Rahmad Mas'ud's name has been widely heard that he will participate in the contest for the mayor of Balikpapan which will be held on December 9, 2020. For Pradarma Rupang (41), the nomination of cadres for the Golongan Karya (Golkar) Party has been around since 8 months ago. This incumbent is predicted to pair up with Thohari Aziz from the Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI).
"It has been a long time since Rahmad Mas'ud has been staying up because he is the preferred candidate," Pradarma, who is also the East Kalimantan Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) dynamist, told Jaring.id on Monday, August 3, 2020.
Before entering the political arena, the Mas'ud family were known as oil entrepreneurs in East Kalimantan. Meanwhile, at present, not a few of them are involved in politics. Hasan Mas'ud, Rahmad's first brother, is a member of the East Kalimantan Regional Representative Council (DPRD).
There is another name Rudi Mas'ud, a member of the House of Representatives (DPR) RI who sits on Commission VII in charge of energy and the environment. Not to forget also Abdul Gafur Mas'ud who served as Regent of Penajam Paser Utara, a candidate for the new capital of Indonesia announced by President Joko Widodo. All three are cadres of Golkar, the party that has controlled East Kalimantan for three decades.
In the simultaneous regional elections at the end of the year, Rahmad Mas'ud will be supported by four major parties, namely Golkar, PDI-P, Democrats, and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS). The four parties are the parties with the most seats in the Balikpapan City Regional Representative Council (DPRD). With such a large political carriage, according to Pradarma, the 2020 Pilkada in Balikpapan is no longer attractive. He suspects that Rahmad Mas'ud will easily win because he has the potential to become the sole candidate in Balikpapan.
“His position is very strong in profile. Until there is an anecdote if he is paired with flip-flops, he will definitely become (mayor), ”said Pradarma.
In fact, according to him, the program carried out by Rahmad Mas'ud did not take the side of the community. For example, Rahmad plans to continue reclamation in the form of a coastal road (coastal road). This project is built along 8 kilometers from Semayang Port to Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Sepinggan Airport. On hundreds of hectares of reclaimed land, hotels, shopping centers and apartments will be built.
Development coastal road will be divided into eight segments. The seven segments will be worked on by PT Karya Agung Cipta, PT. Sentra Gaya Makmur, PT. Wulandari Bangun Lestari, PT. Pandega Citra Niaga, PT. Royal Borneo Propertind, PT. Karunia Wahana Nusa, and PT. Avica Jaya Nusantara. Meanwhile, the Balikpapan City Government will work on one segment.
The chairman of the Balikpapan Traditional Fishermen Brotherhood, Sakiran (42), assessed that this ambitious project will have a negative impact on fishermen's livelihoods. This is because there are hundreds of fishermen who depend on the sea for their living. According to him, fishermen's income, which is currently only Rp. 1-3 million per sea, will be eroded by the reclamation project.
"We are worried because what will be stockpiled is the fishing catch zone area. If it is hoarded, we will not earn any income, ”said Sakiran when contacted by Jaring.id by telephone, Thursday, August 6, 2020.
Therefore, traditional fishermen hope that Rahmad Mas'ud will not continue the project which costs tens of trillions of Rupiah.
"We will convey if there is time and opportunity," he said.
The Deputy Mayor of Balikpapan, Rahmad Ma'sud, to Jaring.id did not deny that he wanted to continue the project in Balikpapan Bay. This is because the hundreds of hectares of the project have been included in the 2012-2020 Regional Spatial Plan. However, he is open to members of society who do not agree with the project.
"If it is not suitable, it is impossible for us to continue," said Rahmad Mas'ud when contacted by Jaring.id, Thursday, August 6, 2020.
Meanwhile, when he was asked about the potential candidacy without rivals, Rahmad wanted the regional elections to be enlivened by many candidates.
"I hope there are rivals. It is better so that the public has many choices If there is a single candidate, we will leave it to the public because it is the community who chooses, "he said.
Balikpapan City General Election Commission (KPU) commissioner, Noor Thoha explained that Law Number 13 of 2018 concerning Amendments to KPU Regulation Number 14 of 2015 concerning the Election of Governors and Deputy Governors, Regents and Deputy Regents, as well as Mayors and Deputy Mayors with One Pair allows for a single candidate. He said, the KPU would extend the registration period for a week if on September 4-6 2020 there were no challengers who had registered. After this period, the KPU will determine who the prospective candidates will advance in the upcoming December elections.
