Upholding Ora Et labora Principle
Manahan Malontinge Pardamean Sitompul is appointed to be Constitutional Justice replacing Muhammad Alim who retired in April 2015. The former Deputy Chief Justice of Banjarmasin High Court took oath in front of President Joko Widodo on Tuesday (28/4) in State Palace, Jakarta.
Achieving Constitutional Justice position is never crossed his mind. Young Manahan had never thought to be Justice. His family’s financial condition hampered young Manahan to have high ideal.
Grown up in a big family, Manahan as the second child from ten children had to struggle in achieving higher education. His father Ds. S.M.S Sitompul is a pastor who served as civil servant in Bureau of Religious Affairs (Jawatan Agama) and retired as Medan religious affairs civil servant in 1977. His mother T.M br. Panggabean is a housewife. Both of them strictly educate their children, both in seeking knowledge and religious education.
Young Manahan had to finance himself in obtaining higher education. After graduating from high school, he only dreamt to get job. Armed with English language skills he got from three months course, he applied in Civil Aviation Educational Institution (Lembaga Pendidikan Perhubungan Udara) and successfully passed the test. Young Manahan began to study in Flight Service Officer Department.
He started his career as II A-Type civil servant (PNS Golongan II A) and assigned on Aviation Safety Unit in Polonia Airport, Medan. “At that time, I realized that my career would only reach III-B Type civil servant if he only have high-school diploma and flight service officer certificate. So I intended to continue education. The only choice was law education in law faculty of Universitas Sumatera Utara which opened employee class (kelas karyawan). By managing time and budget carefully, I finally completed bachelor degree (sarjana S1) in 1982,” recalled him.
Meanwhile, his law career began since his appointment as Kabanjahe district court justice in 1986. He then moved to several places in North Sumatra and completed his magistrate degree. In 2002, he was appointed as Simalungun district court justice. In 2003, he was transferred to Pontianak district court. He was appointed as Deputy Chief Justice of Sragen district court in 2005. He served as Chief Justice of Cilacap district court in 2007. After appointed as Manado high court justice in 2010, he was requested to provide state administrative lecture in magistrate degree of Universitas Negeri Manado. He also provided lecture in Universitas Dharma Agung (UDA) and Universitas Panca Budi (UNPAB) when he was transferred to Medan High Court in 2012.
In 2013, Manahan participated in Supreme Court Justice selection, however he failed in fit and proper test. In the same year, he was called by Supreme Court to participate in High Court Justice fit and proper test and succeeded. He then plotted as Deputy Chief Justice of Pangkalpinang High Court. “In 2015, I ventured to run for Constitutional justice and passed. I replaced my senior Mr. Alim,” explained him.
During his life, he holds life motto ‘Ora et labora’ which applied by his parents. “All seven of my brothers managed to complete bachelor degree, including I. The success is due to our parents who led a simple life under motto ‘Ora et Labora’ which means ‘pray and work’,” said him when interviewed in his office room.
The motto is applied in building his domestic life with his wife Hartaty C.N. Malau. He proposed her in 1984 when he was still a prospective justice (calon hakim –cakim). The father of Juristama P. Sitompul, Lawina M. Sitompul and Junistira H. Sitompul said that his family gave him support in achieving goals.