Monday, June 11, 2007

Bisa diatur

"Can be arranged" or "can be worked out" - more or less.

My neighbor was approached by a high-ranked Indonesian government official. A simple version of it, they wanted to hire him. So there they went, talking about, perhaps most importantly, compensation - salary and benefits. To make it short, this officer can't match the salary, but the total amount "bisa diatur" through other means.

So here's the thing, again. (Relatively) low formal salary but big take home pay. Probably something like uang rapat (meeting allowance - should meetings be part of the normal job?). Or perhaps "projects", whatever it means.

For my neighbor, he sees it as a risk. Good for him. There's no written contract. What if this official moves? What if he simply lies?

For many others, this might be an opportunity. An opportunity to maximize whatever it is that can be arranged. Might lead to corruptions, unprofessional decision-makings, and other bad practices.

And that's one of many reasons why Indonesia is what it is now.

On uang rapat, someone once shared his frustration. He works as a consultant to a UN-funded initiative to develop infrastructure outside Jakarta. Often, the government officials refused to attend the meetings unless uang rapat was provided. Holy cow! This was for their own development!