State-Corporation Crime Movements and a New Chapter of the Snare of the Mining Oligarchy

Indonesia is being plagued by what can be generally referred to as “state-corporation crime,” namely crimes that result from the link between the policies and practices of commercial corporations. The logic that the capitalist state operates as an instrument of capital, in which corporations depend on the state for their protection, and therefore requires a regulatory legal framework in order to exploit markets and gain profits, has gone so far that legal systems and practices become predators of the safety of humans and nature overall.

Legal and economic infrastructure is provided by state officials in any investment/trade sector so that it is inevitable that political and commercial interests are interdependent. This practice, whose operations have an oligarchic character, is followed by manipulating and dwarfing audit agencies, monitoring and eradicating corruption. As a result, criminal activity or a crime is redefined as something legal. Criminal operation by the state-corporation symbiosis is complicated to prosecute based on the criminal code because anything done by either of the two can be said to be beyond the law or “a-legal”. In addition, various snares of legal provisions, which are remnants of adherence to the principle of public rationality, especially the conditions for mutual safety, are then canceled through a legislative process controlled by this symbiosis.

Until the late 1990s, crime was only divided into two strands of criminological discourse; state crime and corporate crime were separated. These two things were not related, which obscured the genuine functional relationship, interdependence, and deviant actions, the fruit of negligence on the part of the authorities. Within the state or, on the contrary, get assistance from the state.

Symptoms of state-corporation crime in Indonesia do not stand alone and do not exist in a vacuum. Neoliberalism and business-political oligarchy have played a key role in shaping and sustaining it. In Indonesia, JATAM has closely observed how extractive or dredging ideology has become the primary color of business-political oligarchy to state-corporation crime. In the changing political landscape of Indonesia after Suharto, which is not short, the business and political oligarchy in its latest episode has been able to control the structure of the state. In the 2019 presidential election, 17 figures were in both Jokowi-Ma’ruf and Prabowo-Sandi camps and were connected directly or indirectly to the mining and dangerous energy businesses.

Likewise, since the Indonesian cabinet was formed until now, when the Ministerial reshuffle was carried out, 15 of the more than 30 ministers and deputy ministers had direct or indirect relations with the mining business. After Prabowo Subianto was appointed Minister by Jokowi, in the parliament or DPR RI, this composition then created the disappearance of the opposition, more resounding 45% of the contents of the House of Representatives (DPR RI) members who were elected in the 2019 Election were teachers who were also connected to business and had an entrepreneurial background. That is why the discussion of controversial and problematic laws starting from the revision of the Corruption Eradication Commission Law, the Minerba Law, to the Omnibus Law, Cipta Kerja, went smoothly.

In the latest report by JATAM and the Clean Indonesia coalition entitled The Book of Oligarchy Laws, 18 public figures with various roles in the process of drafting up to the ratification of the Omnibus Law are connected with the potential and risk of conflicting interests. These 18 figures are scattered at the top leadership of the DPR-RI, Panja DPR, to the Omnibus Law Task Force.

The Omnibus Law and the Minerba Law are a crime planning of extractivism that is legalized and legalized, redefined as law. It is where state-corporation crime is being practiced.

Collusion and conflict of interest are ignored and are considered outside the legal framework. This organized neglect was preserved through 270 simultaneous elections, in which there were 158 pairs of candidates1 participants in the elections who were political dynasties, an increase of 300 percent from the previous 2015 elections, which only 52 participants or candidate pairs. Unfortunately, this time, the President and his sons and daughters-in-law also practiced this move in the Solo and Medan Pilkada.

In the nine provinces that held gubernatorial and deputy governor elections, there were 1,359 mining licenses or IUP / IUPK, with a concession area of ​​4.6 million hectares or nearly the size of East Java, namely 4.7 million hectares.

In addition to mineral and coal mining commodities, there are 11 geothermal working areas (geothermal) from 64 working areas spread across Indonesia in the nine provinces that held the regional elections. The total area in the nine provinces reaches 1.1 million hectares or exceeds the area of ​​Banten province, which is 966 thousand hectares.

Meanwhile, there are 46 oil and gas blocks out of 245 blocks in Indonesia in the nine provinces. The 46 oil and gas blocks cover 10.2 million hectares, out of the 57 million hectares of Indonesia’s total oil and gas blocks.

It can be concluded that the elections that have just been held are a means and momentum not to elect a pair of regional leaders but to elect candidates for operators of extractive projects, displacement, cutting, and dredging projects simultaneously.

On a regional scale, in 32 provinces where 270 simultaneous regional elections at various levels were held, 196 projects were included in the list of National Strategic Projects (PSN). This figure represents 98 percent of the total 201 lists of projects from PSN’s latest stipulated in the Presidential Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia No. 109 of 2020. However, this number does not include projects that can be part of 10 national strategic programs from PSN.

