And the Winner Is: Poverty!

Juhri is already old man, he is 65 years old. Both legs were paralyzed. He had been complaining of headaches for a long time. But that Saturday (22/10/2005) morning, he looked healthy. At around 06.00 WIB, the man who works as a barber was accompanied by his son to the Sirnajaya Village Hall, Kec. Karangjaya Regency. Tasikmalaya. It is only 500 meters from the house. Arriving at the village hall, Juhri sat in the waiting room. He came to collect direct cash assistance (BLT). It was then that Juhri suddenly fell down. Residents who joined the queue spontaneously gave help. However, his life was quickly lost.

Monday two days later, 20 elderly people fainted while lining up for BLT in Kec. Ciampea Kab. Bogor. The incident occurred in front of three members of the Regional Representative Council (DPD) from West Java, H. Mohamad Surya, P.R.A. Arief Natadiningrat, and K.H. Sofyan Yahya. At that time, more than seven thousand people piled up in the sub-district. Actually, the timing for the disbursement of the BLT had already been arranged. “But, what else can they do, they keep coming,” said the Head of the Ciampea sub-district, Maman Wirakusuma. In Central Ciasem Village, Kec. Ciasem Kab. In Subang, 400 poor people (Gakin) demonstrated at the Ciasem District office. They questioned the distribution of BBM compensation cards (KKB).

Elsewhere, the victims were not just queues or those who canceled their BLT. There was a village hall office that was burnt down, there was an assessor who was abused by the mob. The head of the Thursday Block, North Maja Village, Maja District, Majalengka, Saepul Uyun (32), for example, was beaten by his residents. “My clothes were grabbed and my face was hit by residents,” said Saepul who immediately resigned from the task of collecting data. Saepul was accused by residents of not submitting their names. Saepul himself admitted that he proposed 51 families, but only 41 families were determined by Central BPS. So, there were 10 families who did not receive BLT. But, it’s not Saepul’s fault. Similar incidents are taking place everywhere. Assistance that was originally intended to be positive by the government, reaped disaster and criticism. “Of course this (BLT-red) is not a good solution to solving the problem of poverty,” said DPR RI chairman Agung Laksono in a DPR plenary meeting.

BLT is a type of weapon of the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration in the fight against poverty. Such wars lasted almost the entire republic. In 1948, Bung Karno launched the war by launching a program focused on efforts to meet food needs. The program, with a different name, lasted until the fall of the Old Order. As a result, poverty persists (see “Scan”).

The New Order continued the war against poverty through programs, including the Bimas, Insus, and Supra Insus programs. In 1994, there was a program known as the Inpres of Disadvantaged Villages (IDT). A more varied program emerged after the reform. The result? During the period 1976-1996 (20 years, Repelita II-V) the poverty rate in Indonesia fell drastically. In 1976, the number of people classified as poor was 54.2 million people (40.1%), but in 1996 it decreased by half to only 22.5 million people (11.3%). Although the number of “enemies” is still large, the “military operations” launched by Suharto can be said to be successful. Of course by setting aside other aspects. For example, that the report is ABS (as long as you are happy) and the swelling of our foreign debt.

As a result of the economic crisis since 1997, the number of poor people has increased sharply. There were massive layoffs and poverty “won” on all fronts. BJ Habibie, Gus Dur, Megawati, and, now, SBY, are continuing the war with their own weapons. Maybe only for populist and political purposes only. What is clear, the battle ax has been unearthed. We know then, the winner is… poverty. Why can poverty survive the onslaught of the government, just as GAM (Free Aceh Movement) can survive the onslaught of the TNI? Maybe indeed poverty is too tough when handled with no seriousness, distortion, and misunderstanding. Perhaps also because what is really being fought is not poverty or the poor.

For example, in the past there were poverty alleviation programs based on farmers and small entrepreneurs. Such a program requires that beneficiaries own a piece of land or a small business. Can it be called poor those who own a piece of land and a small business? Of course, I can. The problem is, what about those who don’t have a piece of land and a small business? Those who fall into the category of balangsak, absolute poor, or people with acute poverty? Those who do not have access to the economy, relatives, education and communication? They are clearly out of touch. In other words, it is impossible to win a war if the enemy is not being attacked. Another example is the poverty alleviation program with a revolving fund model. A model that requires the return of funds in order to be used is also difficult to touch the poor. Why? This kind of program works like a banking institution. The recipient of the loan must first see the eligibility or collateral. Rarely do program coordinators want to take the risk that funds are given to those who are truly poor. Once given to them, the possibility of never coming back is great. As a result, funds are jammed and revolving is hampered. The program stops midway.

Thus, many such programs are funded by people who can afford it. What’s important is that the funds are revolving, the program continues, and the officer gets the title of success. BLT is also not free from various shortcomings. Beneficiaries of this program must at least enter 14 poor variables according to BPS criteria. Among other things, wages below Rp. 700,000.00 a month, not being able to go to the puskesmas which costs Rp. 3,500.00 and a building area of ​​10 meters or less. However, not all those who were recorded received assistance. Not to mention another error. Some residents are not even recorded at all. Never mind having an income and a house, they don’t even have a KTP. How can they be identified by the officers, who among them live as vagrants. In fact, they are the core troop of poverty. They are the ones who freely wage guerrilla warfare and win war after war against poverty in their homeland.


Not being able to fulfill their basic rights to maintain and develop a life with dignity.

If the amount of rupiah issued or spent to meet consumption needs is less than 2,100 calories per capita.

A family is said to be poor if (a) cannot carry out worship according to their religion, (b) all family members cannot afford to eat twice a day, (c) all family members do not have different clothes for home, work/school and traveling, ( d) The widest part of the house has a dirt floor, and (e) Not being able to take family members to a health facility.

World Bank
Not achieving a decent life with an income of USD 1.00 per day. ***