

The confusion over whether the Mahakam block’s contract with Total E&P Indonesia in partnership with Inpex Corporation will be extended or be given to PT. Pertamina is clarified. The government has announced to the public that PT. Pertamina will control 70 percent of its participating interest and 30 percent will be controlled by TOTAL E&P Indonesia and Inpex Corporation. Mahakam block’s contract was signed in 1967 and later extended in 1997 for 20 years. The contract therefore will expire by the end of 2017.   

PT. Pertamina and the central government will further discuss with the local government of East Kalimantan about the share of the participating interest to ensure greater benefit to the localities. This in my opinion is a balanced approach taken by the government to respond to nationalistic demand from Indonesian public, demand for greater involvement of local governments in the management of the block and also ensure proper transition from the contractors to PT. Pertamina.

Some experts believe that Mahakam block will still profitable at least until 2023 with total value around US$ 129.5 billion.

The Rise of Resource Nationalism?  

Some argue that increasing demand from the Indonesian public and government to increase state control over the Mahakam block is another symptom of resource nationalism.  Indonesia has been implementing these sorts of policies not only in petroleum sector but also in mining sector especially through the ban of mineral ore export and impose strict policies to demand companies building smelters in the country. In the petroleum sector governments normally demand higher profits during the time of high prices. A study by a UK Think Tank, Chatham House, in 2013 shows that when the oil prices were rising between 2002 – 2008 at least 30 governments revised their taxation systems to increase profits. International arbitration cases in these period were also increasing.

However as Halina Ward  argued that today’s resource nationalism is much more complex than that of 1970s and cannot be solely attributed to the rise of commodity prices or a backlash to former colonial masters. This needs to be understood in the context of global concern for resource security, climate change, sustainable development and poverty reduction. All are inter‐related. Indonesia’s push toward more control on its resources especially in the time of low commodity prices can only be understood from these complex relations.  

As in the case of Indonesia although there is existing rhetoric of anti-resource privatism within Indonesian public and government however from the policy making point of view it seeks toward securing greater benefits to the people through greater state control of resources. Indonesia is facing energy scarcity with increasing imports of fuels to supply its energy demands thus further enlarging its current account deficit. With steadily decreasing oil production, Indonesia is looking into further development of its gas sector and development of other sources of energy to supply domestic demand.
As for Mahakam block official estimate from the petroleum regulator, SKK Migas, states that by the end of 2017 Mahakam block still has proven and potential oil reserve at 131 million barrel and 3,8 TCF for gas. Geologist Rovicky Dwi Putrohari however believes that there are still deeper and larger reserves that are still untapped. In short Indonesian government moves toward imposing greater control on Mahakam block can be understood in the context of supplying domestic demand for energy and serving national development agenda.  Mahakam gas block is both enormous and critical to the national gas supply, as its output alone contributes between 25 to 30 percent of the national gas production.

PT. Pertamina in the Time of Low Prices

As many other SOEs in the world in the context of low oil prices PT. Pertamina is facing hard time with reduce access to credit and on less attractive terms.  PT. Pertamina therefore plans to cut capital expenditure by almost 50 percent as a result of the low oil prices.  By taking over 70 percent of the Mahakam participating interest PT. Pertamina will need at least US$ 2.5 billion a year simply to keep Mahakam run. This amount is half of PT. Pertamina’s total budget for upstream exploration and development.

PT. Pertamina also only has capacity to drill less than 50 wells per year compared to total 10,000 well interventions annually in Mahakam block. This is a huge undertaking for PT. Pertamina. Therefore PT. Pertamina is facing financial, human resources and technological constraints simply to operate Mahakam block as it is now. Encountering these challenges PT. Pertamina and the government will need to come up with smart plans by accommodating other companies to run Mahakam block. 

Subnational Benefits

For a long time since the signing of contract in 1967 with Total E&P Indonesia in partnership with Inpex Corporation given the centralistic governance of the petroleum sector, East Kalimantan received minimum benefit of the petroleum production. It is only after the start of decentralization policies in early 2000s especially through fiscal balancing law no. 33 / 2004 that East Kalimantan increasingly receives revenues from petroleum sector through revenue sharing mechanism (Dana Bagi Hasil). As of today East Kalimantan derives more than 50 percent of its budget from the petroleum sector. The economy is also dominated by the petroleum, coal and mineral sectors. Poverty in East Kalimantan has been decreasing from 12.55 percent in 2006 to 6 percent in 2014. However in rural areas poverty level is still relatively high. This shows that the growth in East Kalimantan has been dominated by the extractive industry sector and stagnates agricultural sector where most populations in rural areas rely on for living.

East Kalimantan has expressed interest to take part in the management of Mahakam block demanding 19 percent of participating interest. However the central government has been reluctant to provide such amount of share drawing from experience in other participating interest arrangement. The fact is that they have benefited more private investors rather than the local government and populations in general.  As stated in the government regulation no. 35 / 2004 on Upstream Petroleum Business Activities the maximum participating interest for the local SOEs should not exceed 10 percent. This has been further made explicit in the ministry of energy and mineral resources regulation no. 15 / 2015 that the participating interest for local SOEs will be at the maximum of 10 percent especially for expiring contracts. 

It is important to note, however, that producing regions should get more benefits from the resources located in their areas. However the government also needs to ensure that problems associated with the participating interest mechanism in the past such as higher share of private investors are addressed especially through proper financing support to the local SOEs. The revision of oil and gas law that is currently being prepared by the national parliament should also take this into account to ensure that the good will does not turn into disasters through bad policies.

Beyond participating interest debates subnational governments will need to strategically plan for the bust given the domination of extractive sector in the economy and shrinking other sector growth such as agriculture. Economic diversification is the key message here to ensure sustainable development of East Kalimantan province. The time of resource boom at local level is the right time to plan for the bust through improved management of the revenues and investment in productive sectors such as health, education, infrastructure and agriculture.    

Monday, 20 April 2015

Discussing Indonesia's Leadership in ASEAN

Indonesia played strong leadership in ASEAN at the beginning of the founding of the regional association in 1960s. However, following the Asian financial crises and the fall of Suharto regime in late 1990s Indonesia has struggled to regain that position. Given the hurdles of domestic economic and political problem and the rise of affluent Singapore leading in ASEAN economic integration process, Indonesia a little bit loses its leadership role (Severino, 2004).

However, Indonesia according to most analysts is still in the best position to lead ASEAN given its structural power and its traditional role in providing leadership in political-security problems among ASEAN member countries (Rattanasevee, 2014; Pakpahan, 2013). Below I will briefly discuss the power structure in ASEAN and assess Indonesia's role in ASEAN.   

The Power Structure of ASEAN

At the time when ASEAN was founded in August 1967 Southeast Asia region was in the middle of major security problem which included the United States war against Vietnam, Sino-soviet conflict, while Indonesia was in a massive regime change including in its foreign policy. Suharto’s regime took a radical reorientation of its foreign relations by giving more importance to the establishment of peace with its neighbors – Malaysia and Singapore - and built good relations with the developed West. This policy projected Indonesia’s national priority to focus on economic development. At that time Malaysia and Singapore had just separated, Malaysia and the Philippines were in dispute over Sabah, and there were communist insurgencies in the Philippines, Burma, Thailand and Malaysia as a result of Proletarian revolution in China. Cambodia and Laos were also affected by the Vietnam conflict. In short ASEAN was born in the time of turbulence in the region and therefore the founders saw the need to collaborate to manage their disputes and thus avoid open armed conflict (Severino, 2004).

