Today i went to Desa Susukan, Bogor to do a declamation ofJoko Pinurbo's "Harga Duit Turun Lagi" for Kampung Sahabat Budaya FIB UI. When i said "The dollar keeps on rising though.", people laughed. Irony seems to be misery's constant bestfriend.
At a time today, I was thinking. Antony Sihombing was right on his book: Conflicting Images of Kampung and Kota in Jakarta. If you visit Jakarta for the first time, Jakarta could be perceived as modern, global and metropolitan, but after spending time for a week here you'd be aware that behind the skyscrapers there are hidden kampungs. Government had collaborated with conglomerates to build huge buildings that destroyed old kampungs. Therefore, here stands a city of irony. Of clashes and paradoxes. Hiding behind the majestic word "Kota", ignoring the facts that there are illegal houses everywhere, even homeless people, people who's living in a cemetery area, even more, have you ever heard about "manusia gerobak"?
Kampung Pulo is one of those kampungs. Whose people--according to Pangdam Jaya Letnan Agus Sutomo, as cited by Kompas (Sept, 9 2015)--were just being humanized--rather than evicted. Why is that so?
Menurut Agus, rusun ini bukanlah rusun biasa, melainkan sudah sekelas apartemen. "Lokasinya strategis dan ini di tengah kota, bukan di pelosok kampung,"
It's such an irony that even in its capital city, our country has a place which quality is equal to rural areas, to be called pelosok (remote spot).
So, according to him people of Kampung Pulo were being humanized because they were relocated from an illegal place to a rusun (apartment but here in Indonesia the word apartment are meant only for luxurious apartment, those which are cheap are called this way) in the city. But do the people really believe that they were living in an illegal place? No. That's why they demanded their right to the government. The people of Kampung Pulo claimed they have verponding.
In a nutshell, Eigendom Verponding was the SPPT PBB (tax letter) in the occupation era. It was given by Dutch government so that they could collect taxes. But after the independence, in 1960, Indonesian government made UUPA which made the land's ownership had to be converted 20 years later after the constitution was formalized. So those who had the eigendom verponding letter were to re-registered themselves in that period. But it seemed that some people of Kampung Pulo were unaware about this and thus they were surprised to know that the land that they thought had been theirs all along were actually state's property. And some of them apparently were aware about this but according to their attorney, Vera, they didn't go through the conversion process because the mechanism of the conversion was expensive and difficult hence the land was converted to state's property.
Knowing these facts, to me it seems like both current government and the people who lived in Kampung Pulo were both victims of the past. Legally, yes, the land is state's property right now but it could actually be theirs if the former government in the 20 years period after the formalization of UUPA disseminated the information well and didn't make the conversion process difficult. Of course the current government couldn't just give them their ownership cause there are so many land dispute issues in this country and it's difficult to make sure whether the people could actually claim ownership since verponding was only tax letter, it's not the same as ownership letter. To find who are at fault and who really has the right of the land is not a way to solve this problem. Because ownership issue can differ if we look at it in many aspects and basis (constitution).
I think the relocation is a win-win solution but it's difficult to suddenly have to move and change your pattern of life, i know. There are some who complained that they lose job, there are some who complained about lift, etc. I can't blame them. They were people of kampung right? a remote area. It's hard to suddenly have to deal with the big city.
I hope in the future, when government is about to make a regulation, they are aware that it will affect many people thus it has to be well thought, the information needs to be disseminated, and they are open to critics.