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Friday, March 14, 2008

New Leadership, New Vision: the Countdown of Maluku Governor Election

Few weeks ago when I was visiting Ambon my eyes was struck by many huge billboards or banners which picturing some political figures, either those who sited in governmental service or those who served in public spheres. The banners unfolded in the edge along road from Pattimura International Airport to Ambon city. What made me strike is the comments which attaching in those banners. As usual, around the countdown of governor election some figures attempts to promote their profile publicly. They used comments as an effort to attract people's sympathy, even though I think their comments (or promises) are more like buzzwords. They sound ridiculous for me. But eventually I must conscious that political game still need advertising program and likely it is necessary to engage in some "rituals".

Of course, deep down in my heart I also must conscious that it is their rights for every person to promote their self or identity in order to reach their dreams to be a political leader. But I could not understand why the term "political leader" has always been posed as only an objective not tool for empowering the people who had elected them as their representatives to increase people's wealth and life. Politic becomes a word with single-rigid meaning, that is, struggle for destroy opposites and then using power to enrich their own life while many still living in poverty and oppression. For that reason, many people willing to invest their money for their political aims and after that it thought as efforts to gain back more money as far they can do that whatever the ways. In that simple meaning, it could be understand that many people has racing for political positions but forget the essence of political ethic, to serve as loyalty for public needs.

Maluku post-conflict has remaining some critical problems which need to solve by strong leadership. I cannot deny that the governor of Maluku in charge had been doing prominent changes. The changes are not only deal with physical development but primarily about social reconstruction of societal life of Maluku by several political approaches. In that case, I convey my salute for the governor and his staffs for all they did in positive term. During the normalization of Maluku, I think, the process of governor election in Maluku must be put issue of social recovery both sociologically and psychologically as the main orientation of development of Maluku province.

Social conflict, perhaps, was able to solved or muffled. However, the impact of the social conflict had to cope with as deep as its roots. Whereas now it is emerging some new problems deal with huge effects of globalization – of life style until disease – which put Maluku society face to face with new questions around global warming, climate change, etc. In such situation Maluku people needs new leadership or new political vision by which can bring Maluku as a whole toward becoming the sane society and ready to answer the questions of modernity and its impacts.

Here I would like to suggest several visionary comments as my appreciation for Maluku people in their way for empowering themselves during the difficult periods of suffering of conflict. I have no intention to insist them as idealistic ideas but it can only look as my personal view about the process become self-healing community in Ambon.

  1. Strong leadership has to build base on honesty and openness toward public criticism.
  2. Local autonomous open many possibilities to dig potential human resources to manage local problems deal with regulations, illegal logging, media critical interaction, interfaith etc. Maluku people, therefore, needs smart leadership for mapping the problems and take the balance solution by virtue of public welfare.
  3. Empowering the intellectual function of universities (Pattimura, UKIM, Darusalam, STIA, STAKPN, STAIN, etc.) as counter-partners for engaging into critical discourse concerning to increase people's education and scientific networking.
  4. Reviewing and reformulating regulation on "system of village governance" (sistem pemerintahan desa) base on local wisdom and local genius of Maluku people in order to keep cultural diversity in Maluku. It is an important strategy of development for making Maluku as multicultural society without plunge into "tribe-character community".
  5. Positioning all political party as competent mediators between government and people in order to build strong society whose responsibility for establishing people's rights and obligations as citizenship.

What I said above are not political theses but they more likely looked as assumptions or hypotheses that must be test critically in the future. As such, it can be right or wrong depend on our intention and perception of it. But it can be also regard as an invitation to step forward into new hope that Maluku people needs new leadership with new vision; vision of hope not death, vision of light future not dark promise, vision of togetherness not fragmented, vision of wealth not impoverish. Mena Muria!

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One Earth, Many Faces

One Earth, Many Faces