The New SRI Party

Agree or disagree, the registration of a new political party with the name of “Union of Independent People” (Serikat Rakyat Independen) or SRI party, is a normal process in democracy. But why use a somewhat familiar name? Oh, right, they want to nominate former finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati (SMI) as president at the upcoming 2014 election. No official statement has been made from Sri Mulyani herself, but according to some, “when we’re talking about politics, not giving a comment means you have agreed.”

I thought SMI have had enough with our government, and wished to stay far away from politics. But perhaps she needs a more challenging role than just being the managing director of World Bank.

Is she a good candidate? Most people think so. But beyond SMI’s positive image and sympathetic figure, we need to learn from previous elections as well. Especially back in 2004, when we were introduced to a newly-established Democratic Party, who –at that moment– seemed to have captured the hearts of Indonesian voters.

Back then, I (and the rest of Indonesian voters) thought that SBY is going to bring this country out of its misery. But look at him now, look at the politicians of Democratic Party, and look at the present condition of our country under his leadership.

Obviously, being a-hundred-percent certain to vote for someone with a positive image, is NOT enough. We need to go beyond “who is this person running for President” and further investigate “who are the people behind this person.” Who is /are the people giving away their money to keep this party running, and what are their qualities? Because no matter how eligible a candidate is, their credibility and decision-making capacity will always be affected by other people in his/her supporting party.

I can only hope that SMI will not be supported by a bunch of politician and businessmen who have the tendency to disregard both ethical and legal considerations in order to seal a corrupted deal. The last thing we need right now is another party trying to steal the hearts of Indonesian voters with SMI as their weapon. If these people in SRI Party are serious, they need to start telling us who they really are. It’s gonna take more than just a figure like SMI to make us confident and vote, because thanks to the present ruling party, we have learned our lesson well.

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