Mon, 30 Oct 2000

BTN discriminates?

I am writing this letter to enquire to the management of Bank BTN about their policy of providing services to their customers.

The bank's individual loan request form contains a question about the citizenship of a loan applicant and two options for the answer are given, namely (1) Indonesian citizen and (2) Indonesian citizen of foreign descent.

I am curious why there is a distinction in citizenship. Who does the bank categorize as Indonesian citizens of foreign descent and on what basis is this categorization made? What is the purpose of this distinction?

It is sheer irony that Bank BTN, as a big state bank with many years of operation, still clings to practices which tend to be discriminatory and unfair in serving its customers. Unless I am mistaken, our state only recognizes one citizenship, namely the Indonesian citizenship. Shouldn't we, in this reformist era, abandon the old paradigm and adopt a new one, which honors the equality of every Indonesian citizen in terms of rights and obligations regardless of their ethnicity, racial background, religion or belief.

I am well aware that I am just an ordinary citizen with no power at all to change the policy of a company. I can only propose to the management of Bank BTN to be magnanimous enough to stop this practice of citizenship discrimination in serving their customers. Such practices are not only discriminatory but also unprofessional.

Has it ever occurred to the management of Bank BTN how they would feel if they had been born as people put in the category of Indonesian citizens of foreign descent?

Someone's ethnicity is God's endowment. Man can never choose what ethnicity he will be born into. Someone's citizenship is man's creation. We can change our citizenship but not our ethnicity, which is, again, God's endowment.


Nusa Dua, Bali