Surat buat Capres-Cawapres

Northern California, June 5th, 2009

Open Letter

RE: Critical Issues Facing Indonesia that are Left Unresolved

Dear President and Vice President Candidates:

Warm greetings from Northern California! Congratulations to all of you for winning the nomination contest for being President and Vice President Candidates in the upcoming Presidential election July 8th, 2009 and a possible run-off election on September 8th, 2009.

As I stated openly and publicly in my 1st open letter on August 26th, 2008 (a copy or link as enclosed), it is NOT critical in my view who is going to be next President and Vice President of Indonesia regardless whoever they might be. But it is VERY CRITICAL that the next President and Vice President of Indonesia must understand the critical issues facing Indonesia. It is also critical that without resolving those critical issues, there is not much for any new President and Vice President of Indonesia can do regardless how genius those persons might be to make any significant changes in Indonesia. I am that confident! The issues have entangled President’s ability to govern and even brought down once was the most powerful man in the 35 years history of that country.

For that matter, it is absolutely critical that the next President and Vice President of Indonesia must come up with comprehensive plans and action plans to resolve those critical issues once for all with measurable bench-marks or conditions to gauge the success-possibility of their programs with a time lime. It is NOT acceptable for future President and Vice President of Indonesia simply pronounce empty rhetoric and promises by presenting immeasurable programs without bench-marks and time line. The era of empty promises and nonsense rhetoric are no longer acceptable in this Presidential election. The notion that they have the answers to those critical issues and whether we agree or disagree with their answers is simply unacceptable.

We want to see concrete results and comprehensive plans and action plans that are measurable and attainable. The more immeasurable of your programs are, the more likely those programs are bound to fail. Concrete result can only be produced by measurable success. For this reason alone, I am respectfully requesting to all of you; future President and Vice President of Indonesia, to present your comprehensive plans and actions plans openly and publicly to address the following issues in order for us; the Indonesian people, to have a chance to scrutinize your programs. This is very critical! We can no longer accept just answers.

As of January 2009, Indonesia’s foreign debts stand at Rp.746 trillion and Indonesia’s domestic debts stand at Rp.920 trillion Rupiah. It is interesting to note that now Indonesia’s Domestic Debts is much bigger than foreign debts. Prior to 1997, Indonesia’s domestic debts was virtually zero, or very small!

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s national budget (APBN) in 2008, total revenue was Rp.895 trillion; total expenditure was Rp.989.5 trillion resulting in deficit for Rp.94.5 trillion Rupiah, in which central Government spent Rp.697.1 trillion (77.88%) of total APBN and the remaining funds Rp.292.4 trillion (32.67%) was spent to support 33 different provincial governments which later on these provincial governments must spend some of them to finance Cities, Districts and Sub-Districts government to undertake whatever infrastructure and social projects they need. *Source: ( and Direktorat Jendral Pengelolaan Utang DEPKEU).

The critical issues are this:

  1. Nasional budget (APBN) sendiri tiap tahunnya tidak pernah balanced dan malah deficit trillionan Rupiah. Bagaimana, kapan dan berapa lama Indonesia akan bisa melunasi hutang-hutang dalam dan luar negeri itu dan dari mana duitnya?

(What plans and actions plans do you have to pay off Indonesia’s domestic and foreign debts, when, how long and where do you get the money from?).

The current notion that is being entertained by the current administration to suggest that the Indonesia’s massive debts are still 30% GDP and the debts payment on interest and principle only 2% of the GDP are thus acceptable is very ridiculous and unacceptable! These debts have entangled Indonesia’s ability to elevate much of the poverty, massive unemployment and provide much of the needed funds to fix the broken infrastructures and public services. These massive debts must be reduced and eliminated.

It doesn’t take a genius to draw straight line between government’s massive debts and its citizen poverty and prosperity. The more bankrupt the government is, the more likely its citizen continues to suffer for lack of public funds and public services. In the case of Indonesia, how long these massive debts are going to be left unresolved?

  1. Rencana dan program-pogram apa yang akan diusulkan dan di-implementasikan untuk memperbaiki nilai currency Rupiah yang telah merosot nilainya di banding US dollar selama waktu 30 tahun ini?

