Aidir Amin Daudmengaku: Technocrat of Different Eras

Bureaucratic reform is one of the biggest dreams of Aidir Amin Daud, former Inspector General of the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights. This is understandable, since during his 12 year struggle with government red tape, Aidir saw many things that needed to improve.

Interview by Bonny Dwifriansyah, photography by Yunaidi Joepoet

And what he witnessed was no figment of the imagination. His book, Cutting Bureaucracy, is a ‘reflection’ on the state of bureaucracy in Indonesia. In this book, Aidir’s thoughts and experiences from his time serving
in the Ministry of Law and Human Rights are presented with great clarity.

Although he claims not to have done much to improve bureaucracy in this country, Aidir is satisfied that he managed to accomplish several important things while holding the position of Director of State Administration for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, for the period 2007 to 2009. One of these achievements was to change the verification system for political parties participating in the 2009 general election.

Aidir explains that during the lead-up to the general election, the requirement for a political party to become a legal entity was to have a local management team in a certain number of districts. “But I decided it was sufficient for the political parties themselves to manage their own verification in each area, and not necessary for me to visit all the different regions,” he says. As a result, Aidir explains, this new verification process saved a lot of money.

Long before becoming a technocrat, Aidir was a lecturer in the law faculty at Hasanuddin University in Makassar, where he taught for many years, from 1987. The 60-year-old father of three says it was a “tradition” in his extended family to enter into the profession of teacher or lecturer. “So, several of my siblings are also lecturers,” he says.

Not many people may be aware that Aidir also worked as a journalist in Makassar for a number of years. And there was a reason for this choice of profession. As someone who likes to collect historical paintings, being a journalist taught him to work quickly because of the time limits involved. “Journalistic work is like writing a work of literature on water. It must be done quickly before it becomes irrelevant,” states Aidir.

When it comes to his foreign travel needs, it turns out Aidir has been a loyal customer of Garuda Indonesia since the 1980s. He has received many benefits from the GarudaMiles Platinum loyalty programme. Along with other members of his family Aidir has on several occasions used the points from this programme to fly, including a trip for the Umrah pilgrimage.

“One of the most memorable occasions, about three years ago, was when I got a 90 per cent discount on a flight to Jeddah. I immediately booked three tickets for business class,” recalls Aidir.

The doctor of law from Hassanudin University has also enjoyed the numerous advantages of the GarudaMiles loyalty programme, despite also holding a frequent flyer card for another world-class airline. “With the facilities of GarudaMiles, I have enjoyed First Class service three times, once to London and twice to Saudi Arabia,” he says.