Governor, mayor and regents, altogether forming the regional government, is the organization of government affairs by the local government and the regional house of representatives.
It is the duty of the regional government to relate with the central government as well as with the other regional government in executing their duties.
The appropriateness of the conduct of some mayors and regents that joined the protest of the petroleum price raising plan by the President is then questioned, as to some extent the conduct of these regional heads can be considered as appropriate or vice versa. Therefore to what extent is the conduct of mayor or regent can be categorized as appropriate or inappropriate?
Regional Government, the Regional Head and Deputy Regional Heads of Indonesia are obliged to uphold and the practice of Pancasila, implement the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia Year 1945 and to maintain the unity of the Republic of Indonesia as well as maintaining peace and public order. They are also obliged to implement the principles of good governance in carrying out their tasks. However, by the same article they are also obliged to improve people’s welfare and to implement democratic life. Relating to the case, the strive to improve people’s welfare and implement democratic life as a couple of the duties listed according to the law may be appertain to the protest however as the regional head or deputy regional heads, it is going against the maintenance of public order. It is expected out of the regional heads to act in line with the central government’s decision and not in obviousness protesting the plan, and thus by protesting it shows that the central and regional government may not be able to correlate on good terms at all times, increasing the chance of the people not being sure on their performance as a whole unit of executive body any longer.
The regional heads are specifically prohibited to make decisions that will specifically benefit themselves, their family members, cronies, a certain group or political groups who are opposing the legislation, harm the public interest and disturb certain people, or discriminate citizens and/or other classes of society. Allegedly, the regional head and deputy regional heads such as Surabaya’s deputy regional head Bambang DH and Solo’s deputy regional head FX Hadi Rudyatmo came from an opposing political group that controverts against the government’s plan to raise the petroleum price.
This is then a clear violation of the law, in which it reveals the inappropriateness of the action as it benefits a certain political group who is opposing the legislation. Fulfillment of the duty of regional heads or deputy regional heads must be prioritized first as it is an attribution, a bestowing of power regulated by the law instead of the duty as the opposing party cadres. Even though regional heads and deputy regional heads as officials of the state administration have the right to make decisions based on their own opinion as long as it does not violate the legality principle. Furthermore, Gayus T. Lumbuun defines the discretion principle as the policy of state officials from the central to the regional area that allows public officials to execute a policy that violates the law as long as it is in line with three conditions. The three conditions required for this contravention of the regulation are that it is for the public interest, it is still within the limit of their authority and that it does not violate the general principles of Good Governance. This is also against the juridical principle (rechtmatingheid) that every official of state administration must not violate the law, and must be in line with the sense of justice and compliance.
It is then further elaborated that the regional head and deputy regional head can be discharged if they failed to execute the regional head or deputy regional head duties and also if they violate the regional and deputy regional head prohibitions. The regional head or deputy regional head can also be discharged by the President without having to go through the Regional House of Representative’s proposals for proven treason and / or other actions that can divide the Republic of Indonesia, and the statement must be represented by the decision of the court that have obtained permanent legal force.
Therefore to conclude, the actions of regional heads and deputy regional heads in protesting the President’s plan to raise petroleum price in public is acceptable to the extent that it is for the public interest, it may increase the people’s welfare and also it is the sound of the people, in which democratic life must be implemented. However a bigger picture needs to be seen, that this said action shall be considered inappropriate due to many reasons. It is a violation of the law, listed in the Law Number 32 Year 2004 Regarding Regional Government. On top of that the regional heads and deputy regional heads can be considered failures in carrying out their duties and responsibilities as they do not maintain public order, yet the position of protest is due to their political party cadre being, not considering about the occupation of being the regional heads or deputy regional heads.