(What plans and actions plans do you have to address the weakening currency Rupiah for

the last 30 years?)

The same notion that is being entertained by the current administration to suggest that Indonesia’s currency Rupiah is stable because they are bale to maintain within Rp.10.000 equal to $1USD. This is the most ridiculous notion I have ever heard and simply a brain-washed as an attempt to manipulate Indonesian people.

In 1980’s $1USD was equal to Rp.850. Now in 2009; 30 years later, $1USD is equal to Rp.10.000,- This indicates that the economic condition in Indonesia compared to the economic condition in the USA is 10X times worse. To suggest that maintaining currency Rupiah to stand at Rp.10.000 equal to $1USD okay and acceptable is simply ridiculous!

  1. Rencana dan program-program apa yang akan diusulkan dan di-implementasikan untuk mengurangi pengeluaraan pemerintah pusat yang selama ini telah memakan 77.88% dari total APBN? Sementara itu sisa dana APBN sebesar 32.67% dibagai-bagi ke 33 daerah di tingkat propinsi dan harus dibagi-bagi lagi ke bawah ke ribuan pemerintah di tingkat kota, kecamatan dan desa. Bukankah percentase pengeluaran itu harus sebaliknya?

(What plans and actions plan do you have to cut the central government spending that has taken about 70% total national budget (APBN) for the last 5 years?).

United States of America (USA) has GDP about 12 times bigger than Indonesia and territorial wise is about 9 times bigger than Indonesia. Now look at how many members of US Congress has? It is only 535 members, which are 100 Senators (2 Senator from each States) and 435 congressmen/women from 435 different district across USA. That is USA being a country has monstrous market capitalization in the world and humongous domestic equity market. Now look at how many members of DPR/MPR and DPD?

I think it was 560 total members of the Parliament (DPR/MPR) and another 123 members of DPD. That is about 148 members more than member of US Congress. Now go figure!

Indonesia being a smaller country 10 times in GDP and 9 times in territorial size is having 148 more members of legislative than member of US Congress? On top of this, Indonesia is the only country on Earth that has so many Menteri, Assistant Menteri, Dirjen, Irjen, Assistant Dirjen and Irjen, KPU, KPK all across the nation from top central government down to the local municipality at city, district and sub-district level and plus additional members what’s so called: Tenaga Ahli!

Do you know how much the salary for each of those Parliament members plus tunjangan and gaji kehormatan, etc? Check out this link:


Gaji kehormatan? That was a real crack up. Who came up with this idea to give extra gaji Kerhormatan to representatives of the people? What kehormatan? Who came up with the idea that members of parliament have to be over 500 people? Is this a remnant of ORDE BARU? Why not reduce it 12 times less as Indonesia is 20 times smaller than the USA in GDP? Did you get the picture why central government spending was 77.88% of total APBN in 2008?

  1. Kalau terpilih menjadi President dan wakil President, rencana dan program-program apa yang akan diusulkan dan di-implementasikan untuk balance national budget (APBN) selama 5 tahun mendatang?

(If elected to be President and Vice President, will you balance your national budget (APBN) during the next 5 years in your administration and how?)

There should be a new law introduced in Indonesia to mandate and that every new administration must balance its national budge, regardless. That will prevent Indonesia from having deeper and deeper debts! This maybe sounds crazy at this current time knowing that Indonesia is in a deep debt trap. How could that be possible for Indonesia to balance its budget? That is why I am advocating that Indonesia must resolve its massive debts once and for all. But unless we take this step I don’t know how anyone can pronounce any significant change and resolve those massive debts!

Selama ini Demokrasi di Indonesia telah berjalan cukup baik, namun ada berapa hal yang perlu diperbaiki dimana kekuasan pemerintah perlu di bagi-bagi (dispersed or, decentralized) untuk menempatkan agar Legislative, Executive dan Judicial Branch of Government bisa Co-Equal dan Co-Interdependence.

Sampai detik ini, President Indonesia sebagai the Head of Executive Branch dan Commander in Chief tidak memiliki HAK VETO yang membuat Legislative Branch lebih tinggi kekuasaanya dari pada Executive Branch. Hal ini tidak benar dalam pemerintahan Demokrasi dan perlu dirubah. Saya usulkan agar HAK VETO President diberikan dan undang-undangkan.

