Justice Guntur Talks Legal Development with Diaspora in Kazakhstan

Constitutional Justice M. Guntur Hamzah meeting Indonesian diaspora in Kazakhstan at the House of Culture of Republic of Indonesia in Astana, Kazakhstan, Saturday (9/9/2023). Photo by MKRI.

ASTANA, MKRI — In a series of official visits to Kazakhstan, Constitutional Justice M. Guntur Hamzah met with Indonesian diaspora in Kazakhstan at the House of Culture of the Republic of Indonesia in Astana, Kazakhstan on Saturday. The Indonesian Embassy (KBRI) in Kazakhstan, which also covers Tajikistan, invited Justice Guntur to talk about the development of constitutional law in Indonesia to Indonesian citizens and students living in Astana. Participants not only joined the discussion on site but also online via Zoom. The discussion was hosted by the deputy secretary for Socio-Cultural and Protocol Affairs of KBRI in Kazakhstan Joenys Duana Sirait.

During the discussion, Justice Guntur educated the Indonesian diaspora on the constitutional system of Indonesia after the amendment to the Constitution, the history of the Constitutional Court, and the duties and authority of the Court as stipulated in the 1945 Constitution. “Prior to the amendment, sovereignty was in the hands of the people and was exercised by the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR). However, after the amendment, it is in the hands of the people and is implemented in line with the Constitution,” he said.

Furthermore, he revealed that the Constitutional Court was established to guard the Constitution and ensure that state institutions exercise their authority in line with the 1945 Constitution.

“The Court has the authority to review laws against the 1945 Constitution, to decide authority disputes between state institutions whose authority is granted by the 1945 Constitution, to decide the disbandment of political parties, to decide general elections results disputes including regional elections, and give a decision on the opinion of the House of Representatives (DPR) that the president/vice president have allegedly violated the Constitution,” he explained.

He also conveyed the role of Constitutional Court decisions in protecting the citizens’ constitutional rights, such as allowing coworkers in one company to marry through Decision No. 13/PUU-XV/2017, allowing spouses to file a prenuptial agreement during marriage through Decision No. 69/PUU-XIII/2015, and determining the status of children born out of wedlock through Decision No. 46/PUU-VIII/2020. He added that in exercising its authority, the Court promotes transparency and ease of access through an ICT-based judicial system.

He also reminded the participants to vote in the 2024 simultaneous election. One vote, he said, matters and will determine the future of the nation for the next five years. The Constitutional Court, as the guardian of democracy, also contributes to the execution of elections and the constitutional rights of Indonesians. Some of its decisions have restored constitutional rights in elections, particularly the right to vote in the 2019 Election such as by allowing the use of KTP (identity card), KK (family card), passport, and certificate (suket) by the Population and Civil Registry Office in place of KTP for eligible voters not registered in the DPT (final voters list) to vote; and by allowing people with disabilities to be listed in the DPT.

Justice Guntur concluded the discussion by advising Indonesian diaspora not to forget their homeland while abroad. “First, put up a map of Indonesia so that you can continue to see and remember your homeland where you were born and raised. Second, maintain your Indonesian identity by preserving your culture and values. Third, adapt and mingle. Fourth, build international network. Fifth, use educational opportunities to pave the way to greater opportunities. Sixth, study the local culture, system, science, and technology, and bring it back home for Indonesia’s interest. Seventh, tell your story to family, friends, colleagues, and the entire nation,” he said.

During the Q&A session, Indonesian citizens and students in Kazakhstan showed their concerns for the legal and constitutional challenges in Indonesia. The majority of the discussion participants were eager to learn about the simultaneous election in 2024 and the Constitutional Court’s role and preparation in dealing with potential election disputes.

Author       : ZFA
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
Translator  : Nyi Mas Laras Nur Inten Kemalasari/Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Monday, September 11, 2023 | 10:54 WIB 141