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Sandals: Symbol of Injustice in Indonesia

Sandal: symbol of injustice in Indonesia
Sandal: symbol of injustice in Indonesia

Today I read online Newspaper in in the international section. I was shocked reading the news about the case of AAL, young teenager from Central Sulawesi, who was convicted of stealing sandal. If only the sandal that was stolen does not belong to police officer, his case would not continue to trial. In addition, that sandal was worth not much, only IDR 30,000 which is about $3.

Of course this is very not fair if we compare to corruption case in Indonesia. This case showed that how expensive justice for poor people. In Indonesia, justice can be bought by money. Only the one who has a lot of money and close to the legal world will easily get justice. Justice is no longer about what is wrong and what is right. Justice is blind. It cannot see and distinguish the right from wrong. Therefore, we no longer believe in police institution.

This case has become one of headline in most international news: BBC, CNN, ABC News, Voice of America, and other. I don’t know if this case will be a part of something we (Indonesia people) need to think about.

The fact that today people are dumping a dozen of sandals all over places, not only in the cities, showed that they are fed up with the police. They are very angry. They see police are mostly corrupt.

I cannot see police as the one whom I can beg for protection. In the earlier, they shot and killed three people at Bima, East Nusa Tenggara. Last December they were also involved in the beheading of villagers near palm oil plantation in Southern Sumatera. They acted like a military. Police rarely investigated their members. If they did so, the punishment was not significant. They just said their members were lack of professionalism. Their “lack of professionalism” is not commensurate with the lives they have ripped.

I wish the legal condition in Indonesia will be better. This is very shameful for us. I don’t think most Indonesian people will believe in the police institution. They are more like enemies than friends for us.