The advantage of a well established democracy is that as much as possible will be decentralized, the rules of the game and relations between state institutions will be clear and consistent, the actors will be well known public figures and their political actions transparent.
Indonesia is a young democracy. But I’m afraid the rules of the game often still are fuzzy and shifting.
Elsewhere it’s worse though. In absolute monarchies and dictatorships usually all political power will be found in the royal palaces and the likes of pre-1990
Kremlins ( Moscow) or present day Zhongnanhais (Beijing). There,out of sight, the prominent officials and factions vie for staying or coming on top. The rules of the game are shady and volatile, the actors and actions are invisible to common people. That has been happening in the years of the New Order and is still happening in China lately. There next week at the Communist Party’s Congress the new leadership will take charge. New men and perhaps one woman. Why these particular people and with what mission will remain a mystery.
At least Indonesia is much more transparent.
Transparency is something with which especially Minister Dahlan Iskan seems to be very much at ease. He is a democratic natural and an interesting man anyhow. He for instance has announced he will reveal the names of a number of corrupt MPs who have asked him for money in exchange for their cooperation as law maker. He seemingly lacks any inhibition if it comes to showing his refreshingly unorthodox style of running a state owned enterprise ( in the recent past) and his refreshingly unorthodox style running a ministry ( today). Perhaps because of that he probably is the most popular member of government by now.
So transparency apparently is on the right track . But the well organized state of law is still under construction. Police and KPK collided recently and several times before. So did AGO and KPK. And so do Parliament and government.
Minister Dahlan Iskan appears to be part of that problem now. He seems to have been contaminated by that frequent vice of civil servants, officials and politicians : refusal to recognize and comply with official relations between state institutions. So he did not show up at hearing sessions at the House to discuss a report from the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) on the performance of PLN. Which is peculiar because Parliament’s mission is to hold ministers accountable for what happens in their portfolio. His ignoring the invitation blends very well with many others who over recent years have been summoned for a hearing by prosecutors or KPK but didn’t come and graft suspects due to be in court , AGO or KPK but went shopping in Singapore in stead – and got away with it.
Perhaps something like the concept of contempt of court should be introduced to fix the at present too volatile relations between state institutions. Those who ignore the rules should be sanctioned.