Civil Society Coalition for Security Reform
The government has planned to establish a National Security Council (DKN). The DKN discussion has been carried out by the government and the establishment of this institution will be regulated through a presidential regulation. Moreover, the formation of the DKN has been included in the 2015-2019 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN). In fact, the establishment of the DKN is an old agenda that was discussed before the reign of Joko Widodo.
The Coalition considers that the government must be open and transparent in the formation of the DKN. For this reason, the Government needs to involve elements of civil society in the DKN discussion. Reflecting on the quiet and sudden discussion and ratification of the National Resource Management Law for Defense (PSDN), it is certainly important for the government not to repeat the same process in the formation of the DKN. Moreover, the legal basis for the formation of the DKN is planned to be in the form of a presidential regulation.
The Coalition view the urgency of forming a DKN to be questionable. Its formation needs to be reviewed carefully and in depth lest the formation of the DKN will cause overlapping work and functions with existing state institutions. As is known, security governance in Indonesia has been carried out by the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs in terms of coordinating functions. Meanwhile, in terms of providing advice and input to the President, the institutions that have carried out this function are the National Defense Institute (Lemhanas), the Presidential Advisory Council (Wantimpres) and the Presidential Staff Office (KSP).
Reflecting on comparisons in a number of countries, DKN only acts as an adviser to the president in dealing with emergency situations and does not have an operational function. Moreover, considering that in other countries there is no post for the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, it is natural for these countries to form a DKN.
Given that Indonesia already has a Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security, it is necessary to consider in depth the existence of an institution such as the DKN. Does the existence of DKN mean that the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs post is not needed or vice versa? This is because the nature and working pattern of DKN and the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs are not the same, namely providing input to the President regarding legal and security political conditions and carrying out coordination functions.
Furthermore, the Coalition are of the opinion that the hasty formation of the DKN is feared to become a new platform for state repression to the public, as was the case with the establishment of the Operational Command for the Restoration of Security and Order (Kopkamtib) during the New Order. The formation of the DKN, if the government insists on forming it, will only provide advice to the President and have no operational function. And the Coalition urges the government to be transparent and explain to the public the urgency and need to form a DKN.
Jakarta, January 15th, 2020
Civil Society Coalition for Security Sector Reform
KontraS, Imparsial, Elsam, Setara Institute, Indonesia Legal Roundtable (ILR), PBHI, Walhi, HRWG, ICW, Indonesian Institute of Democracy and Security. PUSaKO Andalas.