- Discover Indonesia Online

You are currently in > Just a blog about Indonesia > Adrianus Meliala: Pushing for reform of Indonesian police

Adrianus Meliala: Pushing for reform of Indonesian police JAKARTA - Asked about the progress of police reform in Indonesia, criminologist and police analyst Adrianus Eliasta Sembiring Meliala said that it was obvious, but the direct benefit for citizens would not be realized in one night.

"This is because police reform takes place in three interrelated and complex domains: structural, instrumental and cultural. Policing activities have not been practically touched by the reform," said Adrianus during an interview with The Jakarta Post at the Institute of Police Science (PTIK), where he teaches as a part time lecturer.

"Structurally, we have tried to position the police away from the military. The police are now under the President, no longer the military. But this is a compromise, not the ideal position," he said. He explained that, ideally, the police should be under a political or ministerial institution, "because there should be a manager to whom the police would be accountable. Currently Indonesia's Police chief has a conflict of interest: he is the one who lays out policy but is also the one who executes it."

He added, however, that this was still better than before, when the police were under the military. He explained that in the curriculum, all militaristic approaches have been scrapped. For example, the military shooting style has been replaced by one for the police. "In the military, you get the highest score if you can shoot the head of the enemy, but under police shooting style you'll get the highest score for the feet. In the police you shoot to cripple, not to kill," he argued.

In recruiting new members, a new approach has also been adopted. "We are not looking for cold, hard personalities as in the military, but socially helpful personalities with an honest and warm attitude." A new work culture has also been introduced, "Ten years ago you would need to undergo massive security check just to enter this police education complex, but not now, right?" he said.

The new recruitment approach with psychological testing was introduced earlier this year, meaning there were all together around 8,000 new students from two semesters of recruitment by the State Police School (SPN). The curriculum was also introduced just four years ago. "We predict that by 2011 all new approaches with a new generation of personalities will be fully in place," said Adrianus, who has just been awarded a professorship in criminology from the University of Indonesia where he serves as a full-time lecturer.

His speech during his professorship inauguration was titled State Crimes: Some Lessons from Indonesia. He said he chose the topic because attention has been given too much to personal and individual crimes, while state crimes tend to be overlooked. "The political legitimacy of the state doesn't prevent the state from committing crimes. Often, people don't realize that they have become victims of state crimes because of the state's political legitimacy," he said, warning of the danger of state crimes.

Asked if the murder of human rights activist Munir was an example of a state crime, he said: "In Munir's case, the state committed two crimes: first the failure of the state to protect its citizens; second, its failure to resolve the case thoroughly." He added that the tragedy also clearly indicated a flaw in the work performance of the police. Born Sept. 28, 1966, Adrianus was only in the third year of elementary school when his father, a career attorney, passed away, leaving behind a wife and three young children.

"My mother vowed to raise her children alone; she refused to remarry," said Adrianus, the eldest in the family. "But life was hard; many members of our family left us alone to struggle for a new life. Many regarded us as liability, so my mother declared that it was our own responsibility to raise up our family's social status, and only through education could we can pursue that." Adrianus spent his time from kindergarten to senior high school at a Catholic-oriented Bunda Hati Kudus education institution.

"My mother was so preoccupied with selling food in our neighborhood to earn a living, she entrusted her children's education to this disciplined, tough Catholic education institution," he said, adding that he invited his former teachers to his professorship inauguration. He also opted, pragmatically, to study criminology at the University of Indonesia. "As criminology was not that attractive, so the competition to be accepted was not too great. The most important thing for me was to study at a state university where the tuition fees were low. I didn't want to burden my mother any further."

Nevertheless, it turned out that he made the right decision and that he fell in love further with the subject he had chosen. He received his Masters in Social Psychology from the University of Indonesia in 1994 with a thesis titled Judgmental Factors on Corruption as Behavior, and in Legal and Criminological Psychology from Manchester Metropolitan University, the UK, in 1995 with thesis titled Anxieties Having Students in Machester (sic), and a PhD in Criminology from the University of Queensland, Australia, in 2004 with thesis titled Sensitive Policing: Indonesia's Case.

Adrianus, who once also worked as a journalist at Editor news magazine for two and a half years, teaches at various institutions.These include the University of Indonesia, the Institute of Police Science, Atmajaya Catholic University, Satya Nagara University, YAI University and Jayabaya University. He also served as an expert advisor to the Indonesian Police chief from 2001 to 2006.

A prolific writer, Adrianus has produced 12 books that he either wrote or edited, and numerous scholarly articles in both national and international journals, including popular pieces in the national media. Adrianus is married to Maria Regina Rosari Br. Ginting. They have four children, three of which have survived. He said that people need to be patient on law enforcement, "Because the police often need to consider social justice, not just legal justice."

He gave as an example the case of domestic violence. "The police need to consider fully many factors before taking legal action because of the social impact that could spill over onto the children and other members of the family. "That is why nonlegal settlement is usually offered as the fist option when the police are faced with such cases. But the police will often then be accused of acting partially - of putting aside legal justice." Nonetheless, when cases move up to the attorney office, usually legal consideration is fully held, "and people will complain of the lack of social justice," he said of the acute dilemma.

He also said that street justice, which sees petty criminals beaten to death, is not merely caused by the lack of trust of people toward law enforcement, "It relates to wider, nonlegal issues, such as the dynamics of the development of urban societies, in which police still lack the knowledge and skills to deal with often fast-changing societal behavior."

Asked about the biggest obstacle to police reform in Indonesia, he said: "The military set a bad example to the police over its refusal to be put under the civilian control of the Ministry of Defense. So some sections in the police started to grumble, `Hey, we have gone too far with reform!'"