Meanwhile, Article 54D of Law Number 10 of 2016 concerning Regional Head Elections states that a pair of candidates can be designated as the elected pair if they have received more than 50 percent of valid votes.
"We are ready (to implement the rules-ed)," said Noor Thoha when contacted by Jaring.id, Thursday, August 6, 2020.
The Director of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), Titi Angraeni, predicts that Balikpapan City will be one of the regions that will hold regional elections with a single candidate. Apart from Balikpapan, Perludem predicts there are 31 other areas in Central Java, East Java, South Tangerang, East Kalimantan and South Buru. This figure has doubled compared to the 2018 Pilkada. At that time, there were only 16 pairs of single candidates. Whereas in 2017 there were nine and 2016 three candidate pairs.
"The potential for single candidates is increasing," said Titi while attending a discussion organized by Perludem on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 through the Zoom application.
One of the highlights by Titi was the nomination of Gibran Rakabuming Raka. The son of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo will pair up with Teguh Prakosa as a candidate for Mayor of Solo. This pair is supported by at least five parties, including the PDI-P, Golkar, Gerindra, the National Mandate Party (PAN), and the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI). This pair has strong capital because it is supported by the majority party, namely PDIP. In Solo, PDIP has 30 out of 45 seats in the DPRD. Meanwhile, other parties have between 1-3 seats. That way, according to Titi, Gibran-Teguh's candidacy will be difficult to stop.
Titi considered that the high number of single candidates was due to poor party regeneration. Meanwhile, political decisions are only determined by a certain number of people taking into account popularity, capital and kinship relations.
"Here there is political pragmatism," he said.
According to Titi, the requirements for independent nominations are very tough. Alternative candidates must collect 20 or 25 percent of DRPD seats.
"From that, it is necessary to arrange the nomination requirements, such as removing the nomination threshold provisions," he said.
Meanwhile, political researcher Yoes C. Kenawas explained that the single candidate could not be separated from the dynastic politics that had long been attached to Indonesia. From the results of his research in the 2018 Pilkada, as many as 32 percent of single candidate candidates came from among political dynasties, while 68 percent were non-dynastic. From that figure, 11 single candidate candidates in seven districts and two cities were born from the womb of political dynasties.
"This is the other side of the iceberg of the democracy problem in Indonesia. The single candidate elections and dynasties must be changed together, ”said Yoes when delivering the results of his research at a discussion held by Perludem on Tuesday, August 4, 2020.
A survey conducted by the Kompas Research and Development regarding dynastic political practices on 27-29 July 2020 showed that 58 percent of 533 respondents in 145 districts and cities agreed to prohibit or restrict the families of public officials from advancing to regional elections. Meanwhile 35.8 percent said they did not agree and 6.2 percent did not know. In the same survey, 60.8 percent of respondents stated that the practice of kinship politics is a bad thing. Only 28.2 percent of respondents said it was good and 11 percent did not know.
Political and Policy Observer, Faculty of Social Sciences and Government (FISIP), Kalimantan Islamic University Muhammad Arsyad Al Banjari Banjarmasin, Muhammad Uhaib As'ad believes that the democratic system in Indonesia is deteriorating.
"The regent becomes the client who owns the capital, the regional head in the regional elections is only lackeys controlled by the oligarchy," he said during a discussion at Komnas HAM, Wednesday, July 29 2020.
This, according to him, contradicts the original purpose of forming a political party. According to him, one of the responsibilities of a political party is to educate the public, not to use society for political interests.
"Sin is in political parties, political party elites become an arena for collusion. We don't have a public arena on how to express beautiful politics, ”he said.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (P2P-LIPI) Political Research Center, Professor Firman Noor, considered that the oligarchy that gave birth to a single candidate made democracy run partially.
"Only procedural. Meanwhile, the substance is controlled by a handful of people, ”he said in a discussion held by Komnas HAM, Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
Graduates School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Exeter This considers that the current five political phases have been used by the oligarchs. At first, through political recruitment, then political coalitions, the election period, the formation of a government to consolidate power, and finally the implementation of policies.
"The oligarchs are very committed to their interests," he said.
According to him, the existence of oligarchy in politics will foster a system that is anti-democracy. This is because the community no longer has a voice to determine the rights that have been regulated in law.
"This will become a demonic state in our lives if we are not serious in fixing it," said Firman Noor. (Abdus Somad)