Coalition: There are Three Serious Problems Regarding the Change of The Military Commander

Thursday, November 4th, 2021 – 13:26 WIB

Jakarta, HanTer  – The suggestion by the Staff General Chief of the Military (KSAD) Andika Perkasa to be the sole candidate as the commander, has been in the spotlight of various parties. A number of human rights activists who are members of the Civil Society Coalition for Security Sector Reform also questioned the criteria of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) who chose General Andika Perkasa to replace Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto as said position.

"The steps taken by the Indonesian President Joko Widodo to propose General Andika Perkasa as a candidate for the Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces contain three serious problems," said Hussein Ahmad, an Imparsial researcher in response to General Andika Perkasa's proposal as the Military Commander in Jakarta, Thursday (4/11/2021).

In addition to Imparsial, the Civil Society Coalition for Security Sector Reform consists of various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including KontraS, LBH Jakarta, HRWG, Setara Institute, Public Virtue Research Institute, Amnesty International Indonesia, Initiative for Democracy and Security (IDeKa), Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), ELSAM, National PBHI, LBHM, LBH Pers, ICJR. 

Hussein explained three serious problems with the proposal of General Andika Perkasa as the Military Commander. 
First, the President of the Republic of Indonesia has set aside the pattern of dimension rotation that prevailed in the Reformation era in the regeneration of the Commander as the norm that applies in Article 13 paragraph (4) of Military Decree No. 34 of 2004. 

Second, the President of the Republic of Indonesia has proposed a name whose track record still needs to be tested by an independent state institution in the fields of law, human rights, and eradication of corruption. In this case, National Human Rights Committee (Komnas HAM) and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Third, the development of maritime-centric regional security threats today requires greater attention in the maritime sector.

"So the proposal for the name Andika Perkasa as the new commander is a wrong choice because it ignores the policy pattern based on a rotational approach. If referring to Article 13 paragraph (4) of the Military Decree, the position of the commander is held alternately by active high-ranking officers from each force who are currently or have served as Staff Chief of the Forces," he explained.

Hussein emphasized that the application of the rotation pattern will foster a sense of equality between dimensions, balance the orientation of the military's posture development, as well as equal opportunities for high-ranking officers, regardless of the dimension of origin. This can also have a positive impact in the form of strengthening the internal solidity of the military. 

"In addition, the rotation pattern is important in order to reduce the jealousy that is very likely to occur among soldiers due to the impression that the President of the Republic of Indonesia has promoted one dimension within the military, as in the New Order era," he explained.

"The pattern of rotation of the Military Commander position, which has started since the beginning of the Reformation, certainly needs to be maintained, moreover it has also been mandated in the Military Decree," he added.

Hussein suggested that President Jokowi should not ignore the pattern of changing the Commander-in-Chief based on dimension rotation. Ignoring this approach can raise a big question mark whether the President of the Republic of Indonesia prioritizes the subjective political factor of close relations rather than using a professional and substantive approach. 

"The President of the Republic of Indonesia must really ensure that the candidate for the Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces that he proposes does not have a bad record, especially regarding human rights violations," he explained.

The news linking Andika Perkasa's name in the murder case of Papuan leader Theys Hiyo Eluay, continued Hussein, must be taken seriously. The President of the Republic of Indonesia should conduct comprehensive information gathering on all candidates by involving credible institutions in order to strengthen the considerations of the President of the Republic of Indonesia in making the right decisions. 

"With the submission of General Andika Perkasa as the sole candidate for the Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, it shows that the President of the Republic of Indonesia does not have a commitment to upholding human rights as seriously as his political commitment," he said.

Hussein also revealed that there were reports that the alleged assets of Andika Perkasa with a fantastic value must be immediately clarified and explained to the public. As a soldier who submits to the Sapta Marga who upholds the value of honesty, the existence of reports of wealth ownership of up to 179.9 billion IDR must be explained in a transparent and accountable manner so that it is clear. 

"So we consider it important to carry out an audit of Andika Perkasa's assets by the KPK. During his career in the military, General Andika only reported the State Wealth Administration report (LHKPN) in June 2021. This means that during the 3 years he was KSAD, he had never reported LHKPN. This violates Article 4 paragraph (3) of KPK Regulation No. 4 of 2020, which requires General Andika to report LHKPN," he said.

Currently, the Chairperson of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Puan Maharani, will immediately respond to the Presidential Letter (Surpres) regarding the candidate for the TNI Commander General Andika Perkasa by holding a fit and proper test on November 4-5, 2021. The test will be carried out by Commission I of the Indonesian Board of Citizen Representative. The Board's Colloquy, said Puan, also decided that the results of the fit and proper test for the candidate for the commander would immediately be brought to the Board of Citizen Representative Plenary Meeting on November 8th, 2021.

In accordance with the Military Decree, the Citizen Representative Board's approval of the candidate for Commander in Chief proposed by the President is submitted to the President no later than 20 (twenty) days, excluding the recess period, commencing from the receipt of the request for approval of the candidate for Commander in Chief by the board. (Safari)

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