JATAM - Mining Advocacy Network
Stop Serving the Commander PDF Print E-mail
Association of Indonesia Mining Entrepeneur (Apemindo) refused a ban on crude mineral export (Kompas, 28/12/13). The government of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono responded with plan to loosen that rule. This action repeated an old story of one decade ago when mining businessmen succeeded to dictate Indonesia to open almost one million hectares of protected forest into mining areas.

Towards General Election on 2004, mining businessmen has successfully made House of Representative in Senayan amending article of Law No.41 year 1999 of Forest, which previously forbid open mining in protected forest. As a result, almost 1 million of protected forests can be converted into mining areas with rent rates is cheaper than a piece of fried banana, which is only Rp. 300,- per square metre.

Develompent Orientation

Mining sector act like a commander, dictating development orientation. When this extractive sector entering one region, other functions only got the rest. In rich mining, oil and gas areas, the regional spatial planning (RTRW) as a guide to development, become inapplicable for mining businessmen.

Take a look at East Java, for example. According to Yuliani’s research (2008), around 40 percent of East Java Province controlled by 32 oil-gas blocks, half of the blocks were in Sidoarjo region. In fact, Sidoarjo is a densely populated area and included as a metropolitan city category. Unfortunately, provisions of oil-gas industry is not stated in RTRW. As a result, when Lapindo Brantas neglected to put the drill casing eight years ago, 12 villages have been inundated and thousands of people have been displaced by hot mud, and it is the State who rushed headlong to digging public budget to handling victims of Lapindo mud.

Also in Samarinda, coal mining concessions had controlled almost two-thirds of the East Kalimantan municipality. As a result, the green open space left less that 1 percent and more than 150 pit mining has not been reclaimed. Flood in urban area also insanely increase. Previously, flood hits only once or five-times in a year. Now, flood has been hit 126 times during 2007-2009.

The situation in Samarinda has endangered the residents, even made Regional Budget (APBD) deficit. Non-taxable National Income (PNBP) from coal mining was lower than the cost of flood mitigation caused by coal extraction. In the period of 2008-2010, the average of revenue sharing fund (DBH) for Samarinda mining reached Rp. 22.3 billions per year. While the cost of flood mitigation during 2008-2010 reached Rp. 107.9 billions and increased to Rp. 602 billions on the next three years.

Not including the rehabilitation cost of public road damage caused by coal transportation, also cost that borne by the community around mining area when their farming land, forest, and water resources flooded in the rainy season and water crisis in dry season, since mining operated in their village.

The Commander

Mining management model which was “extract quickly, sell cheaply” since the New Order proved to have accelerate mining exploitation and damage community living space. Instead of welfare, in fact the State has subsided mining businessmen.

The Reformation Order also did not bring a better change. A corrupt government system became a delta for politicians and businessmen to control the Government and House of Representative. In their hands, Law No. 4 year 2009 of Mineral and Coal Mining (Minerba) and Law No. 32 year 2009 of Environmental Protection and Management were only a rubber articles, free interpretation, and applied to expand the politics of natural resources looting.

Unsurprising, after five years of Law of Minerba applied, management of the upstream sector becomes more disorganized. The extent and overlap of mining permits became out of control. Until 2011, at least 8,000 permits has released and 75% of them overlap. According to Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam), there were more than 11,000 permits released in 2013. Strangely, in the past four years, the contribution of this eminent sector to Domestic Product Bruto (PDB) in average is only 11.30%, less than other sustainable sectors that absorb more labor, such as agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, and fishery that reach 14.85%.

Now the government encourages the commencement of smelter factory on downhill sector. The Masterplan for Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economy (MP3EI) mentioned that more than 150 smelters will build in all over Indonesia. Unimaginable, the social and ecological crisis that will happen in the middle of a disorganized upstream sector.

Export ban of raw material could trigger smuggling, as happened to Bangka Belitung’s tin and trade of mercury. Not to mention its impact as 9,500 tonnes of mobile phones waste that’s produced in Indonesia every year, since we became number fifth of mobile phone users in the world. In fact, from the uphill and downhill of mining management, Indonesia did not move from its position as a servant to industrial countries, a raw material supplier, and a giant market.

It has become irrelevant to debate where is the material extracted, treated, and packaged into goods, because an investor and market are determine the price. The result of WTO meeting in Bali, December 2013, has provided a clear message, that in the middle of the global trading regime, everything can be arranged by quota and tariff systems which then labelled as “Made In The World”. Do not let this businessmen’ interest keep dictating the state’s decision to choose our sustainable and sovereign economy. Indonesia strategy to free from dependence on mining extraction economy should have been formulated immediately. If not, then mining businnessman is the commander of this country.

Writer : Siti Maimunah, Jatam Advisory Board/published in Kompas Newspaper on Friday, 10/01/2014

< Prev   Next >

JA Newsflash

Welcome to JATAM's new website. We hope you will be able to find information about the impacts of mining, oil and gas activities in Indonesia. Thank you for visiting.

Support Us

Enter Amount:

Login Form


Deadly Coal Cover

Slide show

User Online

Loading Loading...