Disamping itu juga, Parliamen Indonesia tidak memiliki wewenang untuk menbatalkan (to vacate) keputusan Mahkamah Agung. Hal ini membuat Mahkamah Agung atau Judicial Branch of Government di Indonesia memiliki kekuasaan lebih tinggi dari Legislative Branch atau Parliamen. Hal ini juga tidak benar dan harus dirubah. Mereka yang duduk di Mahkamah Agung itu adalah appointed position dan tidak semestinya memiliki kekuasaan melebihi mereka yang dipilih langsung oleh rakyat (elected position) seperti Parliamen.

Saya usulkan agar Parliamen Indonesia diberi hak untuk membatalkan (to nullify) keputusan Mahkamah Agung bila ada keputusan Mahkamah Agung yand dirasa tidak bermanfaat bagi negara dan bangsa Indonesia seperti menyelamatkan negara dari perpecahan, perang saudara, dsb. Hak ini perlu diundang-undangkan.

Mahkamah Agung (Judicial System) juga seharusnya diberi wewenang untuk mengevaluasi dan membatalkan (to interpret) Executive Order atau aturan pemerintah yang diambil oleh Presiden yang dianggap melanggar Konstitusi, UUD 1945 dan Undang-Undang lain. Hal ini perlu dilakukan dan diundang-undangkan untuk membuat Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branch of Government tetap exist, co-equal and co-interdependence.

Lebih penting lagi undang-undang baru perlu diciptakan untuk melindungi undang-undang itu sendiri dengan menciptakan aturan baru yang melarang Menteri-Menteri, dan non-legislative bodies, offices atau departments untuk tidak diperkenankan membuat aturan-aturan baru atau undang-undang baru yang mengikat rakyat atau kehidupan masyarakat. Hanya badan Legislative-lah baik itu di tingkat pusat, propinsi dan kabupaten yang berhak membuat undang-undang baru yang sifatnya mengikat kehidupan dan kebebasan rakyat Indonesia secara menyeluruh. Legislative tingkat propinsi dan kota tidak boleh membuat aturan atau undang-undang baru yang sifatnya bertentangan dengan undang-undang dan aturan yang ada yang telah dikeluakan oleh Parliamen pusat atau Legislative Branch. Legislative ditingkat propinsi dan tingkat kota dalam membuat undang-undang baru adalah semata-mata demi menyempurnaan undang-undang yang ada demi menutup lopeholes yang ada dan menjaga kepentingan dan kedaulatan rakyat.

Kalau Menteri dan anggota disegenap Executive Branch of Government merasa perlu diciptakan undang-undang baru untuk mengatur hal-hal tertentu, maka mereka perlu mengusulkannya ke Legislative Branch. Mereka tidak sepantasnya diperbolehkan untuk bikin undang-undagn baru dengan sendirinya. They are appointed officials and not elected official and for that matter, they have no MANDATE and can not make a new law. Mereka hanya diperbolehkan membuat aturan baru sebagai penjabaran atau penjelasan untuk menutup lope-holes dari undang-undang yang ada demi melindungi kepentigan dan kedaulatan rakyat.

  1. Kalau terpilih menjadi Presiden dan Wakil Presiden Indonesia, langkah-langkah apa yang akan diambil untuk merubah agar Executive, Legislative and Judicative Branch of Government tetap exist, co-equal dan co-interdependence?

(If elected to be President and Vice Presidents, what plans and actions do you have and going to introduce to the Parliament and Indonesia people in order to put Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branch of Government remain dispersed and decentralized but Co-Equal and Co-Interdependence?)

The last general election on April 9th, 2009 has shown that the general election was overwhelmed primarily by the interest of political parties in stead of the interest of the Indonesian people. It was just too money oriented in stead of issue oriented making democracy in Indonesia a government of the political party, for political party and by political party. That is not what Democracy is all about in any stretch of imagination! I was there on the ground seeing with my own eyes prior to the election, during the election and after the general election. This has to change!

For the shake of the Indonesia people, the rule of the game on the ground for the next general election in 2014 shall be reformed. It has to be made in such a way that all Legislative candidates (Caleg) must be issue and people oriented. Unless they understand and fight for the issue facing their people or constituents, they will not win in the general election.

