Monday, April 25, 2016

Mereka Adalah Orang-orang Indonesia yang Terusir


Mari kita bertemu dengan Naisah, seorang Ibu muda yang tengah mengandung tujuh bulan. Dalam beberapa hari belakangan ini dia bersama beberapa orang lainnya terpaksa harus menjadi ‘manusia perahu’ sebab rumah yang mereka huni sudah luluh lantah dihancurkan oleh bulldozer kiriman gubernur Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama alias Ahok.[1] Tanpa solusi apapun yang ditawarkan oleh sang gubernur, hidup mereka kini terombang ambing. Tak tentu arah persis seperti perahu tempat mereka tinggal yang tidak tahu mesti berlayar kemana.

Penggusuran paksa sepertinya memang telah menjadi makanan sehari-hari masyarakat miskin di ibu kota negara Indonesia. Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Jakarta, misalnya, pada tahun 2015 melaporkan, terdapat lebih kurang 3200 warga yang menjadi korban penggusuran paksa dalam kurun waktu 2007 – 2012. Angka ini menjadi rekor tertinggi sepanjang berdirinya kota Jakarta.[2] Bukan itu saja, LBH juga mencatat bahwa, untuk tahun 2015 saja ada sekitar 3433 Kepala Keluarga (KK) dan 433 unit usaha yang mesti angkat angkat kaki dari tanah yang telah mereka tempati selama berpuluh-puluh tahun.[3] Perlu dicatat, angka besar ini tidak dijumpai di masa pemerintahan Ahok saja. Gubernur sebelumnya, semisal Sutiyoso juga rajin dalam menendang warganya keluar dari rumah-rumah mereka. Sudah puluhan ribu warga Jakarta mesti merelakan tempat tinggal mereka hancur lebur menjadi puing-puing sepanjang Sembilan tahun masa jabatan mantan tokoh militer Indonesia itu.[4]

Mirisnya, bukan Jakarta saja yang punya cerita kelam berjudul penggusuran paksa ini. Daerah lain juga memiliki kebijakan serupa. Pemerintah Kota Makassar pada tahun 2004 menggusur paksa rumah rumah nelayan di Pantai Laguna.[5] Pada tahun 2009 giliran Pemerintah Kota Surabaya yang melakukan kebijakan serupa terhadap warga yang tinggal di kawasan Stren Kali Jagir. Penggusuran paksa ini berdampak pada terusirnya 380 Kepala Keluarga.[6] Bila didata semuanya, daftar ini akan terus berlanjut sebab tidak semua kisah penggusuran mendapat laporan wartawan atau aktifis mengingat luasnya wilayah Indonesia dan seringnya penggusuran paksa terjadi.

Pihak yang menggusur, dalam hal ini pemerintah, seringkali berdalih bahwa penggusuran bertujuan untuk ‘kepentingan umum’ seperti mengatasi banjir atau untuk Ruang Terbuka Hijau (RTH). Jadi, pengusiran mereka dari rumah yang mereka tempati selama bertahun-tahun sejatinya demi kebaikan bersama juga alias masyarakat banyak. Akan tetapi, sayangnya alibi seperti ini terkesan tidak adil. Jika memang penggusuran harus dilakukan demi mengatasi banjir yang sering melanda kota Jakarta, anehnya mengapa rumah-rumah warga saja yang digusur. Apartemen, hotel, mall, dan pemukiman mewah yang berdiri di daerah resapan air dan mengonversi lahan menjadi tempat bisnis cenderung dibiarkan.[7] Data berbicara. Lebih dari 3000 hektar RTH di Jakarta dialihfungsikan menjadi kawasan komersial dan permukiman elit. Disinilah terlihat sisi kemunafikan alasan ‘kepentingan umum’ pemerintah provinsi Jakarta, sebab pada kenyataannya sekarang 5 kawasan dari lahan itu menjelma menjadi hutan beton berisikan hotel, mall, dan rumah orang-orang berduit.[8]

Pemerintah DKI Jakarta dan pihak swasta rupanya selama ini berkolaborasi dalam menyingkirkan kaum miskin dengan membuka jalan selebar-lebarnya kepada pihak kedua untuk menguasai lahan sebanyak-banyaknya. Sampai-sampai ratusan hektar lahan pemerintah bernilai trilyunan rupiah yang hingga kini tidak terdata, telah banyak yang berpindah tangan ke pihak swasta secara diam-diam. Imbas dari semua ini adalah timpangnya jumlah penguasaan tanah antara orang miskin dan pihak swasta di ibu kota.[9] PRP Indonesia bahkan melaporkan bahwa pihak swasta menguasai 80-90% tanah di Jakarta.[10]

