Tue, 08 Mar 2005

From:

Elite's lack of concern

From Media Indonesia

The government finally raised fuel oil prices, effective as of March 1. Minister of Finance Jusuf Anwar said this decision required no approval from the House of Representatives (DPR), unless a state budget amendment was sought.

The minister may be right that the fuel price increase is the government's prerogative. But he may have forgotten that the House represents the population and is the government's partner, which should have been consulted.

In dealing with the sensitive issue of fuel prices, the government seems to have overlooked the House, which opposed the fuel price rise. It even tried to justify the increase through the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), whose speaker was present when the president announced the decision.

Does it mean that the DPD has a more important role than the House? If so, why has the DPD looked just like an "adornment of democracy", with the right to speak yet without the right to vote? This is really an oddity.

LUKMAN HAKIM Jakarta