 The delicate relations of the founding members above made them proceed in a mindful manner so as to avoid disputes and controversy including careful about entering into legally binding agreements. The association opted to have more informal mechanisms and loose arrangements with emphasis on sharing the common interest of maintaining peace, development and stability. Personal relations among the leaders including personal charisma in leading the integration was dominant in the early years of its establishment. ASEAN therefore was formed in the spirit of equality to prevent patronage and hegemony of one member state to another. It is in this context that all founding members prefer to build a regional cooperation with fundamental emphasis on the principle of non-interference and consensus in decision making process.  The first legally binding treaty was made in 1976 when the leaders signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation which basically endorsing the two principles above (Severino, 2004).

Indonesia’s Leadership in Political – Security Building in ASEAN

For a long time Indonesia has been considered as a natural leader of ASEAN or at least as primus inter pares (first among equals) in ASEAN. The regime change in Indonesia from Sukarno to Suharto in 1960s with strong emphasis on economic development and stability in the region led Indonesia to take leadership role to end confrontation with its neighbors and adopted good neighborhood policy. Indonesia’s active role to mediate conflicts in the Philippines, Cambodia, South China Sea through the informal workshops that has led to the declaration of code of conduct (DOC) have proven its leadership in managing conflicts in the region. Indonesia also played leading role together with the then ASEAN Secretary General, Surin Pitsuwan, to persuade Myanmar open the door for foreign aid in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in 2008. These efforts and leadership have earned Indonesia respect from other ASEAN members (Widyaningsi& amp; Roberts, 2014).

Indonesia’s structural power meaning its economic size, territory and population has been viewed by some analysts as potentials that Indonesia can use to lead the region similar to the Franco-Germany’s role in European Union (Severino, 2004). Indonesia can therefore represent ASEAN interest at the global level, however the main challenge is that sometimes Indonesia tends to advance more its national interest in the global agenda rather than representing the interests of the ASEAN as a regional entity. This has led other ASEAN members not to see Indonesia’s global profile as beneficial to them. This view is further enforced by a relatively low level of trust among ASEAN members. In a survey of the elites in the region comprising one hundred participants, only 40.2 per cent confirmed that they could trust other ASEAN members. The same survey was done to target communities involving 819 ASEAN citizens and the result is more or less the same – 37.5 percent could trust their ASEAN neighbors. As for Indonesians, only 26.5 per cent of 108 Indonesians said that they could trust their neighbors (Roberts, 2012). These figures show that the trust level among the elites as well as the communities in ASEAN is still low. This is understandable given the history of conflicts and confrontations in the past between ASEAN member countries (Widyaningsi & Roberts, 2014).

Despite the above with relatively stable economy and political power at the regional and global stage now Indonesia has been expected by many to provide leadership in ASEAN. Severino (2004) assessed that ASEAN should strive to have more legally binding agreements to move the regional association forward. Only through this way, ASEAN can confer credible measure for integration.  The region has created a number of these types of agreements including on Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone Treaty but threats such as haze problem, terrorism, etc would also require ASEAN to take more legalistic approach to handle these problems. Indonesia could provide leadership in those instances especially with regard to haze and terrorism given its intensive engagement in resolving political-security issues in ASEAN and also because these problems are very close to Indonesia. In the case of haze, as Varkkey (2013) noted that regional cooperation in ASEAN to resolve this issue has been perturbed  because of patronage politics in Indonesia’s oil palm plantation sector.  Although most of the oil palm companies affecting the haze in Indonesia are from Singapore and Malaysia a regional cooperation to solve this problem has never been materialized due to the regional engagement style with strong defense of national sovereignty. Legally binding agreements involving all countries related to the haze problem with Indonesia’s strong leadership could help resolve this problem.


 Since the establishment of ASEAN Indonesia has been regarded as the natural leader of the association due to its leadership in various conflict settlement in ASEAN as well as the opening up of Myanmar. Indonesia’s leadership role, however, declined following the Asian financial crises and the end of Suharto’s regime. Indonesia is now economically and politically stable and therefore because of its structural power Indonesia can provide more leadership in moving ASEAN forward in its economic integration as well as political-security cooperation in the region.


Rattanasevee, P., 2014. Leadership in ASEAN : the role of Indonesia reconsidered. Asian Journal of Political Science, 22 (2), pp. 113-127.

Roberts, Christopher B., ASEAN Regionalism: Cooperation, Values and Institutionalization, Milton Park: Routledge, 2012

Severino, 2004, Will there be a New ASEAN in 21st Century? Asia Europe Journal 2 : 179 - 184

Varkkey, 2013, Regional cooperation, patronage and the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution. International Environmental Agreement 14 : 65 – 81

 Widyaningsi& amp; Roberts, 2014, Indonesia in ASEAN : Mediation, Leadership and Extra-mural Diplomacy. National Security College Issue Brief.


Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Future of Multilateralism

Emanuel Bria

International organizations emerged when bilateralism no longer adequate to address problems that involve more than two states. Historically the peace of Westphalia in 1648 could be considered as a seminal idea for the formation of multilateralism which involved a number of countries in Europe. League of Nations was formed and later turned into United Nations (UN) following the first and second world wars. The UN was established to ensure peaceful co-existence of member states. Other international organizations include IBRD and its members such as IFC and IDA. IBRD was formed for the purpose of reconstruction and development following the second World War (Mac Kenzie, 2010). Therefore the emergence of these international organizations historically is to address multilateral issues - establish peace and development of the member states.

However after the end of the second World War multilateralism has been put into serious question. Some argue that it is anachronistic and also underdeveloped concept. Governments today including the US and the emerging powers known as the BRICS (Brazil, China, Russia, etc) tend to act unilaterally in response to the global issues (Bouchard and Peterson, 2011). Global governance therefore enters into a more complex context now especially with the coming of new emerging powers. Thus it begs a question whether the role of international organizations is still relevant? This question closely links to whether the need for peaceful coexistence among nations in today’s complex world requires multilateralism?  I will further elaborate these questions. In doing this, I will firstly elaborate the role of international organizations, the concept of multilateralism and assess whether in today’s context multilateralism is still relevant. Later I would argue that the two underlying needs for the existence of international organizations : (1) states to coexist peacefully and meaningfully as well as (2) states to agree on new ways to govern their coexistence are still and even more relevant in today’s world.

International Organizations             
As mentioned above most international organizations today were born in 19th century starting with the League of Nations established in 1919. After the second world war it was transformed into United Nations with initial role for peaceful coexistence of the member states. Other international organizations such as International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) also known as the World Bank group formed in 1944 to help Europe rebuild after the devastation of the second world war. Apart from IBRD in the same year International Monetary Fund (IMF) was also established for similar purpose but looking more into international monetary system to ensure stability of exchange rate and promote free trade among the members. These two international organizations also refer to as the Bretton Woods institutions because both were set up by 43 countries at the same time following the second world war in the Bretton Woods, United States (Mac Kenzie, 2010).

MacKenzie (2010) describes international organizations as :

“States created international organizations to do things that they could not do on their own or to prevent from happening things that were not in the state’s interests. International intergovernmental organizations did not create themselves or exist on their own; they were designed, supported, and operated by the countries that created them”.

 The description of international organizations above implies that they are created to address problems of the member countries that otherwise would be difficult to deal with on bilateral basis. These institutions therefore were created to represent the interests of the member countries. Given the history of their birth these institutions are expected to rebuild war-torn societies, tackling extreme poverty, prevent financial crises, global environmental problems, etc.  They are established to manage global or cross border problems that it would be difficult for one or two countries to solve (Gutner and Thompson, 2010). Despite the positive influence of these institutions to the lives of many people across the globe, they have been subject to criticism as well that many times they produce ineffective results or negative effects to the societies that they serve. These organizations also have been criticized for their lack of transparency, do not engage with the citizens in decision making process and lack of accountability mechanisms. In short there is democratic deficit in these organizations (Gutner and Thompson, 2010).

