What are some roots of corruption in Indonesia?

3 branches of government for Kids

I would argue that one of the most malignant (yet seldom mentioned) practice in Indonesia that is a strong root that results in corruption is: the atrocious pay level of our judges.

In my home county in Central Java, a new judge is paid Rp 3 million per month, a senior judge is paid Rp 5 million per month; thats around US$ 4-7 thousand per year.

I heard the pay level is not much better in other areas of Indonesia, including Jakarta.

In the US, judges are paid US$ 174-230 thousand per year.

While in Singapore, judges get Sin$ 234-347 thousand per year.

,With such a low salary base, Indonesian judges cannot live decently, unlike their US and Singaporean counterparts.

With that honest income of US$ 4-7 thousand per year, Indonesian judges shall have a hard time sending their 2 children to good local schools, for instance.

Thus they are way more prone to monetary temptations.

Thus setting up an environment where corruption can fester easily in the judicial branch of the government.

,The bright legal minds (with an upright mental outlook) will most likely not apply to become a judge in Indonesia.

Because if they keep their upright uncorrupted attitude, they cant finance a good lifestyle for their family.

Face it, judges are humans too.

Most humans want to do whats best for their wife, kids, and aging parents.

Can US$ 4-7 thousand per year do it? Not really.

Especially since there are other career opportunities for them in the country.

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They can become corporate lawyers, legal counsels etc.

Most Indonesians actually prefer to not engage in any kind of corruption.

They enjoy living an upright life.

,There are 3 branches of government in a democracy (executive branch, legislative branch, and judicial branch).

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The judicial branchs job is to uphold the law, including laws against corruption.

But if the judicial branch itself is weak due to festering corruption.

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Of course there shall be corruption in the Executive and Legislative branch.

Thus the problem becomes systemic with all 3 branches supporting a corrupt environment for the whole nation.

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,I am not naive enough to say that improving Indonesian judges salaries will cure all corruption in the country, but it will make a huge difference to the mental outlook of many judges and future aspiring judges, if their annual compensation is around US$100-150 thousand from the beginning of their career.

For those who think this pay level is ridiculous and our national budget cannot afford it, please look at our annual budget first.

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and for the record, there are around 9 thousand judges in Indonesia.

Spending money for this matter is worth it.

Much better than spending Rp 300 trillion per year on fuel subsidies.

,I predict a lot of upright, critical, and bright legal minds among the young generation might actually take up a career path that can pay them well.

US$ 100-150 thousand per year can go a long way in Indonesia.

A radical compensation improvement shall usher in a new generation of untainted people who truly wants a career of upholding justice (yet getting payed well in the process).

In their minds, they will say: Good career, good pay, good future for myself and my family.

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and I am helping Indonesia to become a lawful civil society.

Why not? ,Radically improving Indonesias judicial branch compensation package is a game-changer.

A new cycle of good shall begin out of it.

Judicial branch

What function does the judicial branch serve?In any complex society, some social mechanism must exist to resolve disputes.

Most often, those dispute-resolvers are called u201cjudges,u201d and are dealt with respect by the rest of society, since it is their job to decide peopleu2019s fates, either literally (by sending them to jail, or to die, for offenses against the government) or financially (by ruling against them in civil suits for money judgments brought by other civilians).

,In societies with written laws, it is also usually the job of the judiciary to interpret those laws, to say what they mean in a particular situation, so that others can be guided for future reference.

This actually helps avoid future disputes, since when a written judicial opinion is published, everyone then pretty much knows where they stand.

Confusion, on the other hand, leads to more disputes.

,All that part applies anywhere, in any era of history.

,In the U.

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, our Constitution provides for 3 branches of the federal government: an Executive, a Legislative, and a Judicial.

The two houses of Congress (Senate and House of Representatives) are the Legislative branch; it is their job to pass new laws (either with the signature of the President, or over his veto).

The President (chief of the Executive branch) and his advisers and assistants in all the executive agencies under his control, are charged with carrying out (executing) the laws passed by Congress.

And the federal Judiciary is charged with resolving any u201ccase or controversyu201d involving those laws, as well as interpreting federal laws and the Constitution itself.

,That means, if Congress tries to pass a law which violates the Constitution, or if the President or one of his agencies tries to enforce some law in a way that is beyond the powers given to him by the Constitution, the Judiciary can declare those acts unconstitutional and forbid them from being enforced.

They generally do this in the course of, and in the context of, resolving actual disputes between actual people, because the Constitution forbids the federal Judiciary from entering merely advisory opinions.

,Most of the separate, sovereign governments of the individual States have a similar, 3-part separation of powers, creating checks and balances on the power of government, and to make sure laws are passed rationally, enforced fairly and equitably, and decided on the basis of actual evidence with due process of law, requiring the parties to a dispute to be given notice and an opportunity to be heard before any decision.