Analyctical Exposition (FINAL EXAM)

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 Genre-based Writing
Vice Ministers: Political Conspiracy?

Today’s cabinet, the Second United Indonesia Cabinet (Indonesian: Kabinet Indonesia Bersatu Jilid II) conducted by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is considered as the cabinet which is full of controversy. Huge corruption issues to many other more cases color the SBY’s leadership. They involve those from the representative functionary who come from coalition partners. It becomes the talk of the town that the issues are getting severer. One of the common issues is about the existence of the vice ministers, its position in the cabinet and also its legitimacy. After the reshuffle, the President occupies more officers to be in charge of the cabinet. There are so far eighteen officers who occupy the vice minister occupation. Nonetheless, it later becomes debatable. Some say it is contradicted with the Indonesia’s basic ordinance (Undang-undang Dasar 1945/UUD 1945).  Moreover, after the National Movement against Corruption (GN-PK) reported it to the Constitutional Court, this issue is getting hotter. This accusation is based on the section 17 of the UUD 1945. The section does not mention any of the occupations. Therefore, it is considered to be improper and it seemingly opposes against the regulation that has been held for years. They reckon that the section 10 of the ordinance (Undang-undang/UU) No. 39/2008 about Ministerial Regulation contradicts the section 17 of the UUD 1945.
The existence of vice minister occupations in the cabinet causes public suspicion. Many public opinions linking to this issue are rising. They suspect that the vice minister occupation will bear any political interests among government officers, especially those who are in charge of being officers of the ministry. Although it is SBY’s exclusive right since he is a president, it still has to be decided cautiously. Reviewing public opinions and any laws dealing with it will make it less of false later. In addition, public may appraise that the vice minister existence will award fallout towards the government itself and thus it should be reexamined. It is so for some reasons:
Firstly, the existence of vice ministers is considered as a waste of the state’s finance.  It is because the facility and the salary that the vice ministers earn are sourced from the General Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBN). As it is said before, there is no section in the UUD in which regulates this occupation. The section 17 of the UUD only provides regulation about minister occupation. None of it explains the vice minister occupation. Besides, according to the Constitutional Court’s explanation saying that the section 10 of the ordinance (UU) about the Ministerial Regulation contradicts the section 9 verse (1) of the same ordinance. Here is the structure of the Ministry that is arranged by section 9 verse (1): the chief/minister; minister assistant/general secretariat; fundamental manager/general directorate; controller/general inspectorate; other supporting staff/central department; manager of regional task/delegation for foreign area, and all those occupations are set by the ordinance. In short, the vice minister’s task actually is accommodated by put “an officer called general secretary. Thus, regarding to that facts, it is possible to omit the occupation of the vice minister. On the other hand, if the president considers that it is necessary for the government to have staffs that have special expertise, he should only appoint those who are really experts. So that the work performance will be effective and efficient, it means that the APBN will be saved.
It also becomes debatable about who should and will be in charge of occupying the vice minister occupation. According to Constitutional Court (MK) (cited from indonesiamedia.com), vice minister occupation is a career occupation coming from civil servant occupation. In case, the way of the appointment is not clearly explained whether it is structural occupation or functional occupation. As it is known that career occupation has two categories, they are functional and structural occupation. The problem is, if the vice minister occupation is a structural occupation then those who are in charge of it must be ones who also occupy the Echelon 1 A which means that it will be appropriate with the employee regulation. Moreover, a vice minister is under the general secretariat’s submission. (
Otherwise, if it is considered as functional occupation then it will be awkward. It is because as it is known that functional occupation only specializes on a certain field of work.
MK said that it does not make any sense if the vice minister occupation is a functional occupation since it has many fields of submissions and it needs various expertise as well. Furthermore, it should be codified in the ordinance. It also has to classify the qualification into a certain occupation.
The more of regarding the vice ministers’ previous job that they are basically from College officers, the more it is obvious that there is an error relating to this regulation. The question is that if the vice minister occupation is a functional occupation so is it possible for a civil servant to have two different functional occupations at the same time according to the regulation?
That is why the occupation is still considered as political appointee which is occupied by a career officer.
Second, the vice minister existence is assumed to accommodate political interests. It can be seen that the president has changed the regulation of forming the Ministry twice. It seems to be forced for suiting the condition. Public assume that the vice ministers are not capable for the occupations they have. They just pretend as they could do the responsibility.
In addition, changing the regulation only screws up the ministerial system itself which is already set by the ordinance; it only shows off government’s lack in making a decision. They seemingly put the vice minister occupation in sale. It seems freely for anyone to take a chance with it. Again, it is assumed as the president’s way to accommodate the political interests among representatives from the coalition partners. It is commonly known that the ministers recognizably are dominated by those from coalition partners. ( in the other hand, )the vice minister occupation itself is occupied by an expert. Public see it as the government’s image improvement. The vice ministers are used to help government improving its image.
Thirdly, the vice minister occupation will cause conflicting interests towards the minister. Either the ministers or the vice ministers have the same authority and they are also appointed by the president. It may breed bad impacts to the public services.
The controversy itself is actually more about how and who is really qualified to occupy the vice minister occupation, not even about the legitimacy. It is explained in section 10 UU No. 39/2008 clarifying a vice minister is a career officer. This term that later becomes the controversy, because nowadays if it is about career officer then it does not exist any longer in the cabinet structure. It thus makes uncertainty towards the regulation and it is again contrary to the section 17 of the UUD 1945.
In short, the content of the section 10 causes such chaotic implementation or even legality. It will be better if the vice minister occupation is adjusted with the president’s prerogative. That is why the President Decision which is about the appointment of each vice minister has to be upgraded to a new one that is appropriate to the basic ordinance. Thus, there will be no contradiction among regulation.
This controversial issue is given much attention by public. So many reasons relate to this case, and mostly bear some questions towards it. Public needs clearance and this is the government’s obligation to provide explanation. It is yes, the president has prerogative, but considering those reasons above we can say that it is the president’s obligation to clear all these chaos and it is his obligation to reexamine the vice ministers’ existence in improving the government’s system.



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