 Because of that in decision making process most of the time states with stronger positions or major powers tend to have more influence in advancing their interest through these institutions. The absence of democratic formal mechanism in decision making makes ‘informal governance’ matters most. Stone (2013) defines informal governance as :

 “The systematic influence of unwritten rules, shared expectations or norms within international organizations that substantially modify or substitute for formal treaty provisions. Informal governance prevails when informal influence overrides legal procedures, or when important rules are unwritten”.  

 The informal governance can be executed through lobbying an international executive or influencing agenda and powerful states normally have more advantage compared to weaker member states in exerting their influence. This is because they have more information and easily access those who make decisions in the organizations. In organizations such as International Monetary Fund (IMF) formal decision making mechanism was designed in a way that provide greater space for informal influence due to its weak executive board (Stone, 2013).  

To address democratic deficit in the international organizations there have been push to bring up and strengthen citizen’s role in international organizations. Frey and Stutzer (2006) argue that there is an urgent need to reform the international organizations by institutionalizing the involvement of citizen’s decision making process. In practice they propose that a number of citizens randomly selected to sit in the Trustees are given rights to initiate and vote for referendums as far as the international organizations constitutions are concerned. The Trustees can also call executives to clarify their unacceptable behaviors and the executives should comply with the newly changed organization’s constitutions established by the Trustees and are accountable to the citizens of the member states. This according to them will increase democratic legitimacy of the international organizations. Some organizations such as the IMF, WTO, the World Bank have been going through some governance reforms. For instance the IMF have adopted more transparent lending conditions and WTO follows transparent and legal procedure based in its decisions. However as for the IMF its executive Board is still weak and decision making process is still not transparent (Stone, 2013).

 Description above shows that international organizations have played very important roles since their formation until now. It would be difficult for us to think about international system without referring to these international organizations. The absence of world government to solve global problems make them irreplaceable to form global governance.  These institutions obviously have provided services altering the classical role of government such as allocation of resources, redistribution of income and stabilizing global economy. However there have been challenges in terms of their performance and non-democratic governance system (Frey and Stutzer, 2006).


International organizations is the concrete form of multilateralism that have grown rapidly after the end of the second world war. It is defined as :

 ‘The practice of coordinating national policies in groups of three or more states, through ad hoc arrangements or by means of institutions’. It thus involves (exclusively) states and often (not exclusively) institutions, defined as ‘persistent and connected sets of rules, formal and informal, that prescribe behavioral roles, constrain activity, and shape expectations’ (Keohane, 1990).

 However, given its ineffectiveness in some instances it has been put into a serious scrutiny.  Smith (2010) for instance noted that the implementation of ‘same rules for all’ at UN Human Rights Council have led to tolerance to human rights abuses. Empirical evidence show that a dictatorship that commits torture are likely to take part in UN Convention Against Torture and there have been criticisms that it is super power states control decision making under the guise of multilateralism (Bouchard and Peterson, 2011). 

 International Relations (IR) theories provide different interpretations about multilateralism. Realists are doubtful about it because according to them states are driven by different interests that sometimes incompatible with one another and that multilateralism is a myth. Institutionalists believe that multilateralism is necessary for states to solve common problems, share global wealth and promote cultural understanding. In that case international organizations serve as focal point for coordination and ensure that member states keep their commitments. Critical theorists would see multilateralism as a mechanism to exploit the weak while for Neofunctionalists multilateralism is an inherently normative therefore requires another type of multilateralism that can work in practice (Bouchard and Peterson, 2011).

These theories are a new undertaking in IR studies as it has been relatively underdeveloped. Most of the discussions on multilateralism dominated by policy debates rather than theories. However, these theories reveal different perceptions about multilateralism and the role of international organizations as embodiment of it. It clearly shows that the advocates of multilateralism follow institutionalism or liberalism which emerged after the end of cold war. The purpose of liberalism is to promote cooperation among states by establishing international organizations. For realists and critical theorists, multilateralism is a myth and that they have been used by the powerful states to advance their interests and dominating weaker states. Given this the question would be does multilateralism still relevant or necessary in today’s world?

The Future of Multilateralism

 Despite the challenges faced by international organizations or multilateralism the basic needs of the states to create peaceful and meaningful coexistence is still valid similar to the period when these organizations were established. As noted above in the face of criticisms to international organizations, they have been going through reforms although the road ahead is still difficult. However, given the more complex relations among nations, the need to invent new rules to make them better serve the needs of the member states is necessary.

Powel (2003) although defending multilateralism, she acknowledges that there is no simple system in international cooperation where many actors engage and global issues to tackle are so great. However she noted that given the complexity of relations and issues there is more need for multilateralism to prevent the states from solely thinking about their own national interests. This multilateralism also needs to perform continuity despite international power shifts. Multilateralism also according to her provide sort of win-win solution for competing needs of both developing and developed states. In such context developing states have the opportunity to bring up their concerns and the developed states can synchronize their policies to the context of developing states. In this globalized world multilateralism also provides mechanisms for the states to tackle common threats and develop as well as cooperate to achieve common goals.      
Of course criticisms about the ineffectiveness of multilateralism institutional designs cannot be ignored. Therefore the need to reform the institutions taking the role as focal point of multilateralism is necessary including reducing its democratic deficits and promote more equal voices of the member states as well as the citizens of the international organizations in decision making process. Global or trans-boundary problems such as terrorism, climate change, environmental hazards, global economic recessions, etc that threatens the global security requires more cooperation from the states and the international organizations created to resolve those problems. Therefore their existence and relevance are out of question.

 New emerging power such as China although globally is viewed as taking more unilateral steps in resolving issues now more and more compliant with the norms of multilateralism. For examples China has taken positive steps to comply with Conference on Disarmament, International Labor Organizations (ILO) rules, UN Committee against Torture (CAT), and World Trade Organizations (WTO). These examples show that China regards multilateralism as a rational choice in this globalized world (Kent, 2007).

International organizations emerged in the aftermath of the second world war was to forge cooperation among the member states to create a global environment where the peaceful and meaningful co-existence is possible. Although there have been criticisms to the respective international organizations and the change in their governance system to become more democratic has been slow however there is no substitute to multilateralism given the common global challenges faced by humanity at the moment.  Multilateralism is still very important, however the fundamental reforms in its governance system is necessary to ensure that it is meaningful for all member states to allow the voice of the weaker states and citizens heard and ensure that stronger states adjust their policies to the context of weaker states. Stronger engagement of citizens in the decision making process of international organizations will help them reduce the democratic deficit thus promote their legitimacy. 

Bibliography :

Bouchard and Peterson, 2011, Conceptualizing Multilateralism, MERCURY E-Paper, no. 1.

Frey and Stutzer, 2006, Strengthening Citizen’s Role in International Organizations, in Review International Organizations, 1 : 27 – 43.

Gutner and Thompson, 2010, The Politics of IO Performance : a Framework, in Review International Organizations, 5 : 227- 248

Mac Kenzie, 2010, A World Beyond Borders: An Introduction to the History of International
Organizations, Toronto: University of Toronto Press
Kent, 2007, Beyond compliance: China, international organizations, and global security, Palo Alto: Stanford University Press
Powel, 2003, In Defense of Multilateralism, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy New Haven, CT
Stone, 2013, Informal governance in international organizations: Introduction to the special issue in Review International Organizations, 4:105–109


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Bagaimana Membangun Malaka yang Bersih dari Korupsi? (Salah satu bab dalam buku : Membangun Indonesia dari Pinggiran)

Emanuel Bria

1.      Latar Belakang

Tulisan ini bermula dari permenungan mengenai bagaimana mengelola wilayah Malaka sebagai sebuah daerah otonomi baru. Di alam desentralisasi yang penuh dengan peluang dan tantangannya ini, bagaimana sepatutnya putra-putri Malaka membangun wilayah yang konon dikenal sebagai pusat Wewiku-Wehali, salah satu kerajaan besar di wilayah Indonesia Timur?  Sebagai sebuah wilayah yang hingga kini tetap menjunjung tinggi nilai-nilai sejarah dan kebudayaannya, perlu ada kesinambungan antara pola tata-kelola pemerintahan modern dengan cara pandang dan pola hidup masyarakat adat Wewiku-Wehali.

