Poor PLS of Security Sector Reform and Its Impacts on Human Rights and Civil-Military Relations in Indonesia

  • Poltak Partogi Nainggolan Centre for Research of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Indonesia
  • Riris Katharina Centre for Research of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Indonesia


As emerging democracy, Indonesia is facing a formidable challenge from its Parliament whose capacity in conducting Post-Legislative Scrutiny is weak; this could prevent the country from fulfilling democratic consolidation. The country’s failure in fulfilling its democratic consolidation two decades after Soeharto’s resignation can bring it back to the authoritarian era as it has experienced only two years after the first 1955 democratic election until 1998. Applying an empirical research by directly observing PLS in the Indonesian parliament and using a qualitative method of analysis, this essay discussed the causes and repercussions of the parliament’s poor capability, which have brought the country into current setback, facing resistances from the old establishment that has made the military unable to continue reform and to change its political culture. Therefore, the Indonesian military still wants to involve in civilian affairs and businesses by making a more flexible interpretation of Military Operations Other Than War, on the one side. While, on the other, TNI’s existing culture of violence has led it to many alleged cases of gross human rights violations which could not be prosecuted until recently. In fact, Indonesian Members of Parliament’s poor capability and DPR’s weak supporting system give more complexity to the country in its struggle and success to be the third biggest democracy in the world.


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Maya Ayu Puspitasari,”Penambahan Pos TNI Dapat Merusak Sistem Karier Pegawai Sipil” (Adding Post Can Damage Civil Servant Career System), Koran Tempo, February 25, 2019, p. 15.
Hans Born, Hans and Albrecht Schnabel (Eds). Security Sector Reform in Challenging En- vironment. Zuerich: Lit Verlag, 2009, pp. 8-9.
See, “Laporan Hasil Penyelidikan KPP HAM Trisakti, Semanggi I dan II,” (Reports of Investigations of the Trisakti, Semanggi I and II), March 10, 2002, https://sekitar-ki-ta.syaldi.web.id/laporan-hasil-penyelidikan-kpp-ham-trisakti-semanggi-i-dan-ii/, accessed on June 3, 2019.

John McBeth,”Shadow Play,” Australia Review, July 23, 1998.

See, for example, Arif Budianto dan Eko Budiono,”Eks TNI Masih Berpengaruh,” (Ex-TNI Still Have Influence), Seputar Indonesia, March 22, 2008, p 3.

Harold Crouch, ”Establishing Civilian Supremacy in Southeast Asia,” in Uwe Johannen and James Gomez (Eds), Democratic Transition in Asia, Singapore: Select Publishing, 2001, p. 182.
Marzuki Darusman was interviewed on December 17, 2007, and April 10, 2008 in Jakarta. See, Poltak Partogi Nainggolan, The Indonesian Military Response to Reform in Democratic Transition: A Comparative Analysis of Three Civilian Regimes 1998-2004. Jakarta: Azza Grafica, 2012, pp. 199-200.
The writers attended the hearing and testimony organized by the Pansus in DPR building in 2000.
“Penantian Panjang Korban Pelanggaran HAM” (Long Expectation of Human Rights Victims, Wacana HAM, Second Edition, Vol. VI, July 1-31, 2008, http://www.komnas-ham,go.id/portal/files/wacana%20edisi%20JULI%202008.pdf, accessed on May 11, 2010, pp. 5-6.

Kevin O’Rourke, Reformasi: The Struggle for Power in Post-Soeharto Indonesia. NSW: Allen & Unwinn, Crows Nest, 2002, p.341. See also, Nainggolan, 2012, op.cit, p. 210.
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“TNI Klaim Telah Tewaskan 2.800 Anggota GAM,” (TNI Claimed Killed 2,800 GAM Members), Acehkita, September 17, 2004.
“Versi TNI: 662 Warga Sipil Tewas Sejak Darurat Militer,” (TNI Version: 662 Civilians Died Since Military Emergency), Acehkita, September 17, 2004, ibid.
See, Poltak Partogi Nainggolan, The Indonesian Military Response to Reform in Demo- cratic Transition: A Comparative Analysis of Three Civilian Regimes 1998--2004. Jakarta: Azza Grafica, 2012, for examples, pp. 221-223; pp. 303-309.
Stevanus Pramono,”Bara di Nduga” (Ember in Nduga). Majalah Tempo, 1-7 April 2019: pp. 25, 28-38.
Riris Katharina, Menakar Capaian Otonomi Khusus Papua (Measuring Papuan Autonomy Achievements). Jakarta: Yayasan Obor, 2018, p.127.
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Lihat, Alsadad Rudi,”JK: Kasus Cebongan Dampak Ketidakpercayaan” (JK: Cebongan Case Caused by Distrust), Kompas.com, 29 Maret 2013, diakses pada 26 Mei 2019.

