High initiative of Landak people to be back to "BINUA” system in West Kalimantan

By Yohanes Supriyadi

The poor quality of democracy, poor quality of local legislatures and low appreciation of human rights, as reflected in the frequent exploitative treatment to the people at the grassroots level by powerful groups, prompt community empowerment, local legislature capacity building to be done immediately. The autonomy which will be given by central government by law No. 32, 2004 requires strong community groups that are able to cooperate one to another and strong legislature boy so that local policies of the province be directed towards the good of common purposes.

As other province in Indonesia, West Kalimantan is in a difficult situation. While on the one hand the central government gives opportunity to the province to be autonomous, democracy does not yet run well and human rights are not well appreciated. Amidst the economic crisis and the integrity of members of local legislative body that is yet to be tested, powerful groups work into placing their favored persons into power by way of money politics.

Analyses ascribe this present situation to the New Order regime. At that time the people were forced to subject to development concept of the government. The local people’s position was very weak before the law since the legal system was controlled by the ruling groups and capital owners. Up to the present the people’s position is not yet stronger. Some legal products, especially of the New Order regime, even contribute directly towards the destruction of internal system of the local communities. The eroded internal system of local communities is a significant factor of behavioral degradation of the communities.

Strong community means empowered and organized community groups at the grass root level. Good local legislature means legislatures that are able to produce fair local regulations that can give benefits to all stakeholders. Good legislature requires legislators who have integrity and who have awareness of the duty of representing the people. Local knowledge of the ethnic groups in the regency, social and cultural values, expectations of the people are resources that neglect these things will not be well accepted by the people and will cause a lot of friction.

Discussions with the local community members led to conclusion that they already had the awareness of what and who caused the problems they were facing. Interesting ideas on how to solve the problems even sometimes occurred surprisingly. The constraints are that the communities still have collective sense of self in confidence and they are not organized.

Communication and information are among other significant factors in boosting the sense of self-confidence among the local communities. Palma Institute experience so far shows that in gatherings that involved representatives of communities from different places, participants were eager to share experience and learn one to another. The success stories of communities that are documented in audio-visual media will inevitably give a lot of inspirations to other communities.

High Initiative of Landak People to be back to “Binua” system

Act no.5, 1979 about Village Government …… that uniforms name, form, structure and position of village government is not in line with the soul of Constitution 1945” (consideration part of Act no. 22, 1999)

During the independence, the Founding Fathers of this Republic highly respected and appreciated local people. This can be seen in Constitution 1945, article 18, with the explanation in point II, which states, “In Indonesian territorial areas, there exist about 250 zelfbesturendelandschapen and volksgemeenschappen like ‘villages’ in Java and Bali, ‘Nagari’ in Minangkabau, ‘dusun’ and ‘marga’ in Palembang, ‘Binua’ in West Kalimantan, etc. These places have original structure and therefore can be considered as special places. Republic of Indonesia respects the status of these special places and all national regulations concerning these places should consider original right of these places.

However, when this country “develops” the nation, local people are subjugated by their own countrymen. The rights and independence of local people are tied up by regulations; their customary areas are intruded and taken over without compromise (with the argument, the land is the nation’s land), and the most tragic one that destructs local communities is the implementation of acts no. 5, 1974 and 1979 about village government, in which all things must be made uniform. The two acts are forms of denial and betrayal toward the ideal of the founding fathers of this nation who have included “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (unity in diversity) as the national philosophy. This philosophy is straddled and disregarded in the name of the so-called “development”, whereas the so-called “development” is done for the interest of few greedy persons. The slogan to implement the constitution 45 purely and consequently is only a mask to cheat the people.

Based on the fact mentioned above, for the sake of people’s empowerment toward customary communities and other communities as well, in Landak Regency in particular, in order that the empowerment can be optimally done and in line with historical facts of the origin of the people in Landak Regency, the system of village government must be changed into “Binua” government system.

Customary people in Landak regency are obliged to be involved in political participation in reorganizing local government system in Landak regency. For this reason, several meetings among customary people have been held. The sequence of meetings of Board of Customary Associations and Customary communities of Landak regency on 5th to 8th of March 2002 in Menjalin were followed by the meetings of people of 4 river basin areas (based on river basin in Landak Regency). The meeting of 4 river basin areas produced several quite satisfactory results as follows:
• The meeting of people of Mempawah river basin areas, consisting of 3 sub districts: Menjalin, Mempawah Hulu, and Mandor sub districts was held on 4th to 6th of July 2002 in Menjalin.
• The meeting of people of Sengah Temila – Samih river basin areas, consisting on 2 sub-districts: Sengah temila and Subangki sub-districts was held on 16th to 19th of July 2002 in Pahuman.
• The meeting of people of Banyuke – Meranti river basin areas, consisting of 2 sub-districts: Darit and Meranti sub-districts were held on 26th to 28th of July 2002 in Darit.
• On 8th to 10th of August 2002 the same meeting was held in Ngabang. The meeting of people of Landak Hulu river basin areas, consisting 3 sub-districts: Nagabang, Kuala Behe, and Serimbu.
• Workshop among Customary people of river basin areas (4 river basin areas in Landak regency) was held on 11th to 14th of September 2002 in Pontianak.

After making an intensive discussion in the workshop among the people of river basin areas on 11th to 14th of September 2002, as the conclusion the participants agreed to propose a draft of local regulation of Binua government syatem as the substitution of village government system in Landak regency. To be responsible for this proposal the workshop agreed to form a “Communication Forum of Binua’s Timanggong” (Timanggong is a head of Customary people / laws) in Landak regency.
Two Non Governmental Organizations, they are YPPN and YPB were entrusted to support the process.

The proposal of the draft of Binua local Regulation is based on the fact that up till now Indonesian government has been ignoring the principle of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) and article 18 of Constitution 1945 that makes customary life fade which means the paralyzing of basic pivotal strength of foundation of nation. Along the years of 2003 and 2004, this discourse of plan kept on rolling among the people which at last on May 4th, 2005, the local representative in the meeting with YPPN, YPB and Forum of Timanggong (PAKAT) stated that a committee would be formed to discuss the draft of local regulation. Although Act no. 22/1999 has been changed into Act no.32/2004, the spirit of Landak people to struggle fo the system of Binua government does not fade away.

Multiplier effects
Some of facilitating is needed by other regencies. Bengkayang and Sambas Regencies that had facilitated by Palma Institute, indicated need to facilitate on the same action in order to promote democracy and human rights. The Landak regency is open to further facilitating on other subjects, i.e. to increase NRM regulations people’s based or the local wisdoms, to improve models of RTRWK (the regency area management) people’s based and natively. This is urgently to support communities empowerment further.

This 18 months’ facilitation is directed towards the rousing of awareness among communities at grassroots level. The expected results are that the communities are able to set up and manage their own organization and conduct activities that support democracy and appreciation to human rights. Considering the present condition of the target communities, they will be able to support activities that do not consume a lot of fund. They will be able to continue the watch and monitoring programs and manage their organizations. However, they probably will not be able to afford occasion such as meeting, workshops or activities that the 18 months’ time facilitation also includes facilitation in the field that make the target communities generate their income.

At the legislatures level through pressured by CBO, there is controlling on the low enforcement by the government. Through the capacity building, legislatures are able to produce fair local regulations based on people’s aspirations. Through a consistence control by the legislatures will be make better governance and reorganizing local government system.

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