Di masa lalu, Wewiku-Wehali bisa muncul sebagai sebuah kerajaan yang kuat karena tingkat pengorganisasian masyarakat atau pengorganisasian politiknya tergolong rapi dan teratur. Politik, dalam  arti  kekuasaan tidak dilaksanakan berdasarkan pada otoritas pribadi penguasa (personal rule) melainkan berdasarkan‘ukun’ atau hukum adat Wesei-Wehali, yang merupakan tata aturan adat yang berlaku secara turun-temurun dan menjadi referensi dalam mengelola dan mengatur masyarakat adat.

Menurut Fukuyama (2012), dalam konteks kebudayaan dimana institusi, aturan dan norma-norma dijunjung tinggi, kemungkinan untuk menciptakan sebuah tata kelola pemerintahan yang bersih dan kuat akan lebih mudah terlaksana. Struktur-struktur institusi politik modern di negara pasca-kolonial seperti Indonesia sesungguhnya diwarisi dari Barat. Ini tidak selalu selaras dengan tradisi dan institusi-institusi masyarakat adat. Munculnya sejumlah literatur yang membahas soal dualisme ekonomi kapitalis dan pre-kapitalis, serta institusi-institusi kolonial dan pribumi (indigenous institutions) persis mencoba untuk memotret benturan-benturan sistem dan nilai yang ada di Indonesia tak terkecuali di wilayah Malaka (Robinson, 1986; Riwu Kaho,2012). Misalnya, pengangkatan Maromak Oan sebagai penguasa eksekutif Wewiku-Wehali oleh Belanda pada 1920an pasca-kekalahan perang Wewiku yang dipimpin oleh Nahak Maroe Rai melawan Belanda merupakan salah satu contoh yang cukup jelas mengenai dualisme sistem yang dimaksud. Hal ini akan dibahas secara detail di bagian ke-4 dari tulisan ini.  

Menariknya, sejumlah studi mengungkapkan bahwa pola-pola kekuasaan tradisional justru kembali muncul dan menguat lewat demokrasi elektoral di negara-negara bekas komunisme dan otoritarianisme. Kekuatan-kekuatan tradisional ini kembali berkembang lewat proses pemilu di tingkat nasional atau pilkada di daerah sebagai konsekuensi lanjutan dari menyebarnya demokrasi liberal pasca runtuhnya blok komunisme. Huntington (1991) menyebutkan bahwa runtuhnya komunisme menandai “gelombang ketiga demokrasi”. Namun, jika ditilik lebih mendalam sesungguhnya demokrasi yang dimaksud lebih menekankan pada demokrasi elektoral dan liberalisasi ekonomi. Pada kenyataannya, demokrasi yang bersifat prosedural tersebut justru berkelindan dengan kekuasaan-kekuasaan tradisional di tingkat daerah yang cenderung membentuk politik dinasti yang koruptif. Dalam masa transisi dari otoritarianisme menuju demokrasi substansial seperti di Indonesia dan negara-negara berkembang lainnya, korupsi yang sistemik justru menguat dengan pola klientelisme yang merupakan bentuk lain dari kekuasaan berdasarkan pada otoritas pribadi (personal rule) bukan berdasarkan pada hukum (rule of law / ukun) (Christian von Soest, 2013; Susan Rose-Aeckermen, 2001).

Di lain pihak, tergerusnya tata nilai-budaya Wewiku-Wehali akibat arus globalisasi yang sedemikian kuat di penghujung tahun 1990an juga sangat terasa. Dalam konteks tarik-menarik antara berbagai nilai, konsep kekuasaan dan pola-pola ekonomi-politik yang beragam serta dampak arus globalisasi pada tingkat lokal, bagaimana seharusnya Malaka dibangun? Tulisan ini akan dimulai dengan pemaparan tentang potret singkat evolusi pola pemerintahan di Indonesia, dilanjutkan dengan paparan mengenai keterkaitan antara desentralisasi dan korupsi di Indonesia, dan refleksi  tentang bagaimana memperkuat Malaka sebagai sebuah wilayah otonomi baru sehingga bersih dari korupsi dengan politik nilai  Wewiku-Wehali. Tulisan ini akan diakhiri dengan kesimpulan dan beberapa rekomendasi yang bersifat praktis.

2.      Sekilas Evolusi Pemerintahan di Indonesia 

Pasca kemerdekaan Indonesia, negeri ini mengalami sejumlah turbulensi. Di jaman Soekarno, tantangan perpecahan negara akibat berbagai benturan ideologis dan konsep kenegaraan (kesatuan versus federalisme) menyebabkan konsolidasi politik nasional sebagai agenda utama. Titik akhir dari berbagai gejolak politik tersebut adalah demokrasi terpimpin di bawah Soekarno yang lebih cenderung otoritarian. Tumbangnya Soekarno dan berkuasanya Soeharto sebagai presiden Republik Indonesia pada 1966 juga meneruskan pola pemerintahan yang sentralistik dengan Jakarta sebagai pusat dari seluruh kekuasaan politik dan ekonomi Indonesia. Antropolog Ben Anderson (1990), menulis bahwa model pemerintahan yang sentralistik sesungguhnya diadopsi dari konsep kekuasaan Jawa dimana seluruh pencerahan dan kekuasaan terkonsentrasi di pusat. Meskipun demikian, model pemerintahan sentralistik Prancis yang dibawa oleh Belanda juga turut memberi sumbangsih terhadap pola pemerintahan yang terpusat (Riwu Kaho, 2012). Di awal kemerdekaan Indonesia, tokoh-tokoh republikan seperti Soekarno dan Hatta lebih condong untuk menerapkan pola kekuasaan “kesatuan” (unity) dari pada federalistik (union), dengan alasan luasnya wilayah geografis dan juga karena federalisme dianggap sebagai produk kolonial yang dibuat untuk memecah-belah Indonesia. Para pemimpin militer juga mendukung pola kekuasaan ‘kesatuan’.

Soeharto yang berlatar belakang militer mendukung sentralisme Soekarno meskipun demikian titik berat kebijakan ekonomi-politiknya terletak pada pembangunan ekonomi dan upaya untuk menjaga stabilitas nasional. Untuk memuluskan tujuannya Soeharto memegang kendali atas tiga institusi utama di Indonesia pada masa itu yakni militer, birokrasi (kementrian dalam negeri) dan golkar (Priyambudi & Maribeth Erb, 2005) serta menerbitkan tiga Undang-Undang (UU) sekaligus pada 1967 yakni UU Kehutanan, UU Pertambangan dan UU Penanaman Modal Asing. Kontrol politik dan keterbukaan terhadap investasi asing untuk melakukan ekstraksi terhadap sumber daya alam menjadi agenda utama ekonomi-politik Soeharto untuk mendorong Indonesia keluar dari krisis ekonomi berkepanjangan di bawah Soekarno (Resosudarmo, 2006). Dari sisi pertumbuhan ekonomi dan diversifikasi ekonomi sekitar tahun 1980an dan 1990an, Soeharto terbilang cukup berhasil, namun menyisakan begitu banyak persoalan lingkungan, sosial, Korupsi, Kolusi dan Nepotisme (KKN) serta  hak asasi manusia.   

