The discourse about the pros and cons of Vice President Budiono’s impeachment was widely discussed in the mids of the busy work of special committee for investigating the scandal of Century Bank (Pansus Bank Century). Many people judge that such discourse is a manifestation of excessive worry and paranoid attitude of the status quo that fear his power dropped or fallen. If the committee members really find abuse and irregularities behind Century Bank bailout policy, it can be said that "Impeachment” or some people traslate this into “Pemakzulan" is no longer a discourse or a term, but became a political reality which can be denied of its truth. Therefore, before the Special Committee act "dangerously", the authorities need to provide "early warning" to come up stating that "Impeachment" is absolutely not recognized in our constitution. That kind of message had been understood by the public.
Apart from the controversy of the problem of "Impeachment", which clearly a sort of heated political situation and decorated all the media headlines. Special Committee on the Senayan seemed has been rolling a "wild ball" that has been responded by the various elements of society. Demonstrations in various places including the demo dated January 28 is an important note to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono after a 100-day of his leadership. Not only the case of Century Bank has been targeted the protesters, the criminalization of the Commission of corruption eradication (KPK), law discrimination , and the rise of legal and judicial mafia, also became a critical issue in addressing the political behavior of government and power addressed towards SBY as "failed" to conduct and govern the people's mandate. "The wild ball” seems will be continued rolling in all directions. Political rivals SBY certainly take advantage of such a political atmosphere to continue to shake up the status quo position of President SBY and his coalition.
Etymologically and morphologically, In Indonesian the term of "Pemakzulan" derives from the word "Makzul" which in KBBI (Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia) means “berhenti memegang jabatan; turun tahta”. After putting the particle of “Pe” and “an” it becomes the term "Pemakzulan". It has the meaning of the process and the acts of abdicating public official. So what is meant by "Impeachment" by members of the House of Special Committee (Pansus Century Bank) is “to abdicate or remove SBY from his office”.
In essence, the word "pemakzulan" is actually a different meaning to the English word of "Impeachment". This word comes from the word "to impeach", which means “the prosecution against the law towards a public official. Charles L. Black adds, "Strictly speaking, 'Impeachment' means 'accusating' or 'charge'." In the case of Century Bank if the claim succesfully proved then the punishment is "removal from office" or dismissal from office. By above explanation, it is clear that “Impeachment” can be defined as the the prosecution process for the public official deviant conduct. Such understanding is often poorly understood, as if the term "Impeachment" is synonymous compared to “an act of abdication”', whereas the demand of public official’s accountability called as “Impeachment” does not always end with the dismissal action against the public official. The cases as an instance is the events experienced by the former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, who had been impeached by the House of Representatives, but in a Senate trial, it had not been achieved the required number of votes that Bill Clinton did not experienced with dismissal of his position.
Many netters in social networking like Twitter said or commented that term "Memakzulkan" is a new word. Actually it is not. It is quite different to the various terms created for the language use of new technologies and should be created for the language equivalents in Indonesian, the concept of “Pemakzulan” has been known since the people had known the system of government. Indonesian people had built large countries since many centuries ago. So one might expect these words have a very long history in the Indonesian language, or perhaps more accurately Melayu language, because the term itself a new Indonesian popularized at early 20th century.
Tracking back the use of the term "pemakzulan" in Melayu language writing, there is a good tool of a searching at the website of Malay Concordance Project (MCP). On this site it can be traced to the emergence of a word in Malay language manuscripts, ranging from Stone inscribed Terengganu (ca. 14th century) until the Tale of the Kingdom of Sikka (1925-1953). The emergence of these words can be sorted by chronology. With these sites it can be found that the term “makzul” (in the form of “ma'zul”) appears first in the Hikayat Muhammad Hanafi. The Saga adapted from the story of this Persian story written estimated at least 1450 years ago, even it maybe had been there since 1380. So at least in Malayan this term has been known since more than 450 years ago.
Although it had been introduced for a long time, many linguists are wondering why Indonesian people should borrow this Arabic term. Is there no word that fits Indonesian language? There is someone who suggested using "pemberhentian", and there are also other people who suggested “pemecatan ".
This idea is certainly difficult to accept since our common character is somehow very difficult to accept transparancies and speaking frankly and very clever in covering the bitter reality by the use of sweet words. The instances is the use of the phrase "penyesuaian harga" as the sweet word for the phrase "menaikkan harga" or the use of the phrase "masyarakat pra sejahtera" in turn of the phrase "masyarakat miskin".
