Friday, 24 May 2013 | 19:18
The cars were purchased under other people's name, people who
are part of Luthfi's inner circle.
Friday, 24 May 2013 | 19:08
The accountant will help the police in explaining any financial
transactions that have been happening over the past years.
Tuesday, 19 June, 2012 | 16:06 WIB
Saving Public Airwaves
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The domination of Indonesian television stations by a handful of individuals has led to serious problems. Businessmen such as Hary Tanoesoedibjo, Surya Paloh and Aburizal Bakrie are not only using their media outlets for business, but also political purposes. This is harmful and contrary to the role of journalism.
We are becoming more exposed to television programs that have nothing to do with the public interest. Hary Tanoesoedibjo, for instance, often appears on his television station to campaign about his work at National Democrat (NasDem). Similarly, NasDem founder Surya Paloh and Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie also promote themselves on their own television stations.
Imagine the vast influence that these media moguls have on politics. Almost every Indonesian from Sabang to Merauke has access to television. As a result, propaganda and commercials are easily accepted and effectively absorbed by the public.
This reality is also highlighted by the wrong direction that Indonesia’s broadcasting industry is heading. While in the New Order era broadcast media was dominated by the state, the tables have now turned as media outlets are monopolized by a group of businesspeople that are also engaged in politics. The public right for media outlets that are objective and educational is being neglected.
Law No. 32/2002 was intended to avoid such an outcome. Article 5 of the law explicitly rejects a monopoly of broadcast ownership. The principle was in compliance with the fact that frequencies are limited and therefore the state must regulate the ownership or the usage.
The problem lies in the fact that the law does not specify the kinds of violations that may occur, as well as their legal consequences. This has resulted in a stalled response from the broadcasting commission, which should be taking firm action against such behavior. There should be clear regulations that prevent the use of media outlets for political or party interests.
Such shortcomings call for an amendment to the Broadcasting Law. In addition to the misuse of media, the existing policy does not strictly regulate cross-ownership restrictions, such as the ownership of multiple television stations. This is detrimental because it allows an individual to own two to three television stations.
The government and the House of Representatives (DPR) must immediately revise the Law on Broadcasting. Clear regulations in regard to media usage is crucial in the lead up to the 2014 elections. Without clear policies, the public will be flooded by waves of useless and politically bias information. The right to healthy and sound information free of political propaganda will be forgotten.