Monday, September 20, 2010

Controversial Comparative Studies

One of hottest topics in the Indonesian news media today is the controversy over the costly official trips made by members of the House of Representatives to foreign countries for comparative studies on the implementation of various laws.

Please find below an article about this that I have quoted from The Jakarta Globe

Considering that Indonesia still needs a lot of money for improving education, health and eradicating poverty, I wonder whether such study is necessary at this time. Especially nowadays one can connect with each other fast, easy and less costly through various telecommunication networks .

Legislators Leave for British Trip Despite Outcry
Armando Siahaan | September 20, 2010

Jakarta. Despite mounting criticism, the House of Representatives’ Commission III is sticking with its decision to send legislators to Britain and Canada for a comparative study on an immigration bill.

Commission chairman Benny K Harman said on Monday that the study was important to ensure the quality of the bill.

However, the Democratic Party legislator left it to the press and the media to evaluate the output from the trip. “Whether they do their jobs there, that’s [the media’s] job to determine,” he said, urging the public to scrutinize what the legislators did after the trip.

Benny said delegation leaders would later submit a report to Commission III, which oversees legal affairs. “This will be open for the public to review,” he said, adding the commission was ready to disclose any request for information relating to the trips.

“We will invite the media to learn more about the trip once they return,” he said. “Even though we approved the visit, we ask the public to critique the legislators involved.”

The commission will send two delegations, each including 10 legislators and three staffers, to Britain and Canada.

The group heading to London will be led by commission deputy chairman Azis Syamsuddin from Golkar. It leaves today.

The other group, led by fellow deputy chairman Tjatur Sapto Edy, from the National Mandate Party (PAN), is scheduled to depart on Oct. 1.

“The commission believes that Britain and Canada have modern immigration systems,” Benny said.

Legislators will study the two countries’ handling of citizens’ mobility, especially for foreigners married to Indonesians, the granting of permanent residency and handling of foreign workers.

A document obtained from the commission’s secretariat shows the legislators arrive in London on Wednesday morning local time and spend the day meeting embassy officials and Indonesians living in London.

On Thursday, the legislators are scheduled to visit the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office, while on Friday they will visit the United Kingdom Border Agency. The trip ends on Saturday at noon.

The Web site said the delegation would be staying at the Marriott Hotel. Benny did not specify how much the trips would cost but said that did not matter because “if you want a good-quality legislature, it’s expensive.”

The Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra) released a report on Sunday that showed Rp 19.5 trillion ($2.16 billion) had been allocated for official domestic and overseas trips this year.

The amount is shared between the president, the House of Representatives, ministries and other state institutions.

Fitra said Rp 170.3 billion had been allocated to the House for overseas trips, while the president got Rp 179 billion for official visits abroad.

Two House commissions recently sent delegations to five different countries at a total cost of Rp 3.7 billion.

House Commission X, overseeing education, sent its working committee on the Scouts bill to Japan, South Korea and South Africa.

Meanwhile, House Commission IV, overseeing agriculture, sent a delegation working on the horticulture bill to the Netherlands and Norway.


colson said...

$ 2.16 BILLION?? Apparently they don't all of them always fly economy class, do they?.

Anyhow, we'll host a few of them I noticed. Wonder which bread-and-breakfast accommodation they choose to stay in Wageningen.

Wind said...

It seems that all the countries have the same, money, money...
Ours, too!

H. Nizam said...

Those people's representatives are taking advantage of their positions. Very sad. According to the media they'll fly on business class, in London will stay at the Marriot Hotel.
The saddest thing is that many of them don't attend meeting at the House. Even if they do, many slept during the meetings.

That's an unfortunate fact faced by our countries.

Wind said...

Hey, my friend!
Fell free to use anything on blog as soon as you put my name or a link next to the image!
Today is "International Day of Peace"
I wonder who will do something for it?

H. Nizam said...

Thank you very much for your kind approval. I will surely mention your name, blog's name and link if I post material from your blog.

Badley@Albert said...

Sad to say, we just pay for tax every year and that people use it for travel trip..Why not, use the provision to further develop National which more effective way..

Yari NK said...

Harry, perhaps Indonesia is an interesting place for the legislators of a foreign country if they want to have a comparative study! That's because they will find our legislators do something senseless and crazy like extravagant shopping abroad disguised in comparative study, a case which is being discussed in this post.

So,it is always interesting for those foreign legislators to find out that kind of silliness! No? :D

YaGirlNextDoor said...

Here in America politicians are also known to live lavishly and have extravagant lifestyles. must be universal.

Passionate Blogger said...

Well it's happen everywhere Harry. I once heard that a group of local govt officers in my town flew to Bangkok to do study on massage parlor there. It's really nonsensical. Agree with you that these people are taking advantage of their positions. Thinking about them really makes me want to..... :D

TUKANG CoLoNG said...

menteri kita emang paling bisa bikin berita..:)

H. Nizam said...

Let us hope that the members of house of representatives and govt read your comment.

You are right, Indonesia is an interesting place for foreigners to conduct comparative study on how members of the House are doing their job, how lazy they are to attend meetings, and or sleep during meetings, and or costly trips, how many of them have been named suspects of crime.

In the US House members can do that because your country's condition allow them. But I agree that the trend is universal.

@Ismail/Passionate Blogger,
Many govt officials and members of parliament here have also been tried of abusing their authorities
so this is really a universal trend.

H. Nizam said...

Sepertinya sudah menjadi trend dikalangan pejabat negara.

budi baik said...

budaya buruk yang mendarah daging

H. Nizam said...

Budi Baik,
Demikianlah perilaku mereka.

Rob Baiton said...


H. Nizam said...

Hi Rob,
Junkets? If what you meant is that some MP's behaviors are like 'junk' there might be some truth ... LOL

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

We had some controversey about the amount of money that NZ government ministers had spent on their credit cards. Caused a bit of an outcry in the media and had some public reaction as well.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Peter,
Thank you for sharing about the situation in New Zealand. It seems that government officials and MPs are the same in many countries.

askep said...

jaman sekarang ini semuanya memang serba kontroversi

lawong ngeblog aja kalo nggak mengundang kontroversi nggak laku

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