Penggusuran paksa tentu saja melanggar banyak aturan baik aturan yang dibuat oleh pemerintah Indonesia sendiri maupun peraturan Internasional. UUD 1945 pasal 38 H ayat 1 menyebutkan bahwa setiap orang berhak hidup sejahtera lahir batin dan bertempat tinggal. Undang-Undang No. 4 Tahun 1992 tentang Perumahan dan Permukiman juga berbunyi demikian, bahwa setiap warga negara memiliki hak untuk menempati, menikmati, dan memiliki rumah yang layak huni. [11] PBB bahkan sampai dengan tegas menyatakan bahwa penggusuran paksa adalah illegal dan melanggar hak asasi manusia. Article 25 PBB menyebutkan bahwa setiap orang  berhak memiliki hak dasar hidup seperti kesehatan, pakaian, dan tempat tinggal. The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (CESCR) menegaskan bahwa negara harus menahan diri untuk menggusur paksa warganya apalagi sampai membuat mereka terlantar.[12]

Penggusuran paksa juga seringkali diwarnai kekerasan dengan melibatkan aparat keamanan baik sipil (Polisi Pamong Praja dan aparat POLRI) maupun TNI. Tentu saja ini sebuah bentuk pelanggaran sebab tugas utama aparat diatas adalah untuk melindungi dan mengayomi rakyat bukan memerangi mereka. Parahnya lagi, setelah membumihanguskan tempat tinggal mereka, pemerintah acapkali tidak memberikan solusi. Atau, solusi yang diberikan masih belum proporsional seperti lamanya relokasi warga ke rumah susun, kualitas rumah susun yang tidak layak huni, dan nilai uang ganti rugi yang tidak sesuai dengan kerugian yang ditanggung warga miskin akibat penggusuran.[13]

Selain itu, bercerainya warga dengan lingkungan tempat tinggal mereka juga berdampak buruk bagi kondisi social ekonomi mereka. Mereka tidak lagi memiliki komunitas yang bersatu sebab semuanya sudah tercerai berai. Mata pencaharian pun tidak jarang ikut raib karena biasanya pemukiman warga miskin dekat dengan tempat mereka bekerja seperti laut bagi nelayan dan pasar bagi pedagang kecil. Terakhir, pendidikan anak-anak yang ikut tergusur juga terganggu sebab mereka tidak memiliki tempat yang layak lagi untuk mengulangi pelajaran. Kondisi orang tua anak-anak tersebut yang serba tidak menentu hingga kadang mesti pergi jauh entah kemana, sangat berpotensi  untuk membuat anak-anak mereka putus sekolah. Teranglah sudah penggusuran paksa, bagi orang tua dan anak-anak, bukan sekedar menyisakan trauma mendalam tetapi juga efek yang serius.

Naisah beserta yang lainnya hingga kini masih mengapung di rumah perahu. Mereka tidak tahu untuk berapa lama harus tinggal disana. Yang pasti, kini mereka tidak memiliki rumah lagi untuk bernaung serta tanah untuk berpijak. Semuanya sudah hancur lebur oleh alat berat pemerintah mereka. Mereka adalah orang-orang Indonesia yang terusir.






[3] Ibid, p. 17-18.