Lengsernya Soeharto pada Mei 1998, menjadi peluang yang cukup besar bagi Indonesia untuk menjalankan berbagai agenda reformasi yang diperjuangkan oleh berbagai kalangan reformis baik mahasiswa, intelektual maupun pihak lainnya. Dua agenda pokok reformasi adalah demokratisasi dan desentralisasi. Habibie yang menggantikan Soeharto dalam waktu sekitar sebelas bulan berhasil melakukan sejumlah terobosan kebijakan di antaranya pembebasan sebagian besar tahanan politik, penerbitan Undang-Undang Otonomi Daerah dan Undang-Undang Perimbangan Keuangan Pemerintah Pusat dan Daerah, kebebasan media, dan banyak kebijakan progresif lainnya. Undang-undang tentang otonomi daerah dan desentralisasi fiskal (perimbangan keuangan pusat dan daerah) menandai perubahan yang cukup mendasar terhadap tata kelola pemerintahan di Indonesia. Seperti halnya Filipina, model desentralisasi Indonesia sering disebut sebagai “big bang” karena pelimpahan kewenangan yang begitu besar dari pemerintah pusat ke daerah (Bünte, 2009). Pada masa pemerintahan Gusdur (1999–2001) UU no. 22/1999  tentang pemerintahan daerah dan UU no. 25/1999 tentang perimbangan keuangan antara pemerintah pusat dan daerah dikenalkan ke publik dan secara efektif mulai dijalankan sejak bulan Januari 2001.

Demikianlah, Indonesia Pasca-Soeharto ditandai dengan sejumlah kemajuan mulai dari kebebasan berekspresi, pemilihan umum secara langsung, pelimpahan kewenangan yang sedemikian besar ke daerah termasuk pemilihan kepala daerah, dan sejenisnya. Namun,  kebebasan dan pelimpahan kewenangan yang sedemikian besar juga pada saat yang sama melahirkan sejumlah permasalahan dan yang paling menonjol di antaranya adalah korupsi. Tercatat bahwa hingga bulan Mei 2014, sekitar 325 kepala daerah yang terjerat hukum (status tersangka maupun narapidana) karena tersangkut kasus korupsi. Jumlah ini termasuk gubernur, wali kota dan bupati.

Menurut Dirjen Otonomi Daerah, penyebab utama para kepala daerah tersebut melakukan tindakan korupsi adalah biaya kampanye politik yang begitu mahal sehingga mereka harus mencari segala upaya untuk ‘balik modal’ termasuk korupsi[1]. Inilah yang menjadi alasan mengapa Koalisi Merah Putih (KMP) di DPR berupaya untuk menggantikan mekanisme pilkada langsung dengan pilkada tidak langsung karena menurut mereka ada keterkaitan antara pilkada langsung, biaya kampanye yang mahal dan korupsi oleh para kepala daerah.

Argumentasi KMP ini sudah dibantah oleh Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) dengan menunjukan sejumlah fakta bahwa  banyak kasus korupsi yang dilakukan  oleh kepala daerah tidak terkait dengan mekanisme pilkada langsung dan bahwa jumlah anggota DPRD yang terjerat kasus korupsi jauh lebih banyak, sehingga resiko korupsi sebagai konsekuensi dari mekanisme pilkada tidak langsung (dipilih DPRD) diproyeksikan justru akan lebih tinggi[2]. Jauh sebelum polemik di atas muncul, Mietzner (2007) menemukan bahwa pilkada langsung lewat pengesahan UU no. 32/2004 justru memberikan ruang dan daya tawar bagi para pemilih untuk tidak memilih ulang para pemimpin daerah yang bermasalah. Dia menyebutkan bahwa sekitar 40% para pemimpin daerah tidak lagi terpilih dalam pilkada langsung dan diganti dengan pemimpin-pemimpin yang lebih menarik dari sisi rekam jejak mereka. Terlepas dari perdebatan di atas, tulisan ini hendak mengungkapkan bahwa makin banyaknya kepala daerah dan anggota DPRD yang terjerat kasus korupsi sangat kuat mengindikasikan bahwa korupsi di daerah berkembang kian masif seirama dengan pemberian kewenangan yang sedemikian besar kepada pemerintah daerah. Inilah fakta menarik yang perlu terus dikaji dan dipelajari agar kasus-kasus seperti ini tidak terulang di daerah-daerah otonomi baru seperti Kabupaten Malaka.    

3.      Desentralisasi dan Korupsi

Seperti sudah disebutkan sebelumnya bahwa Undang-Undang kembar otonomi daerah (UU no. 22/1999 dan UU no. 25/1999) menjadi kerangka acuan bagi devolusi fiskal dan kekuasaan politik serta administratif ke pemerintah daerah terutama pemerintah kabupaten. Kedua Undang-Undang tersebut memberikan kewenangan kepada pemerintah kabupaten di hampir semua bidang kecuali kebijakan luar negeri, pertahanan, keamanan, kebijakan moneter, dan urusan keagamaan. Pemerintah Pusat juga tetap memegang sejumlah kewenangan spesifik seperti perencanaan nasional dan pengawasan terhadap standar-standar teknis. Dengan demikian, pemerintah kabupaten, di bawah kedua Undang-Undang ini, bertanggung-jawab penuh untuk bidang-bidang seperti pendidikan, lingkungan, kesehatan, tenaga kerja, pengelolaan sumber daya alam, dan pekerjaan umum. Pemerintah propinsi lantas memiliki kewenangan yang sangat terbatas seperti memfasilitasi pembangunan di wilayah perbatasan dua atau lebih kabupaten, menjadi perwakilan pemerintah pusat di daerah, dan sejenisnya. Tujuan dari model desentralisasi ‘big bang’ ini adalah untuk membawa demokrasi ke daerah dan menjadi pemicu bagi partisipasi politik warga di tingkat lokal. Meskipun demikian, ada juga pendapat bahwa pemberian kewenangan yang besar di tingkat propinsi dihindari untuk mencegah gerakan separatisme ataupun federalisme (Ferrazzi, 2000)   

Namun demikian, patut dicatat bahwa meskipun desentralisasi fiskal sudah berjalan namun di dalam UU no.25/1999 pemerintah pusat sesunggunnya masih memegang kendali yang kuat atas kebijakan fiskal Indonesia. Sumber-sumber penerimaan negara lewat pajak maupun bantuan luar negeri masih dikontrol oleh pemerintah pusat. Undang-Undang tersebut hanya mewajibkan agar setiap tahun pemerintah pusat mentransfer minimal 25% pendapatan negara ke pemerintah daerah lewat Dana Alokasi Umum (DAU). Selain itu, untuk daerah-daerah yang kaya sumber daya alam seperti minyak, gas alam, tambang, hutan dan perikanan mendapat tambahan pendapatan dengan prosentasi yang telah di atur lewat mekanisme Dana Bagi Hasil (DBH)[3]. Tampak  jelas di sini bahwa kewenangan untuk memungut pajak tidak ikut  dilimpahkan kepada pemerintah daerah. Daerah masih tetap tergantung kepada transfer dana dari pusat setiap tahun. Karena itulah, dengan pandangan yang agak ekstrim Schulte Nordholt (2004) menulis bahwa hal tersebut merupakan strategi divide et impera (memecah belah dan jajah) pemerintah pusat yang memberikan kewenangan administratif dan politik yang luas kepada pemerintahan kabupaten tetapi tetap mengontrolnya lewat kewenangan fiskal atau anggaran. 