After further investigation, and by including potential projects as part of the program list, it was found that precisely in the regions where the 2020 regional elections were held, in 78 Pilkada 2020 events (Pilgub, PilWakot, Pilgub), there were 131 projects included in the list of PSN projects and could potentially be part of the PSN program list. Of these, 39 projects are included in the PSN project list, and 92 projects have the potential to become part of the PSN program.

Of the 131 projects, at least 56 Coal Fired Steam Power Plant (PLTU) Batubara projects dominate with a total capacity planned to be generated over time, 13,615 MW. Following after that are 16 smelter projects; then industrial or economic areas totaling ten projects; National Tourism Strategic Areas (KSPN) totaling at least seven projects; The six waste processing into electricity (PSEL) installation projects are likely to use thermal technology, which will cause severe pollution and poisoning to the ecosystem.

Parliament is malfunctioning as a kind of consultant, articles, articles to knowledge about the drafting of laws and regulations, namely legal drafting to become a space for transactions of interests; parliament members become lobbyists. In Europe to the United States, lobbying has become a black industry. A meta-analysis study in 2011 found that the 50 largest corporations that use lobbying the most have concluded that lobbying spending is a spectacular investment that has successfully boosted profits, especially extractive corporations in different fields, Wall Street in 2016 reached a record $ 2 billion spent influencing the 2016 presidential election.

In a case close to Indonesia, the corporate rating agency, Moody’s, issued a report on debt risk in 2022 for Indonesia’s seven largest coal companies while assessing their track record and creditability, the risk reported by Moody’s ahead of their debt maturity is a risk regarding capacity. It is depleting coal reserves and the risk of mining permits that will expire. Moody’s said that BUMI – which is the holding company for coal mining companies Kaltim Prima Coal and Arutmin has a negative assessment because it has been eroded by annual cash interest payments, in addition to that due to the track record of previous credit proliferation of having failed to pay bonds during the restructuring with Berau Coal in 2017.

The risk and badness of this coal corporation are one of the main reasons behind the ratification of the Omnibus Law, Job Creation, and the revision of the Mineral and Coal Law. This black business and the political operation takes place within the framework of state-corporation crime. As can be predicted, one of their coal subsidiary companies, PT Arutmin Indonesia, managed to obtain extensions and several complete policy facilities vital for them to escape the hole of the ongoing economic crisis.

State Corporations, aka State-Owned Enterprises, also operate with the same mode of operation. With the label of state-owned corporations, all forms of operations (including the patterns of cooperation with large private corporations that are more difficult for the public to know) get sacred and sacred labels, even though their operations are full of manipulation and have the same high dose of destructive power as the operations of private business entities or corporations. The label of state-owned corporations has even become a legitimation for selling out violence on behalf of the state. State definitions are kept away from definitions of public interest. For the good of the country, the public must be loyal at all times to be sacrificed, on behalf of the vital object of the state, gold mining company PT Bumi Suksesindo (BSI) is devouring ecological infrastructure in the form of mountains and the Tumpeng Pitu coastal ecosystem until it brutally breaks the social harmony of the community with endless conics and criminalization.

These criminal operations are also underpinned by the deployment of open violence that has lasted much longer. The Police have degenerated from protecting the community to becoming a security contractor that often frightens and injures citizens. The vital ties between mining and the security forces, for example, have been built for a long time. In the Freeport case, Papua, this overt illicit relationship has been going on for a long time, such as the scandal that was exposed in 2010, it was recorded US $ 14 million was disbursed to the Police, the TNI as funds known as ‘invisible costs.’

In September 2020, 30 soldiers from the Yonif Raider 756 / WMS unit were dispatched to fill the three gold mine guard posts of PT. Freeport Indonesia (PT. FI). They will be deployed to Post Borovit, Post Navaro, and Post 240 for an operation known as the green python operation. However, it does not mention the many illicit relations between mining companies and another military/police in many mining cases.

The involvement of the state security apparatus is not only in matters of security services. In this year’s endnote, JATAM presents data on as many as 16 retired police and military personnel directly involved in the mining business. Through cyber patrol operations, security forces such as the Police and the government Buzzers have committed various criminal acts to defend the licensing regime in the face of critical attitudes from citizens. The police and intelligence agencies share tasks with buzzers to carry out hacking, theft of personal digital data, to doxing to silence all criticism and protests over the behavior of the oligarchic regime on social media. All of this leads to a gloomy and despotic future, where extractivism ideology or a development model of displacement, cutting, exploitation, and terror is celebrated.

In the end, the counter operation against and to recover must be carried out not independently but departing from a strong attitude of long-term mutual safety interests and the same image of the actual situation that exists today.

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