A Twitter Nation Called Indonesia

1 min read

In Indonesia, it is not the law and obligation, or criminal acts and suffering of victims, or even conscience and sanity.

It only takes viral tweets for state officials to take action.

An employee at the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) needs nine years before harassment, violence and bullying against him get response. That after he recently uploaded long tweets, pleading to President Joko Widodo to help him end years of tortures against him allegedly done by his own colleagues in his office.

His tweets became viral, drawing thousands of likes, retweet and comments. As of today it lists as the country’s number one trending topic.

Then suddenly state officials from his office, police and the national commission for human rights (Komnas Ham) become very active and eager to help him.

Previously, he had come to each of these same offices to report his suffering. At the height of the torture, he filed a report to the nearby police precinct in 2015 just after he was force to get naked, with this group of male colleagues writing notes on his testicle.

Instead of immediately launching an investigation, the police officers apparently took it as a kind of joke, telling him to report the matter to his boss and solve it internally. When he came to his boss to tell his misery, rather than taking action against those who conduct the torturing the boss move him to other room where “people there are kind and gentle.”

While there have been clear signs of violations or even crimes, the leadership in the KPI did not take any action against these torturing employees.

Consequently, this group of bullies continued their action, and even meaner than before. He also filed a report to the Komnas Ham but the officers there instead told him to go to the police.

But after thousands of people expressed their support in the social media, directing condemnation to those bullies and officials who did nothing about the torturing, KPI commissioners became very supportive, taking him to make a report to the police. The police publicly asked his to refile the report while Komnas Ham quickly asked him to also refile a report.

While this case shows the power of social media, opening opportunity for powerless people to have their suffering heard, it also shows how rampant the country’s state officials to neglect their own duty and obligation if there is nothing to it. It highlights how deaf, insensitive and inhumane their mentality is.  Many have said that this is only the tip of the iceberg as this one managed to come out in social media, and got viral. What about many other cases failing to get attention in the social media?

This incident also happens after years of Jokowi talking about bureaucratic reform.

Reform? What reform?

Editorial Omong-Omong

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