UU no. 25 /1999 kemudian direvisi menjadi UU no. 33 / 2004 tentang Perimbangan Keuangan antara Pemerintahan Pusat dan Daerah. Dalam Undang-Undang tersebut ditegaskan bahwa penerimaan daerah dalam konteks otonomi daerah bersumber dari Pendapatan Asli Daerah (PAD), Dana Perimbangan yang bersumber dari Anggaran Pendapatan Belanja Negara (APBN) dan lain-lain pendapatan. PAD diperoleh daerah dari sumber-sumber penerimaan yang ditetapkan dengan Peraturan Daerah. Sumber PAD berupa pajak daerah, retribusi daerah, hasil pengelolaan kekayaan daerah yang dipisahkan; dan lain-lain PAD yang sah (meliputi hasil penjualan kekayaan Daerah yang tidak dipisahkan; jasa giro; pendapatan bunga; keuntungan selisih nilai tukar rupiah terhadap mata uang asing; dan komisi, potongan, ataupun bentuk lain sebagai akibat dari penjualan dan/atau pengadaan barang dan/atau jasa oleh Daerah). Sementara dana perimbangan bersumber dari APBN yang dialokasikan ke daerah sesuai dengan formulasi yang telah   ditetapkan di dalam perhitungan Dana Alokasi Umum.[4] Selain itu, daerah-daerah yang kaya sumber daya alam memperoleh Dana Bagi Hasil (DBH) yang besanya dihitung menggunakan formula yang relatif sama dengan yang terdapat pada UU no.25 / 1999.

Menurut catatan yang  dibuat dalam laporan Indonesia Governance Index (2014), UU no. 33 / 2004 perlu dievaluasi karena sampai saat ini tingkat ketergantungan daerah terhadap pendanaan dari pusat (dana perimbangan) masih sangat tinggi (sekitar 90%), sementara kontribusi PAD terhadap total APBD di hampir semua daerah hanya berkisar antara 9-10%. Menurut laporan tersebut, rumus perhitungan DAU saat ini tidak responsif terhadap kebutuhan masyarakat karena hanya berdasarkan kapasitas fisik daerah tetapi tidak termasuk faktor kinerja daerah sehingga daerah cenderung mengabaikan peningkatan kinerja dan terfokus pada penambahan jumlah Pegawa Negeri Sipil (PNS). Dalam konteks ini, menambah jumlah PNS di daerah merupakan satu-satunya cara guna mempertahankan alokasi DAU. Kebijakan ini juga punya konsekuensi pada postur APBD dimana prosentasi alokasi anggaran untuk biaya operasional jauh lebih besar dari pada untuk pembangunan. Pertambahan jumlah PNS pun seringkali tidak dibarengi dengan penyesuaian beban kerja, sistem appraisal dan evaluasi sumber daya manusia. Ini yang membuat pertambahan jumlah PNS tidak berbanding lurus dengan prestasi daerah. Model rekrutmen PNS yang hanya diperuntukan untuk mempertahankan alokasi dana dari pusat dan bukan berdasarkan kebutuhan  juga menjadi salah satu pintu masuk bagi praktek korupsi birokrasi di daerah. Namun akhir-akhir ini rekrutmen calon PNS dengan Computer Assisted Test (CAT) sedikit banyak mengurangi pontensi praktek korupsi di daerah.

UU no. 22/1999 tentang otonomi daerah kemudian direvisi menjadi UU no. 32/2004. Tujuan UU no. 32/2004 sesungguhnya untuk memberikan instrumen legal yang lebih kuat kepada pemerintah pusat untuk bisa melakukan intervensi kepada urusan-urusan daerah dan juga untuk ‘memaksa’ pemerintah daerah lebih bertanggung-jawab. Undang-Undang ini muncul setelah empat tahun implementasi desentralisasi yang justru melahirkan sejumlah persoalan seperti para bupati yang tidak menghargai panggilan gubernur untuk urusan rapat koordinasi, konflik kewenangan atas pengelolaan sumber daya alam terutama di wilayah-wilayah perbatasan kabupaten, politik uang yang sangat kentara karena para bupati dan gubernur di pilih oleh anggota DPRD, munculnya mata anggaran fiktif untuk kepentingan pribadi para anggota DPRD, dan lain -lain. UU no. 32/2004 juga menjadi tonggak sejarah bagi pilkada langsung di Indonesia (Bünte, 2003; Alfonso and Hauter, 2006; USAID, 2006; Turrer and Podger, 2003).

Singkatnya kerangka baru desentralisasi yang dibawa oleh UU no. 32/ 2004 merupakan upaya pemerintah pusat untuk mengembalikan kewenangan ke pusat dan memperoleh kembali kontrol pusat atas daerah. Pola desentralisasi yang baru ini juga memaksa para bupati untuk taat aturan dan juga sebagai upaya untuk memperjuangkan pemerintahan yang efektif secara keseluruhan (McLeod, 2005). Meskipun revisi atas pola desentralisasi yang sebelumnya di atas kertas terbilang cukup positif, namun tidak adanya penegakan hukum yang kuat dan lemahnya kapasitas negara untuk implementasi masih menyimpan pertanyaan apakah akibat buruk dari desentralisasi dapat teratasi. 

Seperti telah disinggung sebelumnya bahwa desentralisasi sebagai bagian dari agenda reformasi telah menciptakan ruang bagi munculnya gejala korupsi yang menggurita di daerah terutama korupsi anggaran yang dilakukan oleh kepala daerah maupun anggota-anggota DPRD. Di tahun-tahun awal implementasi otonomi daerah, dimana kepala daerah dipilih oleh anggota DPRD, korupsi dilakukan dengan suap dan pembuatan mata anggaran fiktif APBD untuk kepentingan pribadi para politisi. Setelah terlaksananya pilkada langsung, rakyat minimal punya daya tawar untuk menentukan tokoh-tokoh yang tidak patut dipilih karena catatan yang buruk di masa lalu. Meskipun demikian, praktek korupsi oleh para politisi daerah hingga sekarang masih terjadi. Pilkada langsung tidak menjadi obat penawar (panacea) bagi munculnya model politik yang bersih dari korupsi.

Sejumlah ahli (Schulte Nordholt, 2004; van Klinken, 2007) mencatat bahwa pasca jatuhnya Soeharto dan bergulirnya desentralisasi terdapat tiga kelompok yang bertarung untuk memperoleh kekuasaan politik di daerah. Ketiga kelompok ini sesungguhnya juga masih saling terkait. Ketiga kelompok tersebut adalah : (1) keluarga para birokrat-bangsawan lokal yang terus bertahan sejak masa kolonial; (2) para birokrat daerah dan bos-bos partai politik yang menjadi pilar kekuasaan orde baru di daerah pada masa lalu; kelompok ini masih sangat terkait erat dengan preman-preman lokal dan pengusaha untuk mengontrol aliran dana ke daerah; (3) kelompok “pendatang baru” (newcomers) yang menantang elit-elit lama dengan propaganda untuk pemekaran wilayah yang baru. Kelihatan jelas di sini bahwa konsolidasi kekuatan-kekuatan orde baru berjalan bersamaan dengan korupsi yang begitu masif di alam desentralisasi. Pertarungan kekuasaan di daerah sekaligus menjadi ajang bagi munculnya politik uang, intimidasi dan kekerasan (Malley, 2003; Hadiz, 2003; Honna, 2006).  Di hampir semua wilayah di Indonesia proses politik di daerah selalu diwarnai dengan politik uang karena itulah institusi-institusi politik di daerah tersandera oleh begitu banyaknya kepentingan kelompok-kelompok di atas. 

