The government can curb foreign NGOs operating in Indonesia that are not registered and actively make black campaigns. Referring to the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a number of foreign NGOs who were keen on attacking the palm oil industry turned out to be unregistered, among others Greenpeace, Mighty Earth, and EIA. FIRMAN Subagyo, Member of the House of Representatives Commission II, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should not remain silent with the presence of foreign NGOs without permission and violating regulations. Because foreign nationals who enter Indonesia are required to obey the rules to have permits, the same applies to foreign NGOs.
On the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are 65 foreign NGOs registered operating in Indonesia. But there were no names of foreign NGOs such as Greenpeace Indonesia, Forest People Program, Mighty Earth, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). In fact, the obligation for a foreign NGO to register is regulated by Government Regulation Number 59 of 2016 concerning Community Organizations Established by Foreign Citizens. This rule requires foreign NGOs to be registered, one of which is the obligation to report funding sources. FIRMAN asked the government not to be dictated by foreign NGOs operating illegally in Indonesia. Because, the presence of this NGO clearly disrupts the economy and national sovereignty. In a number of countries such as China and India, they dared to expel foreign NGOs that disturbed their sovereignty and economy.
“If HTI can be dissolved, why can’t foreign NGOs like Greenpeace. In fact, these NGOs are detrimental to the name of Indonesia in the eyes of the world. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs must be able to take decisive action, “pleaded the FIRMAN. Other violations committed by foreign NGOs are Law No. 16/2017 concerning Community Organizations in article 59 point 3 that CSOs are prohibited from carrying out activities that are the duty and authority of law enforcement authorities in accordance with the laws and regulations. Like Greenpeace’s action some time ago occupying an oil refinery was evidence of a violation of the law.
BHIMA Yudistira Adinegara, Economic Observer of the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF), said the freedom of foreign NGOs to enter Indonesia was a blunder for the country. Because, they can operate without reporting and registering to the Indonesian government. Learning from Malaysia, local authorities are very strict in monitoring NGOs from other countries who want to operate there. “Today’s freedom has become excessive due to a blunder for the Indonesian economy. Like foreign NGOs operating but not registered with the government, “BHIMA explained in a discussion of the Palm Journalist Forum with the theme” The Impact of the NGO Campaign for the Indonesian Economy “, Friday (October 5, 2018). The Palm Journalist Forum (FJS) data shows that a number of foreign NGOs active in attacking oil palm are not yet registered and have not reported their activities to the Indonesian government. In another place, SOEDARMO, Director General of Politics and General Government of the Ministry of Home Affairs, said that foreign NGOs should not arbitrarily accuse palm oil of violating environmental regulations. In Indonesia, there are already Regional Spatial Plans (RTRW) to regulate which forest areas, for plantations and settlements. “That is the right of the Indonesian state. Our sovereignty cannot be disturbed, ” said SOEDARMO.
Academics represented by Dr. Sudarsono SOEDOMO, Lecturer of Bogor Agricultural University, agreed that there were strong indications of foreign NGOs operating in Indonesia and attacking companies including palm oil, pulp and paper, not complying with procedures and rules. Foreign NGOs, said Sudarsono, often make similar accusations without risk. Undeniably, NGOs can play two legs where one foot is a tool for extortion. While other feet are used to become consultants for the companies they press. “We recommend that the government immediately investigate foreign NGOs operating in Indonesia such as Greenpeace and EIA from the UK. This investigation is to find out compliance with Indonesian law, ” he concluded.