Forced Evictions in Jakarta: More Than Losing Homes

Let's meet Naisah, a young mother who is seven months' pregnant. In recent days, she and several others have become 'boat people' following the demolition of their homes by bulldozers sent by Jakarta's Governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama; known colloquially as Ahok. With no solution being proposed by the government, their lives are now teetering, just like the boat on which they live; drifting aimlessly without direction.
Forced evictions have become a common reality for the residents of Indonesia's capital city. According to the 2015 report published by the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute, approximately 3200 people were subjected to forced evictions between 2007 and 2012; the highest number since the founding of the city. In addition, it was reportedthat, in 2015 alone, about 3433 families and 433 businesses were forced to uproot themselves from the lands they have occupied for many decades. It is important to note that these cases are not only happening under the current government. Previous governors, such as Sutiyoso, were also diligent in ejecting residents from their homes without offering any alternative. It is estimated that around 10,000 people in Jakarta saw their homes reduced to rubble during the nine-year tenure of this former military figure.
What is worse is that it is not only Jakarta that has a dark history of forced evictions. Many other regions in the country have similar policies. The government of Makassar, for instance, evicted fishermen in Laguna Beach in 2004. In 2009, Surabaya's municipality also carried out a similar policy towards the inhabitants of Stren Kali Jagir, resulting in the expulsion of 380 households. If all cases of forced evictions are recorded, the figure will obviously be higher. But unfortunately, not all stories receive media attention, given the vastness of the country and the frequency of evictions.
The perpetrator, in this case the government, often argues that evictions are carried out in the 'public interest,' to avoid flooding or to create more green spaces. Thus, they argue, expelling people from the houses they have lived in for many years is for the benefit of society in general. However, this reason seems unfair. If evictions are executed in order to prevent flooding that often hits the city of Jakarta, why is it that only residential homes, mainly poor ones, are being evicted? Apartments, hotels, shopping malls, and luxurious residential places that are clearly built in water catchment areas tend to be omitted. It is noteworthy that more than 3000 hectares of green open spaces in Jakarta have been converted into commercial and residential elite neighborhoods. Hence, it is evident that the government is demonstrating its hypocrisy by citing 'public interest' as the grounds of its actions; in reality, many vacant lands have been transformed into hotels, shopping districts and elite residential complex.
Apparently, the Jakarta government has collaborated with the private sector in getting rid of the poor by opening a wide door for the latter to control as much as land as possible. This is to the extent that hundreds of hectares of unrecorded government land worth trillions of rupiah have passed secretly into the hands of private parties. The major implication of this is the gap in the amount of land ownership among the poor and the private sector. PRP Indonesia even reported that private sector controls 80 to 90 percent of lands in Jakarta.
Undeniably, forced evictions violate many legal rules; whether legislations made by the Indonesian government or international laws. The 1945 Constitution of Republic of Indonesia states that every person has the right to a prosperous life, both physically and mentally. Law Number 4 of 1992 on Housing and Settlement also states that each citizen has the full right to occupy, enjoy and own habitable houses. Moreover, the United Nations states categorically that forced evictions are illegal and violate basic human rights. It is also written in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that everyone is entitled to adequate rights of living, including health, clothing and shelter. Meanwhile, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) asserts that the State should refrain from forcibly evicting residents, let alone leaving them stranded.
Unfortunately, forced evictions are often marred by violence involving both police and military force. This is, of course, a form of violation of the main task of these security services; that is, to safeguard and protect citizens. Worst of all, the government often does not provide any alternative after forcibly displacing people from their homes. Simultaneously, the solutions provided are still proportionate; for example, the relocation to government flats, which takes a long time, the uninhabitable quality of the flats, and the value of compensation that often does not correspond to the losses incurred.
The separation of residents from their neighborhoods also has negative implications for their socio-economic conditions. These people no longer have a strong, united community. The source of livelihood also vanishes because poor residential areas are often situated close to their workplaces; such as the sea for fishermen and markets for traders. Finally, the education of displaced children is affected as it is difficult to find new schools. The situation faced by parents of these children is completely erratic; moving around without a stable place to live, has the potential to result in their children dropping out school. It is more than evident now that forced evictions will leave not only deep trauma, but also have serious implications for everyone.
These individuals are in need of serious, genuine and, more importantly, humane efforts by both local and central governments to end their ongoing misery. It is difficult to see when all of this will end, but one thing must be made clear: if we let this phenomenon continue, all of us will eventually have to pay the heavy price.
As this article is published, Nasiah, along with many others, are still drifting in the boat house. They have no idea for how long they should stay there. What is certain is that they have now lost not only the places they usually call home, but also long-held memories and the future to which they have been looking forward.

This piece is co-authored with Muhammad Beni Saputra, a postgraduate student at the University of Manchester.
This piece is also published by Huffington Post at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/muhammad-zulfikar-rakhmat/forced-evictions-jakarta_b_9758944.html