4.      Memperkuat Malaka dengan Menghadirkan Politik Nilai Wewiku-Wehali

Di awal tulisan ini, sudah dikemukakan bahwa dalam konteks dimana sebuah masyarakat hidup berdasarkan tata nilai dan aturan yang terorganisir, kemungkinan terbentuknya tata kelola sebuah pemerintahan yang baik bisa lebih mungkin terjadi. Fakta masifnya korupsi di daerah pasca desentralisasi dan berkuasanya kekuatan-kekuatan koruptif yang saling terkait antara politisi, pengusaha, dan preman lokal (un-civil society) untuk menguasai sumber-sumber daya (resources) di daerah sesungguhnya menunjukan bahwa institusi-institusi politik, birokrasi, agama maupun budaya (adat) yang ada di daerah tersebut tidak begitu kokoh untuk memfilter perilaku-perilaku politik yang jauh dari moral maupun hukum. Kabupaten Malaka, meskipun merupakan sebuah kabupaten yang masih sangat belia namun dari sisi pengelolaan masyarakat punya sejarah yang panjang dan roh-nya bisa ditelusuri jauh ke belakang ke masa kejayaan kerajaan Wewiku-Wehali yang sangat kaya baik secara historis maupun budaya.  Karena itu kearifan lokal tersebut dapat menjadi modal sosial dan budaya bagi Malaka untuk dapat membentuk tata kelola pemerintahan yang baik.

Studi tentang kebudayaan Wewiku-Wehali setidaknya telah dilakukan oleh tiga antropolog, yakni Van Wouden (1968), Gérard Francillon (1967,1980) dan yang paling mutakhir oleh Tom Therik (2004). Tafsiran Van Wouden terhadap struktur sosial-politik tradisional Wewiku-Wehali sebagaimana tertuang dalam karya klasiknya “Types of Social Structure in Eastern Indonesia“ (1968) didasarkan pada catatan perjalanan Grijzen (1904), seorang petugas kolonial Belanda. Sementara Francillon dan Therik selain memamfaatkan sejumlah dokumen tertulis, mereka juga secara langsung mengadakan penelitian lapangan dengan basis pada tradisi lisan (oral tradition). Benang merah yang dapat ditarik dari ketiga penelitian tersebut adalah perihal Wewiku-Wehali sebagai wilayah dengan struktur sosial-politik dimana pusatnya bersifat matrilinial, feminin, dan pasif.

Berbeda dengan konsep kekuassan (power) Jawa yang meletakan seluruh kekuasaan politik dan spiritual pada pusat (center) (Anderson, 1990), konsep kekuasaan Wewiku-Wehali justru lebih menekankan kekuasaan atau kewenangan politik di wilayah-wilayah periferi sementara di pusat lebih berurusan dengan hal-hal yang bersifat spiritual. Dengan mengadopsi pendekatan “centre-periphery” Therik menunjuk Laran (pusat kerajaan Wehali yang sekarang terdapat di Betun, Kabupaten Malaka) sebagai pusat, sementara bagian lain dari wilayah Timor adalah “pinggiran” (periphery). Pusat tidak diartikan sebagai locus kekuasaan politik dominasi melainkan sebagai yang memelihara persatuan dengan kekuatan spiritual dan kewibawaannya. Ia adalah pusat ritual yang tak berdaya (powerless) dalam hal kekuasaan politik tetapi berkuasa (powerful) dan berwibawa karena kekuatan nilai (value) dan spiritualnya. Sang Keizer, sebagaimana dijuluki penjajah Belanda atau Maromak Oan (Anak dari Yang Terang; Son of the Luminous), yang menempati Laran memiliki kekuasaan dari ketak-berdayaannya (power of powerlessness). Itulah kekuasaan spiritual yang memberi makna pada seluruh tata nilai dan kekuasaan politis di Wewiku-Wehali dan juga seluruh tatanan adat masyarakat Timor.

Maromak Oan menjadi semacam rex otiosus yang pasif, diam, tampak tak berarti, meskipun terhormat (Francillon, 1980). Ia berada di pusat sebagai kekuatan spiritual sementara urusan kekuasaan politis - duniawi didelegasikan kepada raja-raja di wilayah pinggiran (periphery). Karena itulah Therik (2004) dan Francillon (1980) mengatakan bahwa upaya Belanda untuk menempatkan Maromak Oan di dalam sistem kekuasaan politik gagal karena tidak pahamnya Belanda terhadap antropologi kekuasaan Wewiku-Wehali. Maromak Oan adalah “maha toba, mahemu toba” (makan sambil tidur, minum sambil tidur; eat reclining, drink reclining) sekaligus yang “lolo liman la to’o, bii ai la dai” (uluran tangan tak sampai, jingkrakan kaki pun tak menjangkau). Ia merupakan simbol kekuatan spiritual yang feminin, pasif namun sekaligus yang transenden, terang yang tak terhampiri dan tak tersentuh oleh aktivitas jasmaniah dan duniawi. Ia tak berdaya dalam tampilan fisik dan duniawinya, tetapi memiliki kewibawaan rohani yang menggetarkan.

Singkatnya, Wewiku-Wehali yang memiliki dunia kehidupan (Lebenswelt) yang feminin atau matriarkal, merupakan pusat spiritual bagi wilayah sekitarnya di Timor yang maskulin atau patriarkal. Di wilayah Wewiku-Wehali sendiri, yang memiliki kewenangan politik adalah Liurai, para Loro dan para Fukun. Sementara Maromak Oan dalam struktur adat dihargai begitu tinggi dalam urusan spiritual (maha toba, mahemu toba, lolo liman la to’o, bii ai la dai) sehingga tidak terlibat dalam urusan pemerintahan adat sehari-hari. Dalam konteks ini, wilayah-wilayah periferi memiliki kewenangan politik yang jauh lebih besar dalam tata kelola pemerintahan, sementara di pusat menjadi pusaran politik nilai, moral dan spiritual. Kombinasi antara pusat-periferi (Laran-Molin), feminin-maskulin, spiritual-politik kekuasaan menjadi daya dan kekuatan pemerintahan Wewiku-Wehali. Keduanya adalah satu kesatuan yang tak terpisahkan. Memisahkan politik kekuasaan dari wilayah spiritualnya, nilai-nilai moralnya, justru akan menciptakan politik yang koruptif. Politik kekuasaan haruslah mengabdi kepada tujuan-tujuan moral dan spiritual. 

Tatanan pemerintahan adat semacam ini sudah berlangsung selama ribuan tahun dan sesungguhnya turut membentuk pola dan tatanan perilaku masyarakat adat Wewiku-Wehali yang taat terhadap hukum, terorganisir dengan institusi-institusi adat yang cukup kokoh, melahirkan pemimpin-pemimpin yang punya integritas dan berani membela wilayah dan warganya dari invasi kolonial. Meskipun demikian patut diakui bahwa nilai-nilai kebudayaan Wewiku-Wehali semakin tergerus jaman akibat arus globalisasi yang tak terbendung sejak tahun 1990an.

Dalam konteks pemerintahan kabupaten baru Malaka, kiranya nilai-nilai budaya dan historis yang diwarisi dari tradisi Wewiku-Wehali yang kaya dapat diterjemahkan ke dalam tata kelola pemerintahan Malaka sehingga menjadi pemerintahan yang efektif dan bersih dari korupsi dan menjunjung tinggi nilai-nilai moral yang menuntun bagaimana harusnya putra-putri Malaka berpolitik. Kelompok-kelompok yang turut menyumbang bagi pola desentralisasi yang koruptif seperti yang disinggung sebelumnya bisa menjadi kekuatan-kekuatan yang buruk di Malaka jika kekuasaan hanya dilihat sebagai alat untuk semaksimal mungkin mengejar kepentingan pribadi dan bukan untuk mengabdi kepada masyarakat (hutun no renu) sebagaimana diteladankan oleh para pemimpin Wewiku-Wehali di masa lalu.

5.      Kesimpulan

Demokratisasi dan desentralisasi sebagai dua agenda pokok reformasi di satu pihak menyediakan ruang bagi kebebasan warga untuk aktif dalam kehidupan publik, namun di lain pihak ruang tersebut juga menjadi ajang bagi para pemburu rente (rent-seekers) di daerah. Seperti dikemukakan sebelumnya bahwa para pemburu rente di daerah merupakan hasil konsolidasi ulang kekuatan-kekuatan orde baru di daerah dan juga kelompok-kelompok penguasa tradisional yang terus bertahan sejak masa kolonial. Kelompok ini menggunakan momentum otonomi daerah untuk memunculkan kembali politik dinasti di daerah. Kontestasi kekuasaan ini ditambah lagi dengan para pendatang baru yang ingin mengambil bagian dalam kue kekuasaan maupun ekonomi yang diberikan oleh pusat kepada daerah.