The 20% parliamentary requirement for any political party who harbors Presidential candidate shall also be abolished. This rule and regulation does not serve the interest of the people. It serves the interest of big political parties only. This law prohibits small parties from having their own Presidential candidates who have, perhaps, more qualified Presidential candidates. This law is simply not fair for the people and not fair for small political parties and for that matter, it shall be amended or rectified.

  1. kalau dipilih menjadi Presient dan Wakil Presiden, langkah-langkah apa yang akan diambil untuk merubah pemilihan Presiden and pemilihan anggota Legislative agar tidak money dan political party oriented, tetapi lebih mengarah ke issue and people oriented?

(If elected to be President and Vice President, what plans and actions plans do you have to change the Presidential and General Election to be more people and issue oriented in stead of money and political party oriented?)

Di Indoneasia telah diyatakan bahwasanya kedaulatan ada di tangan rakyat meaning kekuasaan tertinggi ada ditanga rakyat. What does it mean?

Apakah setelah rakyat Indonesia selesai memilih Presiden nya atau wakil-wakilnya di parliamen melalui pemilihan umum secara otomatis RAKYAT INDONESIA juga mentransfer atau mengambil alihkan KEDAULATAN TERTINGGI nya kepada Presiden atau wakil-wakilnya di Parliamen? Jawabnya adalah TIDAK! Kedaulatan itu tetap ada di tangan rakyat dan tidak secara otomatis ditransfer kepada Presiden maupun wakil-wakilnya di Parliament.

Karena itu saya mengingatkan mereka yang akan menjadi pemimpin di Executive dan Legislative Branch of Government bahwasanya:

Rakyat Indonesia dalam mendelegasikan kekuasaanya baik itu melalui pemilihan umum atau referendum tidak secara otomotis menyerahkan kekuasaan tertingginya kepada pemerintah, wakil-wakil rakyat di Parliamen, Presiden, Wakil Presiden, Menteri-Menteri, Gubernur, Jaksa atau Departmen-Departemen lain yang melayaninya.

Presiden, Anggota Parliamen, Pemerintah Indonesia dan agency lainya yang melayani kepentigan rakyat tidak meimiliki HAK untuk memilih-milih atau memilah-milah informasi apa yang PATUT diberikan kepada rakyat dan informasi apa yang TIDAK PATUT diberikan kepada rakyat Indonesia.

Rakyat Indonesia sebagai pemegang kedaulatan tertinggi menuntut HAKnya untuk mengeatahui dan diberitahu tentang hal-hal yang dihadapi negara dan bangsa dan langkah-langkah apa yang akan diambil oleh pemerintah dan wakil-wakilnya di Parliamen hingga rakyat Indonesia sebagai pemegang kekuasan tertinggi mengetahui tentang hal-hal yang dihadapi negara dan bangsa Indonesia dan tetap bisa mengontrol setiap lembaga atau intsrumen yang telah diciptakanya.”

Selama ini banyak dari anggota komisi parliamen Indonesia yang mengadakan rapat-rapat secara tertutup hingga rakyat Indonesia tidak tahu menahu tentang apa dan siapa yang dibicarakan dan program kerja apa yang dilakukan di masing-masing komisi. Rakyat hanya tahu dari media kalau so and so dari anggota komisi ini dan itu terlibat dalam kasus menyuapan. Hal ini terjadi karena tidak adanya public oversight melalui transparency, check and balance di Parliamen.

Hal ini sangat memilukan dan memalukan dan perlu dirubah. Rakyat Indonesia adalah pemegang kekuasaan tertinggi dan karena itu sangatlah tidak benar bila rakyat Indonesia malah dibohongi, jadi penonton Demokrasi, tidak pernah dilibatkan dalam pengambilan keputusan pemerintahan dan malah dipinterin oleh mereka yang telah dipilih melalui pemilihan umum.

Saya usulkan agar Pemerintah Indonesia dan SEKJEN DPR perlu memiliki TV Channel dan TV crew sendiri untuk melaporkan atau menyiarkan rapat-rapat di parliamen dan disetiap pertemuan oleh masing-masing komisi di parliamen. Atau mungkin Pemerintah Indonesia meminta TV swasta untuk menyediakan paling tidak satu channel khusus untuk menyiarkan rapat-rapat komisi atau Parliamentary proceeding secara regular agar rakyat Indonesia tahu issue-issue apa yang dibicarakan di Parliamen dan oleh siapa. Hal ini perlu untuk mencipatkan public oversight, public transparency and public accountability!