English Language: A Persistent Issue in Indonesia

Whenever she is called, Celina says frequently, 'Pardon', to clarify our utterances. With her authentic smile and shy character, she then said; 'I am sorry, my English is not good'. Celina arrived in Manchester with obsequious English skills and a simple dream; to work as a cleaner in a restaurant.
As Indonesians, our recent conversation with Celina left us with mixed feeling. On the one hand, we are excited because the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was enacted few months ago and is expected to bring a new wind of change to the region. On the other hand, however, we have deep anxiety regarding the AEC. Yes, whether we like it or not, whether we are ready or not, we have entered a new era in our region with the establishment of the AEC. As the community is a cross-country community, the English language is expected to play a central role in the progression of the ASEAN Economic Community. Moreover, in order to reap the full benefits of the initiative, Indonesia is undeniably in need of re-evaluating the English proficiency of its population.
In relation to English fluency, based on the English Proficiency Index of an international English language institution, English First, Indonesia remainspositioned below its neighbouring countries; namely, Singapore, Malaysia, and even Vietnam. Even though, in this data, the English proficiency of Indonesians falls within the category of 'moderate' or intermediate, the Economist argues that the data by English First is obtained through the Internet. This means that only those who have an internet connection are sampled. It is probable that the results would be significantly lower if the test also involved those without an internet connection, such as those living in rural areas.
The lack and the uneven distribution of English proficiency in Indonesia, especially between major cities and rural or remote areas, have several vital implications for the country.
It is impossible to ignore the fact that English is the lingua franca in the international trade. Given the increasingly open state of the world, especially in the context of AEC, the role of English is certainly crucial for Indonesia to strengthen trade relations with its regional neighbours. Moreover, it is now quite possible that, for instance, businessmen from Thailand are interested in pursuing business with the average people in the depths of Papua. In this regard, it is clear that the English language is instrumental in bridging the needs of regional countries to pursue trade that is beneficial to all parties.
Simultaneously, the situation will undoubtedly hinder the development of rural areas. Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review reveals a direct correlation between the good English language skills of a population with the ability of the economy and the index of a country's human development. In other words, the lower the English ability, the lower the rate of development of a region.
Furthermore, the people will face difficulties in internationalising themselves or participating in global opportunities. In reality, there are a handful of programmes with which the Indonesians, especially the youth, could participate in the international arena. In addition to youth exchange initiatives introduced by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Indonesia, where the selection process is handled by Purna Caraka Muda Indonesia (PCMI), perhaps the most prominent example is theLPDP (Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan) provided by the Ministry of Finance. This scholarship presents a wide opportunity for Indonesians to pursue higher studies, mainly masters and PhDs, both at home and overseas. Anyone can apply and seize opportunities to pursue education at the world's leading universities, including Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard.
Nevertheless, very few recipients come from remote areas of Indonesia, such as Jambi, Papua, or Kalimantan. Indeed, the majority are from major cities, such as Jakarta, Bandung, or Yogyakarta, where information and English language training are easily accessible. Moreover, almost none are graduates of small colleges or universities in districts or regencies. It cannot be denied that the fundamental reason behind this phenomenon is the limited English language proficiency. There are many young talented individuals or experts in major subjects, such as Mathematics, Physics and Medicine, from these small or far-away regions of Indonesia who have missed the opportunity to pursue further education at top-notch institutions in the United States or Europe. This is simply because they lack access to English learning centres and, thus, have limited English proficiency.
While it is true that LPDP already has an initiative, known as Affirmation Scholarship, for those who live in underdeveloped parts of the country, the initiative has not been able to cover all the less developed regions. The data on underdeveloped regions provided by Bappenas, used by LPDP as a reference, is defined merely by geographical location. Consequently, there are many underdeveloped regions that should be included.
Looking at this situation, it is hence important for both the local and central government to take seriously the issue of English language. Throughout this time, the local government has primarily been 'hands-off' and has allowed the people struggle alone. These individuals, for instance, establish small study circles to learn English without any formal support. The situation is exacerbated by the lack of availability of qualified English teachers for public schools in rural or district areas. It can no longer be ignored that the government should take concrete steps to solve this long-held dilemma; for example, developing nationwide English language institutions for free, including in districts or even sub-districts.
Similarly, scholarship providers such as LPDP should have an additional indicator to categorise which regions should be considered as underdeveloped by using the Human Development Index (HDI). This is important because there are areas that have lower HDI than those listed by Bappenas, but are not listed as eligible to receive Affirmation Scholarship by LPDP. For example, the HDI of Tanjung Jabung Timur regency in Jambi for 2014 was 59.88, while the HDI of Solok Selatan for the same year was 66.29. From this data, it is clear that the first regency should be prioritised as an eligible recipient of the Affirmation Scholarship, even though both are equally in need of extra attention from the government.
It should be realised by now that providing scholarships to those who live in less developed areas of Indonesia is important. These individuals could become agents of change to correct not only the imbalances in the development of their regions, but also to contribute to the country's overall development.
One of the points of cooperation outlined in the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint is the free flow of skilled labour. This is a strong warning for the Indonesian government to provide access for people to learn the language used to communicate and compete in regional or even international stages. If not, it can be expected that foreign workers, such as Celina, will increasingly flock into the country and slowly uproot the local workforce.

This piece is co-authored with Muhammad Beni Saputra, a postgraduate student at the University of Manchester. He taught English for several years in rural areas of Jambi, West Sumatra.
This piece is also published by Huffington Post at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/muhammad-zulfikar-rakhmat/english-language-a-persis_b_9718692.html