Thursday, 18 December 2014


The increase of subsidized fuel prices was sponded by the public in various ways. Some of them considered that the policy is decided in order to secure fiscal space and provide guarantees for the realization of the government’s plans. However, there are some who regretted that because the current price of oil in the world market is declining. And so forth.

The policy for the increase of subsidized fuel price starting today can be observed from several aspects. First, we would like to emphasize that it is difficult to say that raising of the price of subsidized fuel will ensure a repeated political dynamics of SBY-Boediono several years ago. Because the plan of raising fuel price has been planned long before the inauguration JOKOWI-JK.

Indeed, there is rejection from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) given that political party which proposed Jokowi-JK should be consistent with the attitude that always rejects the increase of price of subsidized fuel during SBY-Boediono administration. The adverse reactions expressed openly and fairly frontal by some PDIP cadres seemed to imply the existence of a schism within PDIP, more specifically PDIP elites in Parliament and the government. This view may be true. But, what is interesting here is the courage to take that policy. Is JK Jokowi not afraid of losing popularity?

This question is important, because the answer will provide a pattern for the government in the future. One thing that emerged at this time is that Jokowi-JK chooses not to use political imagery in making decision which was opposed by several parties. Then, what is the political implication of this choice for Jokowi-JK government in the future? It must be said that the political impact pd subsidized fuel prices increase would be addressed by the government. This belief is supported by some factors, ranging from the typical warranty that Jokowi-JK did not prophesy themselves as a successor of political imagery, thereby increasing fuel price is done because it is believed as the best way available today, and this is the most important, their strong commitment to eradicate oil & gas mafia which is characterized by the formation of Oil and Gas Governance Reform Team one day before.

Another interesting point to be observed is that this policy will probably be a chance for the Red and White Coalition (KMP) to attack the government. But, this is conjectural. If there was a strong reaction from KMP, it must be seen as a strategy to refine the image of the Red and White Coalition (KMP) that had been tarnished due to the controlling of seats of AKD (working commissions and other bodies in the parliament) leaders. Maybe, KMP did not indicate rejection frontally while watching ‘civil war’ within PDIP driven by its members who refused the increase of subsidized fuel prices, with the hope that KMP could get a political advantage. In a situation where each party is trying to seek political advantage from the fuel price increase, it is very important for PDIP to intelligently manage the difference of opinion with the government. 

However, the policy of JOKOWI-JK provides a new lesson for to public. The point is that the government should have the courage to act in situations where is urgency that cannot be postponed even though the government’s popularity is at stake. Parallel to tat, the program that has been prepared to soften the impact of rising fuel prices for the poor must be carried out properly and the result should be enjoyed by the people. (E)

Business News - November 21, 2014 

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