Mon, 18 Sep 2000

YLKI strives to boost people's participation

JAKARTA (JP): In an attempt to cope with rapid development and abundant consumer-related cases, the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) plans to establish a network to boost people's participation by the time the Consumer Protection Law is implemented early next year.

"We are only three months away from the actual implementation and there is a lot of work that has not been completed," Zumrotin K. Susilo, YLKI executive and former chairwoman, said on Saturday.

Zumrotin said that in the past three years YLKI had been dragging its feet in handling numerous consumer issues due to a lack of human resources.

"Therefore YLKI will change its strategy by supporting the establishment of groups within society, such as an electricity company customers association, a telephone users association or a water company customers' association.

"This way the handling of the problem will be decentralized and people would be expected to be more concerned and put more pressure (to resolve problems) in each field," she said.

YLKI can no longer be the "store" of all consumer complaints, the foundation has to lessen its dealings in cases, Zumrotin said.

A legislator, however, suggested YLKI pay more attention to public policy issues and function like a political party.

"YLKI already has its constituents, in this case consumers. YLKI has to voice and fight for the people's interest, especially during the policy-making process," legislator Anung Pramono of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) told a panel discussion on YLKI's strategic role on Saturday.


YLKI chairwoman Indah Suksmaningsih, however, said YLKI still had to complete much of its agenda, such as the formation of a board of settlement on customers' disputes.

"The Consumer Protection Law stipulates that a board must be established in every province and regency," Indah said.

"We'll have a one-week meeting on strategic planning to determine the course of YLKI and our next agenda. We want to sharpen our function as a pressure group," she added. (edt)