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BAKORSTANAS - Coordinating Agency for National Stability

The Agency for Coordination of Assistance for the Consolidation of National Security (BAKORSTANAS), the scucessor to KOPKAMTIB, operates outside the legal code and has wide discretion to detain and interrogate persons thought to threaten national security.

In the wake of Suharto's rise to power and the birth of the New Order regime in 1965, hundreds of thousands were detained in a vast number of prisons, hastily prepared detentions centers, work camps and military units. Known by the acronym TAPOL (Tanahan Politik or political prisoner), official estimates on the numbers arrested vary between 600,000 and 750,000. The military hastily established the intelligence body, KOPKAMTIB, to administer the arrest, interrogation and trials of TAPOLs. Although officially dissolved in the late '80s, its role has been taken over by BAKORSTANAS.

As part of the 1985 armed forces reorganization, KOPKAMTIB was eliminated and its widespread powers were reorganized into the Coordinating Agency for National Stability (BAKORSTANAS). Unlike KOPKAMTIB, the new agency did not have a separate staff, but instead relied upon the operational chain of command for national security matters. The elimination of KOPKAMTIB reflected both a consolidation of the national security situation and a streamlined intelligence and security apparatus able to operate within the reorganized armed forces structure. The key organizations in the revised BAKORSTANAS system were the ten army KODAMs and the two intelligence agencies, the State Intelligence Coordinating Agency (BAKIN) and the Armed Forces Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS). BAKORSTANAS relies on the regular staffs of those organizations for its manpower.

The BAKORSTANAS system reinforces the power of the ten KODAM regional commanders, forming a new coordinating body in each of the country's twenty-seven provincial-level jurisdictions. This body was called the Regional Security Council (MUSPIDA). The provincial governor served as chairman of the MUSPIDA within his geographical area, but the KODAM and KOREM commanders exerted great influence. Other MUSPIDA members were the provincial or regional chief of police, the provincial assembly chairman, and the senior air force and navy officers in the province or region (if present). The MUSPIDA system was replicated at the district (KABUPATEN) and subdistrict (KECAMATAN) levels, with the army Military Resort (Garrison) Command (KOREM) and Military District Command (KODIM) commanders serving as lower level MUSPIDA chairmen

The armed forces, which include the police, continue to involve themselves in labor issues, despite the 1994 revocation by the Minister of Manpower of a 1986 regulation allowing the military to intervene in strikes and other labor actions. A 1990 decree gave BAKORSTANAS authority to intervene in strikes in the interest of political and social stability. All adult citizens, except active duty members of the armed forces, convicted criminals serving prison sentences, and some 36,000 former members of the banned Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), are eligible to vote. In past elections voters chose by secret ballot between the three government-approved political organizations, which fielded candidate lists in each electoral district. Those lists were screened by BAKORSTANAS, which determines whether candidates were involved in the abortive 1965 coup or pose other broadly defined security risks.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:44:33 ZULU