By Nasihin Masha
A politician, Minister of Forestry, and also chairman of National Mandate Party (PAN), Zulkifli Hasan, told me a story when he was still the general secretary of the blue party with shining sun logo. In terms of corruption, he lost his words. Among them were because of the answers he got from the society, "Not only promoting people, demoting people also need money," he said quoting those answers.
This story of he told about was in a meeting with editor-in-chiefs. According to him, the life of corrupt politicians was the reflection of corrupt societies. Of course, not all politicians are corrupt as well as the societies. As an evidence, he named a number of politicians from PAN who widely known for their quality, reputation, and hard work. They went down to build constituent, but they did not throw their money out to the people. At the end, they did not get elected to parliament on last election. "If speech is what he can do, so can we," they answered. What they wanted was "nutrition" or in other word: money.
The meaning of lowering corpse was burying corpse, a person whom they called retired from the lime light. Meanwhile, electing candidates for legislative or head of municipality was to promote a person to a prestigious position. Once again, Zulkifli revealed a proof, a member of parliament from PAN who was famous for his critics and integrity, decided to step down. "He could not take it anymore. He was a clean man, but every time comes people came to ask for money. If he did not give it to them then nasty words slapped to his face or they came to rally in front of his house.
Until this point, we were faced to a one way road, being eliminated or dissolved into corruption. Just like what Ronggo Warsito's said, if they meet a crazy era then the one who did not join would not get anything. But history has taught us, no such thing as one way road. History always taught victory to people who work and pray, had strong will, trustworthy, and loyal.
But, in any nation, a quick change only occurred if the leader persistent on working and praying, has strong will and trustworthy and loyal to the virtuous way. No South Korea without Park Chung Hee, no Singapore without Lee Kuan Yew, no Malaysia without Mahathir Muhammad, no China without Zhu Rong-ji, no Rusia without Vladimir Putin, and no Turkey without Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Facts also show that public has given signals as they asked for changes. On 1999 election, people made changes by making PDIP the winner. Under the command of Megawati Soekarnoputri, PDIP was considered to be the alternative of New Order.
In 2004 election, people chose Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as an alternative figure of the establishment of other figures at that time. Those two elections have proven that the public was not as poor as the facts on the surface about transactional politics. What happened was the failure of the elite to catch that signal. Also, political communication failure of the elite to the public. Therefore, Ronggo Warsito ended up his poetry by reminding, the winner is the one who "conscious and alert".
They are the one who consistently walk on the virtuous way and can read the time signal. He could catch the profoundness of public's heart to be raised into a language that is easy to digest. PDIP and Yudhoyono could build the image which public desired at that time, but they were inconsistent and unable to walk on virtuous way. Therefore, corruptions were never lessening, but went rampant instead. We surely don’t want to be the mirror because we don't want to meet the one way road.
Translated into English by Indira Amiranti