Thu, 30 Nov 2000

Government finds jobs for 8,000 Kamra members

JAKARTA (JP): The government has found new jobs for some 8,000 members of the People's Security (Kamra) civilian militia, but says it fell short of helping the remaining 28,000.

Director General of Human Resources Development at the Ministry of Defense Rear Marshall Bachrudin told a media conference here on Wednesday that the government could not do more due to the large financial requirement.

"Even though people have responded positively to the presence of Kamra, we are unable to extend their term of duties for another year because it would cost Rp 172 billion," Bachrudin said.

Bachrudin said 2,500 Kamra personnel will be employed by the Jakarta administration as public order (Tramtib) officers, and some companies have agreed to recruit up to 5,500 of the civilian militias.

"The 5,500 Kamra members may be employed as company security guards or moved to other regions," Bachrudin said, adding that PT Astra Motor automotive was one of the companies.

Bachrudin declined to reveal the number of Kamra members to be employed by Astra.

The government decided to disband Kamra when its term expires on Dec. 31, shrugging off protests from the Kamra members. With unemployment nearing 38 million this year, the mass layoff of Kamra members will give the government another headache.

Kamra was formed in 1998 based on Law No.56 on civilian militia. The law stipulates the Kamra members serve for one year, with a maximum one year extension of service.

The government recruited over 41,000 people for Kamra, who assisted police in maintaining order. The number decreased to about 36,000 due to desertion, dismissal for criminal charges and death.

Coordinating Minister Gen. (ret.) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said some of the Kamra members would likely join the National Police and the Indonesian Military (TNI).

However, Bachrudin dismissed the possibility of civilian militia joining the military or police because they do not meet requirements.

"The police and TNI recruits are trained for 6 to 7 months and are at least high school graduates, while Kamra were only trained for about 11 days and most of them are only elementary school graduates. Some of them are even too old to join Kamra," Bachrudin said.

The current Kamra members are between 18 and 45 years old.

Bachrudin said, two months ago the government notified the Kamra members of the end of their term and suggested that they accept severance pay. (02)