Sat, 16 Dec 2000

Mahfud announces Kamra compensation

JAKARTA (JP): Minister of Defense Mahfud M.D. said on Friday that some 36,000 members of the People's Security civilian guards (Kamra) would receive compensation equivalent to four months salary when disbanded at the end of the year.

Mahfud stressed that the government would try to employ Kamra members in state institutions, such as state companies, the National Police or the Indonesian Military.

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

Most members have only elementary or high school educations and were only trained for 11 days.

During 1999, Kamra members were paid Rp 200,000 per month. Their salary was increased to Rp 250,000 per month this year.

The government initially recruited over 41,000 members but that number dwindled to 36,000 due to desertion, dismissal and various other reasons.

In November the government announced it has found new jobs for some 8,000 members of Kamra, of which 2,500 would be employed by the Jakarta administration as public order (Tramtib) officers and 5,500 would be employed in private companies, such as PT Astra Motors, as security guards.

However, the fate of the remaining members is still uncertain.

East Java Governor Imam Utomo, following recent demonstrations by Kamra members, said that bout 200 of 6,000 Kamra in the province would be sent to Malaysia as workers.

Kamra members have demonstrated in other cities across the country demanding compensation and employment.

The biggest demonstration was held in Yogyakarta last month, when about 4,000 Kamra members form Java, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara and South Sumatra gathered demanding the government take responsibility for their future.

Unfortunately, some rallies have turned ugly with destructive acts being committed.

Mahfud called for Kamra members to demonstrate peacefully saying that "demonstrations are allowed, but not destructive actions which violate the law, as such actions would only complicate our efforts to employ them".(02)