  1. Bila terpilih menjadi Presiden dan Wakil Presiden, langkah-langkah apa yang akan diambil untuk menjamim kedaulatan tertinggi rakyat Indonesia ditegakan dan manjamim HAK rakyat Indonesia untuk mengetahui dan diberi tahu tentang hal-hal yang dihadapi bangsa dan negara Indonesia bisa dijamin?

(If elected to be President and Vice President, what plans and action plans do you have to make sure that Indonesia’s people right to know and to be informed guaranteed and implemented?).

Tidaklah bisa dipungkuri dan menjadi rahasia umum betapa macetnya jalan raya di Jakarta dan banjir musiman yang masih sering melanda kota metropolitan Jakarta dan sekitarnya. Beberapa Gobernur dan tingkat Menteri telah mencoba memecahkan masalah ini dan sampai hari inipun masalah itu masih juga belum terpecahkan. Sudah saatnya Presiden dan Wakil Presiden turun tangan untuk langsung mengambil alih dan memecahkan masalah ini. Bukankah kantor Presiden ada di Jakarta? Bukankah Presiden dan Wakil Presiden melihat sendiri dengan mata kepala sendiri betapa macetnya jalan-jalan di Kota Jakarta dan juga banjir yang setiap kali melanda kota Jakarta dan sekitarnya?

Let’s admit that Governor and Minister Level were unable to resolve this issue. Now, it is your turn Mr. President and Mr. Vice President to resolve these issues. If you can resolve the traffic jam and seasonal flood in your own back yard, how can you resolve the bigger issues facing the country and Indonesian people at large? This is a real test of your leadership and your Presidency!

  1. Kalau dipilih menjadi Presiden dan wakil Presiden, rencana apa yang akan dilakukan dan di-implementasikan untuk mengatasi macetnya lalu lintas di jalan raya Jakarta dan banjir tahunan yang sering melanda kota metropolitan Jakarta dan sekitarnya?

(If elected to be President, what plans and action plans does he/she have to resolve the traffic congestion in Jakarta and the seasonal flood in Jakarta and surrounding?).

Political and economical problems in Indonesia are so complex, perplexing and complicated. However, there is no problem that can not be remedied! Many people stated that the problems in Indonesia is just like a messy knot that has been rusted for over 35 years and Indonesian people are getting used to living in this condition. To undo the knot and to resolve these messy issues, we need to find the tip of the knot and work around it to resolve those messy issues one step at a time. This is one of my ways to do that by confronting the future President and Vice President of Indonesia openly and publicly. We need to held them accountable to generate tangible results to change the condition on the ground that directly impact millions people of Indonesia.

I am that confident that unless the above issues that I pointed out are resolved once and for all, I don’t see how anyone can pronounce progress and achievement. It is NOT critical in my view who is going to be next President and Vice President of Indonesia. But it is VERY CRITICAL that the next President and Vice President of Indonesia understand those critical issues and have scrutinizeable plans and action plans with measurable bench-marks and a time lime.

Any plan or program without a deadline and measurable-success is nothing but a plan. A plan does not do any good unless it is implementable and generates tangible results that change people’s life. For that matter, any President and Vice President candidates regardless of their style, character and past accomplishments who are taking such a path by simply uttering empty promises and slogans during the election campaign shall be rejected. It is time for a change and you can make that change is from today by choosing the right leaders for the next 5 years!

The right leaders are those who are willing to publicly and openly present their comprehensive plans and action plans with measurable goals, bench-marks and a time lime to address those critical issues that have been neglected for so long.

I am looking forward to seeing these issues raised and debated openly and publicly across Indonesia in this Presidential election. Don’t let those Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates left unchallenged. Don’t let them manipulate you with any notion to accept for less! Raise those issues and make them to come up with an answer. That is your role in this Presidential election! Can we do better? Yes, we can!

Good luck and I wish you all the best.


Chris Komari


Partai Masa Depan Indonesia Mandiri


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