“Sejumlah Saksi dan Korban Mengadu ke Komnas HAM” (Witnesses and Victims Repor- ted to Human Rights Commission), Koran Tempo, 6 April 2013, pp. 1 & A3.
A big banner could be seen, for instance, in front of military (Kostrad) housing compound in Arteri Pondok Indah Road, Jakarta.

See, “Transitional Justice In Indonesia Since the Fall of Soeharto,” Indonesia Derailed, A Joint Report by ICJT and Kontras, March 2011; The Jakarta Post, 18-19 April 2013. p. 2.
“Korban Pelanggaran HAM Berat di NTT Mulai Buka Suara” (Gross Human Rights Abu- ses Victims Began to Speak), Suara Pembaruan, 29 April 2013, p. 15.
Report of the Indonesian Peasant Union (Serikat Petani Indonesia –SPI), presented in FGD at the Indonesian parliament’s research centre, P3DI, DPR, on 15 April 2013.
See, The Jakarta Post, 8 May 2013, p. 9.
The Jakarta Post, 23 May 2013. p. 8.
See, “Kolonel Nyabu, KSAL Marah Besar,” (Colonel Consumed Narcotics, Navy Chief Got Angry), Koran Tempo, 2 May 2013, p. A6.

“Kasus Narkoba Tampar TNO” (Narcotics Case Slaped TNI), Republika, 1 May 2013, p. 3.
The Jakarta Post, 1-2 May 2013, p. 4.
Suara Pembaruan, 29 April 2013, loc.cit
“Ray Rangkuti: Kudeta Hanya Khayalan SBY” (Ray Rangkuti: Coup Is Only SBY’s Delu- sion), Koran Tempo, 25 Maret 2013.
Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 2018.

See, “Limbah Berbahaya di Markas Tentara” (Dangerous Waste in Military Base), Majalah Tempo, 18-24 February 2019: 23, 39-53.
Arkhelaus Wisnu,”Markas Tentara Diduga Menyelewengkan Izin” (Military Base Allegedly Misuse Permit), Koran Tempo, 20 Februari 2019: 14.
See, ”What TNI reform?” The Jakarta Post, June 12, 2019: 4.
A mayhem which caused eight people died, mostly young people, 300 wounded, and 700 arrested, see, for instance, Republika, May 27, 2019: 1; Suseno,”Ada Indikasi Pelanggaran HAM dalam Kerusuhan 22-23 Mei” (Indications of Human Rights Violations Founded), Koran Tempo, May 27, 2019: 27.
Arya Dipa,”Military borrows money for Citarum River cleanup,” The Jakarta Post, February 22, 2019: 4.
Arkhelaus Wisnu,”Pos TNI di Sipil Dibahas” (TNI Post in Civilian Is Discussed), Koran Tempo, February 22, 2019: 2.
See, for instance,”Fungsi Sosial Masih Dapat Kami Jalankan” (Social Function Can be Carried On), Koran Tempo, February 22, 2019: 5.
How to Cite
NAINGGOLAN, Poltak Partogi; KATHARINA, Riris. Poor PLS of Security Sector Reform and Its Impacts on Human Rights and Civil-Military Relations in Indonesia. Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, p. 23-51, june 2020. ISSN 2599-2147. Available at: <https://jurnal.unej.ac.id/index.php/JSEAHR/article/view/13597>. Date accessed: 01 aug. 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.19184/jseahr.v4i1.13597.
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