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01.08.2021 Article

Public Policy without Respect

By Al Mukhollis Siagian
Author: Al Mukhollis SiagianAuthor: Al Mukhollis Siagian
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“Trust in the leader and adherence to the decisions made are an important part of what the public will show in response to the implementation of the policy. If the policy is rejected even though it is the most appropriate decision to solve various problems, then evaluate it.” - Al Mukhollis Siagian (President of Political Solution Enforcement Fighters)

Since Covid-19 hit Indonesia, more than a year the pungent smell of antiseptic has wafted into the air, whacking the sense of smell of all Indonesians. The stench that sent everyone into the morgue atmosphere. For more than a year, Indonesians have smelled it and heard information about deaths due to exposure to Covid-19 every day.

The atmosphere is so tense that it seems that the Indonesian people have gotten used to it and no longer feel the slightest bit of fear. Not because the Indonesian people are not afraid of death, but rather a choice of attitude regarding the handling of Covid-19 which is increasingly skeptical of stakeholders handling Covid-19.

For example, the response from the community during a dialogue with the author where they were still carrying on their normal activities during the implementation of restrictions on community activities, “…maybe we will die because we are active in the midst of the deadly danger of Covid-19. Or maybe we will be punished for violating government regulations. We understand very well, the government cares about its citizens with the rules that are made. But does the government understand about us, working all day for family meals tonight at home. Then finish for tomorrow, and work again. Such is the cycle of our life. For us, death is certain, Covid-19 is one way for a servant to meet the Creator. And for us, dying for trying is more noble than dying seeing hungry families suffer…”.

Covid-19 has indeed created an emergency as we have seen, often analogous to a war emergency that must be addressed with one command. The implication is that the policies issued are coercive. The coercion of a public policy in the nuances of a democratic state is in principle the main enemy, contrary to its values, spirit, and meaning. Public policy, the rules of life for the nation and state (law of life) with a set of democratic institutions is a means of public respect.

In a democratic system, public policy cannot be carried out by coercion, but through a consensus that represents respect for the public. However, in the midst of the deadly danger of Covid-19, public policies are forced to find strong reasons to implement them. Of course, this condition will also not be a problem if public policy making is still decided with respect to the public.

This is different from when the conditions of public policies are decided without respect for the public, especially during the Covid-19 that hit Indonesia so clearly. So that public respect for the policies taken is very minimal. The condition of the course of such public policies is very worrying, a sign that our country is on the verge of danger.

From the initial phase of the policy set in overcoming the spread of Covid-19 in Indonesia until now, various forms of public policies have emerged, ranging from spraying disinfectants, physical distancing, large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), new normal, vaccinations, and the latest is the implementation of restrictions on community activities. emergency (PPKM Emergency, even tiered PPKM). The development of public policy in dealing with Covid-19 has been marked by various public responses, which in essence are showing disobedience.

The social psychology of Indonesian society is not dissident. Indonesian society is composed of religious, cultured, and indigenous people. After all, in the condition of the deadly danger of Covid-19, which people want to disobey? Unless the policies taken by stakeholders endanger the survival of the community and the safety of the state. So that the expression of public disobedience should be able to be captured by stakeholders handling Covid-19 as an evaluation material for the rule of law.

But unfortunately, stakeholders handling Covid-19 still tend to ignore public expressions of disobedience. This neglect is an arrogance and contradictory attitude of stakeholders in handling Covid-19 which has violated the principles of the rule of law. This expression was then transformed into an expression of public distrust targeting three high state institutions (Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary). Expressions of public distrust are raised because stakeholders often take wrong steps in determining policies that cause more casualties, the economy declines, debt increases, and so on.

The development of this expression of distrust indicates that the implementation of public policy in Indonesia has not been able to transform the narcissistic centripetal movement of authority into a centrifugal movement that is oriented towards public safety and welfare in dealing with the deadly dangers of Covid-19 and all its destructive impacts.

Protecting the public from harm is a manifesto of respect for stakeholders for public policy towards the public. When referring to the thoughts of John Stuart Mill who argues that the only justification for action against is a response to self-protection (self-protection). The public disobeys the policies implemented in the circulation of the deadly danger of Covid-19 to protect themselves for their survival This indicates that the policies implemented have not been able to meet the basic and basic needs of the community as long as the policies are implemented from the time they are implemented to completion (whatever the form of the policy).

Protection of the safety of society and the state is the substance of public policy. Not only so that people live walking, but people live harmoniously and happily. Citing the writings of Geoff Mulgan, he argues that the happiness of people's lives can be achieved through good, strong, protective, and stable government. Public policy as one of the important instruments in seeing the quality of government (especially in times of emergency such as the Covid-19 stress) has shown through public opposition to various policies to deal with Covid-19 regarding the poor quality of Indonesian government.

If the development of public policy is still greeted with various expressions of distrust, especially in the Covid-19 emergency situation which has exceeded one year's time, without the ability of stakeholders to present problem solving to the core of the problem, the highest anger of the community can manifest and of course very dangerous for the State. Don't let that happen!

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