Ekspansi demokrasi prosedural yang dibawa oleh ‘gelombang ketiga demokrasi’ lebih cenderung mengabaikan pertarungan struktur-struktur kekuasaan lokal sehingga ‘demokrasi’ hanya dipakai sebagai ruang bagi kontestasi kekuasaan para elit di daerah. Yang terjadi adalah apa yang sering disebut sebagai ‘elite capture’, demokrasi disandera oleh kepentingan-kepentingan elit lokal. Elit-elit lokal ini kemudian menguasai hampir semua sumber-sumber daya (resources) daerah yang harusnya digunakan untuk pembangunan. Di Malaka sebagai sebuah daerah otonomi baru yang masih cukup tergantung dengan kabupaten induknya (Belu), fenomena seperti ini barangkali belum begitu kelihatan namun pertarungan kekuasaan ini sudah mulai muncul menjelang pilkada di Malaka dengan memetakan sejumlah nama bakal calon Bupati yang muncul di media-media lokal maupun media sosial.  

Momentum pilkada langsung di Malaka seharusnya menjadi peluang bagi masyarakat untuk secara langsung memilih para pemimpin daerah maupun perwakilan mereka di DPRD yang bersih dari korupsi dan dapat menjalankan amanahnya untuk melayani masyarakat dan membangun daerah. Meskipun di sejumlah daerah, pemimpin-pemimpin yang inovatif dan bersih mulai bermunculan, namun di daerah-daerah lain masih juga terdapat pemimpin-pemimpin daerah hasil pilkada langsung yang melakukan korupsi. Dengan demikian, selain penguatan proses pilkada langsung dengan meminimalisir politik uang, pembangunan dan penguatan mekanisme akuntabilitas di tingkat daerah baik secara horizontal maupun vertikal harus dimulai dan diperkuat. Penguatan akuntabilitas secara horizontal meliputi reformasi birokrasi secara menyeluruh dan penguatan lembaga-lembaga pengawas seperti peradilan, kepolisian, Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan (BPK) dan Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK). Sementara akuntabilitas vertikal harus diperkuat dengan pemberdayaan masyarakat sipil, media, para intelektual daerah, mahasiswa, Gereja, dan pihak lainnya untuk ikut terlibat aktif dalam mengawasi proses pemerintahan dan pembangunan di daerah.

Reformasi birokrasi di Malaka perlu difokuskan pada penyelesaian masalah sistem dan budaya birokrasi. Seperti disampaikan sebelumnya bahwa desain desentralisasi Indonesia sendiri secara sistemik mengalami perubahan dan hingga sekarang masih menyimpan sejumlah kelemahan. Salah satu yang diangkat dalam tulisan ini adalah UU no. 33 / 2004 mengenai dana perimbangan pusat dan daerah yang justru menjadi insentif bagi perekrutan PNS yang semakin banyak tanpa disertai perbaikan kinerja sehingga membuka ruang bagi korupsi, terutama terkait pola perekrutan PNS dan kinerja birokrasi yang buruk. Hal makro yang lain adalah kapasitas atau jumlah tenaga penyidik KPK maupun BPK yang terbatas sehingga tidak memungkinkan mereka melakukan pengawasan yang intensif ke semua daerah. Kebijakan makro seperti ini hanya bisa diselesaikan dengan koordinasi yang intens dengan pemerintah pusat.

Kabupaten Malaka bisa mulai dengan kebijakan yang sifatnya mikro untuk reformasi birokrasi dengan penerapan sistem transparansi dan akuntabilitas, sistem manajemen sumber daya aparatur hingga reformasi proses bisnis pelayanan dengan menggunakan teknologi informasi dan komunikasi. Contoh konkret yang sudah dimulai di daerah lain berupa pembuatan layanan pengadaan barang dan jasa secara elektronik (e-procurement), optimalisasi pelayanan publik berbasis teknologi informasi dalam pelayanan terpadu satu pintu, pemamfaatan teknologi informasi dan komunikasi dalam rekrutmen PNS melalui Computer Assisted Test (CAT) dan majemen sumber daya pemerintahan yang terintegrasi (Integrated Planning, Budgeting, Delivering and Reporting System). Penerapan sistem teknologi informasi dan komunikasi dalam birokrasi dapat mencegah interaksi dan transaksi antar pelaku sehingga mengurangi peluang bagi penyalahgunaan kewenangan di dalam birokrasi (Prasojo, 2013).

Politik nilai yang diwariskan oleh budaya Wewiku-Wehali perlu menjadi roh dari keseluruhan tata politik dan pemerintahan Kabupaten Malaka. Cangkang kosong demokrasi prosedural yang diwarisi dari kekuatan global ‘gelombang ketiga demokrasi’ harus diisi dengan politik nilai yang sangat khas terdapat di Malaka. Misalnya kalau demokrasi prosedural hanya mensyaratkan adanya sistem multi-partai dan pelaksanaan pilkada tanpa melihat lebih jauh bagaimana struktur-struktur sosial, politik dan budaya setempat mempengaruhi proses dan hasilnya, politik nilai Wewiku-Wehali dapat menjadi acuan untuk memunculkan budaya politik yang berorientasi pada kemaslahatan masyarakat Malaka. Kearifan-kearifan lokal tersebut dapat menjadi substansi bagi proses demokrasi lokal yang lebih bermartabat.

Politik kekuasaan dalam tradisi Wewiku-Wehali tidak bisa dilepaskan dari semangat untuk membangun masyarakat (hutun no renu) yang merupakan inti sari dari politik nilai yang dianut. Menjadi pemimpin daerah, bekerja dalam birokrasi, kepolisian, peradilan maupun dalam lembaga politik seperti DPRD berarti menjadi pelayan bagi masyarakat. Kekuatan media lokal, masyarakat sipil, tokoh-tokoh adat dan masyarakat, Gereja, mahasiswa, para intelektual daerah harus mulai mengkonsolidasikan diri untuk mengawal proses pemerintahan dan pembangunan di Malaka. Kontestasi kekuatan-kekuatan politik pasti akan muncul namun nilai-nilai luhur yang diwarisi secara turun-temurun hendaknya menjadi arah bagi pembangunan Malaka yang lebih baik.   

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[3] Mekanisme Dana Bagi Hasil (DBH) menurut UU no. 25 / 1999 : 15 %   untuk minyak, 30% untuk gas alam, dan 80% untuk tambang, perikanan dan kehutanan.
[4] Terdapat lima faktor dalam rumus penentuan DAU dan DAK yaitu jumlah penduduk, luas wilayah, Indeks pembangunan Manusia, pertumbuhan ekonomi dan Indeks Kemahalan Konstruksi (IKK). Asumsi dasar rumus penghitungan DAU dan DAK yang telah disepakati oleh seluruh pakar ekonomi Indonesia pada tahun 2004, adalah dengan menambah jumlah PNS, maka akan
meningkatkan potensi pasar di daerah. Dengan adanya pasar, maka terciptalah iklim investasi dan pada akhirnya daerah
memiliki dorongan untuk meningkatkan investasi daerah dan menerima Pendapatan Asli Daerah (PAD). Tolak ukur daerah yang
ideal adalah Jakarta dimana PAD menyumbang 70% dari total APBD. Namun melihat kesenjangan yang semakin tinggi, sudah
waktunya rumus DAU dievaluasi sesuai dengan perkembangan jaman (IGI, 2014).