He cited an example that the police have tried some of their high-ranking officers such as three-star generals Suwitno Landung and Ismuko over alleged corruption; conversely, not even a one-star general in the military has been tried. "Look at the alleged corruption over the transformation of Kostrad and the case of the late Brigadier General Koesmayadi, who allegedly collected a large amount of weapons. These cases were swept under the carpet, discouraging the police to undergo further reform."

Posted in Human rights @ 09 December 2006 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

There are no reactions on this blog entry yet. Be the first one to give a reaction here!

Log in to write a reaction

You are not logged in to the website. You have to be logged in to write a reaction on this blog entry.

· If you already have an account, please login.
· If you have lost your password, please retrieve it.
· If you don't have an account yet, you can create one.

Add this blog entry to your email, your own blog, MySpace, Facebook, or whatsoever via AddThis:
Bookmark and Share

e-mail updates for this blog article

Login if you want to receive emails for reactions on this blog entry. You will receive an update as soon as a reaction on this blog entry is posted.

Your website for tickets in Indonesia!
Looking for e-tickets for flights in Indonesia? Here's your solution! Order your e-tickets at
· 2015, 28 entries
· 2014, 591 entries
· 2013, 750 entries
· 2012, 1061 entries
· 2011, 792 entries
· 2010, 644 entries
· 2009, 916 entries
· 2008, 504 entries
· 2007, 725 entries
· 2006, 1014 entries
· 2005, 723 entries
· 2004, 558 entries
· 2003, 525 entries
· 2002, 375 entries
· 2001, 162 entries
· gigolo
· jakarta
· blogger
Automatically generated every hour
· General (1205 entries)
· Economy (643 entries)
· Politics (574 entries)
· Accidents (561 entries)
· Terrorism (541 entries)
· Earthquake (539 entries)
· Volcanoes (387 entries)
· Crime (357 entries)
· Corruption (349 entries)
· Flooding (278 entries)
· Elections (276 entries)
· Travel (268 entries)
· Bird Flu (254 entries)
· Religion (242 entries)
· Tourism (239 entries)
· Oddly enough ... (219 entries)
· Violence (198 entries)
· Drugs (196 entries)
· Health (192 entries)
· Aceh conflict (191 entries)
· Environment (185 entries)
· Weather (171 entries)
· Military (168 entries)
· Protests (157 entries)
· Culture (106 entries)
· Garuda Indonesia (91 entries)
· C. Sulawesi conflict (86 entries)
· Human rights (82 entries)
· Forest fires (78 entries)
· Sidoarjo mudflow (71 entries)
· Power supply (64 entries)
· Ramadan (63 entries)
· PT Freeport (55 entries)
· Picture guess (48 entries)
· Maluku conflict (47 entries)
· Dengue Fever (37 entries)
· History (37 entries)
· Infrastructure (36 entries)
· Polio (35 entries)
· Mexican flu (35 entries)
· Website (25 entries)
· Media (22 entries)
· Nuclear power (21 entries)
· Sports (20 entries)
· Sexy (16 entries)
· SARS (15 entries)
· Nightlife (10 entries)
· Others (5 entries)
· Lippo Cikarang (5 entries)
· Close smallest categories
EUR-IDR: 16,590 · 16,620  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 18:12 CET
JPY-IDR: 126.83 · 126.95  The Rupiah rate improved since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 21:58 CET
MYR-IDR: 3,545 · 3,549  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 15 May 2018 08:42 CET
SGD-IDR: 10,479 · 10,501  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 07 May 2018 07:48 CET
THB-IDR: 439.14 · 439.41  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 16 May 2018 09:18 CET
USD-IDR: 14,097 · 14,157  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 00:46 CET
Go to 'exchange rates' 
·  At 03 March 2021 07:43 hotwin reacted on Three more bodies of AirAsia victims to Surabaya hospital
·  At 10 November 2020 16:59 AdvocaatHulp reacted on Three more bodies of AirAsia victims to Surabaya hospital
·  At 14 July 2020 08:32 newnight reacted on Three more bodies of AirAsia victims to Surabaya hospital
·  At 20 September 2018 06:54 erik12 reacted on Fuel prices lowered, again
·  At 19 October 2015 17:17 imambudianto5 reacted on Bank Indonesia maintains benchmark interest rate at 7.75%
·  At 04 March 2015 19:18 merdekaSah reacted on Alleged terrorists shot dead three villagers in Poso
·  At 04 March 2015 13:11 Yogya-Bali reacted on Alleged terrorists shot dead three villagers in Poso
·  At 26 February 2015 13:02 Irena reacted on Sexy, a young woman with candy
·  At 08 May 2014 09:51 jstar reacted on No alcohol should be sold in warung
·  At 01 May 2014 10:07 jstar reacted on Indonesia to be among the top 10 peacekeeping contributors
·  At 27 March 2014 05:50 harlys reacted on PPP leader voices concern over Islamic parties' future
·  At 10 March 2014 06:11 Yogya-Bali reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 09 March 2014 00:11 Yerun reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 08 March 2014 20:33 nicknick reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 18 February 2014 04:17 Yerun reacted on Ash from Mount Kelud eruption spreads over all of Java
·  At 16 February 2014 05:41 Amed East Bali reacted on Ash from Mount Kelud eruption spreads over all of Java
·  At 14 February 2014 22:27 Anne Mieke reacted on Asylum seekers in Medan wish to be sent to Australia
·  At 14 February 2014 22:22 beritaislam reacted on Asylum seekers in Medan wish to be sent to Australia
·  At 16 January 2014 15:37 Anne Mieke reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 15:21 Yerun reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
Go to 'forum topics' 

Created by · feedback & contact · © 2000-2021
Other websites by · · ·

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional 154,634,979 pageviews Discover Indonesia Online at