REPUBLIKA, 6/7, Pg.6 — On Tuesday (30/6), Indonesia again had a dark history. Hercules C-130 aircraft with the tail number A-1310 crashed on Jalan Jamin Ginting, subdistrict of Medan Maimun, Medan, North Sumatra. The US-made plane was carrying 12 crew and 101 passengers.
Until the fourth day, Saturday (3/7), the team of the National Police Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) had identified 119 victims.
This accident also adds to the list of military accidents. On April 2015, for example, the Indonesian Air Force fighter jet F-16 caught fire at Halim Perdanakusumah Airport. The incident took place when the plane took off.
The People’s Representative Council (DPR) stated, two factors contributed to the Hercules plane crash in Medan; the old condition of the Hercules C-130 and the plane was no longer relevant to current technology.
DPR also presented data from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that 28 percent of Indonesian primary weaponry defense system (alutsista) had aged for more than 40 years. Only the Air Force alutsista which still fit for use.
This is alarming because the military and their alutsista are the pillar of the state to defend its territory. In addition, they are also the backbones of the state in guaranteeing and ensuring the safety of every citizen wherever they are. How can people believe they are safe if the alutsista the military have are already old?
Indeed, the budget for defense is “not big enough.” In 2015, the portion of the defense reached around Rp 106 trillion. The budget is far from ideal because it has to be split it into five institutions. Look at the Chinese military budget that reached 145 billion US dollars or second largest after the US.
Speaking of the budget is also closely related to the Indonesian military’s dependence on foreign countries. Today, many Indonesian military equipment were imported from other countries. Most of them are used ones with far-behind technology.
This might also be the cause of wiretapping against the Indonesian President. If the president can be tapped, imagine what the foreign countries could do to assets of other countries.
Ideally, the important strategic sector for a country should keep up with the times and technology. Other requirements must be produced domestically by this nation, rather than relying on other countries. Indeed, many doubt it could happen. However, with the government’s big political will and people’s full support, it is possible for us to do that.
Indonesia can do it and the government must be able to believe it. If not, the government will only count the number intelligent Indonesians who are forced to work abroad because of the unavailability of jobs that fit their expertise in the country. Call them back to the country. Provide jobs they need so that they could work and serve the country,
The Government does not need to doubt the ability of its people. Domestically, Indonesia has managed to carve enough achievement the world recognizes in industry sectors. Call PT Dirgantara Indonesia, which has become the world airline partners, such as Airbus and Boeing to manufacture some parts of the plane or PT Pindad that supplies a lot of military weapons to other countries.
Indeed, it takes a big budget and a long time to be self-sufficient, especially in strategic sectors. To that end, the government needs to be focused and serious in running a clean government, aiming at the prosperity of the nation.
We all need to be sure that all of the answers of the problems, however, exist in our own country, that we don’t need to look far into other country in order to be self-sufficient as a nation.