On the other hand Sawali Tuhusetya, a poet, teacher and well-known Bloggers, from the linguistic side, the real meaning of "pemakzulan" does not always mean a person or group attempts to dismiss or remove some people or other groups from their position, but it can also happen for a particular reason, a person or of the group resigned on his own initiative. In the developed countries which have an established tradition of democracy, such ethical and moral values had been practiced; one of them is, in the form of abdication. This term absorbed from the English language "abdication" which is rooted from the word "dico"; means giving announcement about one’s retirement from his throne.
We all know that ruling the authority is not a goal, but just a tool.a tool for achieving people’s common goals. Therefore, if someone fails to use these tools to achieve people ’s goals, it is better that he leave his office temporarily in order to give opportunity to others who have the commitment and ability to use it as a tool to achieve power goals, namely to create a common good (common goods).
Getting involved in a case or scandal is one of the reflections of public official’s failure in undertaking the trusted power given by people. Therefore, if an official had been involved in a scandal, he should be non-active in order that the investigation and review process can be proceeding smoothly and transparently. Only after he had set free from all charges, he can go back again to his position since the public trust can be restored as soon as possible.
Resigning from one’s position or abdication is one of the forms of self responsibility and accountability for one’s failures and mistakes. Officials who felt like a failure in carrying out the public trust or there is an indication of power abuse involved in the fraud or scandal is suggested to resign his authority as a noble manifestation of his shame before the public. They feel that they no longer have a dignity and self-esteem as the clear reason in not extending the period of his mastery of authority and power since the public distrusted him.
The tradition of abdication gracefully had been such kind of political culture in some advanced countries. Yasuo Fukuda, one of the former prime Ministers of Japan, had ever announced for his sudden resignation on 1st September 2008 breaking the Japanese political deadlock. The same reason was also conducted by PM Shinzo Abe resigned at September 12, 2007. The public trust had lost for Abe since there was an indication of commited to corruption scandals. Fukuda said he was no longer worthy to lead Japan.
In the United States, abdication also becomes an ethical and moral tradition. On July 31, 2009 Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, United States, resigned from his position, although he did not plead guilty. The resignation has also been done by President Nixon in 1974 since there was an investigation into the Watergate scandal which discrediting him. Although they are generally forced to resign, but the process is done by an elegant abdication and provides an elegant statement as well. However, in Indonesia, said Manalu Bobby Rahman, a legal practitioner, the culture of shame and abdication seemed has not been cultured and grown up. If there is an official who was forced to resign, it was because of the pressure that was unstoppable again. And more than that sometimes they said notorious statement which should not be spoken by a statesman.
Such statements that can be found for instance at the time President Suharto resigned in May 1998 in saying "I resign by a feeling of Lila Legawa (sincerity). And it will soon abdicate, retreat as a priest. Ora dadi presiden yo ora patheken! (There will be no skin desease (calamity/curse) if I am no longer working as a president!)". In such statement Suharto saying his feeling of the grace and willingness, but the last sentence clearly indicates a very deep compulsion. It seems that the culture of our public official do not seem possible gives easy way for for "Impeachment" because of his own initiative. Instead abdicating themselves, if necessary, they justify any means to keep or retain their authority, although there are strong indications have shown anomalous abusive deviant behavior of our public official in governing this country.
In such a situation, we immediately remembered of the expression of the poet Friedrich von Schiller who has ever quoted by Bung Hatta as saying "great era had been born a century, but the great time only bear a darf human being". We have been passing much times that we called “Orde”. But, of many orde or era has born only a few high-spirited statesmen like Bung Hatta, who resigned elegantly when he felt there was corruption and political abuse in the era of President Sukarno’s leadership.
Bung Hatta did not do anything wrong, but he felt he was in the wrong place. He was ashamed of the people who believe in the integrity of himself if he still insisted on keeping his position (as Vice President accompanying President Sukarno). For Bung Hatta, it was better to be a former officer but respectable rather than an official but not respectable. An attitude that is now is missing from most of our political elite mental characters.
These days, the work result of the Special Committee of Bank Century awaited attentively by the public. It is greatly feared that months of work funded by public money will be gone or misleaded into the wrong way or stopped middle of the road. Their credibility is at stake. Do not let the people who had elected them through the election fooled and betrayed. There is an indication that the Special Committee had become more uncertain due to the intervention of certain groups who feel disturbed because of the impact of the rolling of "the wild ball". If the people in charge can not perform their duties honestly and professionally it can be sured that the public sympathy would turn into hostile attitude.