Government Facilitates Mining Conflict, JATAM Says
3 November 2022 23:25 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) National Coordinator Melky Nahar, asserted that mining conflicts in Indonesia continue to be a severe problem. In fact, Melky said that the government is one of the many factors that complicate mining issues.
Mining conflicts, Melky added, cannot be separated from the political contestation of the general election as he believed that many funds sourced from mining have been disbursed to fund political campaigns. In fact, Melky explained, it is not uncommon for politicians to also have their part in the mining business.
"The records we collected show that 86 percent of the campaign funds for the two presidential election candidates in 2019 came from mining companies," said Melky during a discussion that mainly focused on conspiracy and oligarchs behind the mining industry on Thursday, November 3, 2022.
Executive, Legislature Practitioners Linked to the Mining Industry
As a result of the mining business funding the electoral contestation, said Melky, the government that was formed is a government that accommodates the interests of the mining industry. JATAM's research show most of the executive and legislative bodies in Indonesia are filled with people working in the mining industry.
“For example, two-thirds of the Jokowi Cabinet is affiliated with the mining business. On the legislative side, of the 575 elected members of the House of Representatives (DPR), 43 percent are in the mining business," he said in a public discussion.
In addition to policy issues that benefit the mine, Melky claims many cases show civilians silenced - or attempts to - by the mobilization of authorities. He recalled the time he advocated for residents of Bangka and North Sulawesi, which the people had legally won against mining firms that had their permits revoked.
During his advocacy for the locals, Melky claims he had been invited to the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment led by Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. At that time, he stated that Luhut had invited him to talk about the restoration of the mining area. During the meeting, he claimed to have met the owner of the mining site who offered him some money.
"Imagine this situation [where there is] an individual who is not invited but is able to visit the Ministry HQ and go as far to name our price [in hopes that it would] stop us from advocating for the locals," he said.
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