Reform in general is a process of change or re-formation of an old order of life, replaced by a new order of life.

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Definition of Reform

Reform can also be interpreted as the process of forming or changing an existing system at a time and then replaced with a new one. The formation or change is generally carried out in the political, economic, social, legal , and educational fields .

In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), reform is defined as a drastic change that takes place where the aim is to improve social , political, religious and economic fields , in a society or a country.

Reform is usually called the improvement of the system or if it is described is a radical change for improvement in a society or country in all fields. The old order of life is replaced by the new legal order of life with the aim of improvement. So, the reforms taking place in Indonesia are formulations towards a new Indonesia with a new, better order.

Purpose of the Reformation

In a society or country, reforms must have certain objectives. The main objective of the reform movement is to renew the order of life in society, nation and state, so that it is in line with the values ​​of the Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution, both in the economic, political, legal and other fields.

In addition, there are several other reform objectives as follows:

  • To make serious and gradual changes so that all elements of society have new values ​​in the life of the nation and state.
  • To rearrange the entire structure of the state, including the constitution and legislation which so far have not been in line with the aims of the struggle and the ideals of the people and the state.
  • To lead to a better direction in every area of ​​community and state life, including politics, economics, socialculture , defense and security.
  • Change or eliminate ways of life that are not in accordance with the spirit of reform. For example, the behavior of Collusion Corruption Nepotism (KKN), authoritarian attitudes in leadership, deviations, deviations, and others.

Indonesia underwent a reformation in 1998, when the New Order government was overthrown by reform movements from various walks of life. The reforms that occurred in Indonesia at that time were motivated by several factors, namely; economic weakness, political, legal, social and crisis of public trust in the government.

Almost all governmental activities carried out during the New Order era were not accompanied by a mental formation of the executors of the government. As a result, there are many deviations, KKN, deviations, and authoritarian attitudes that disappoint the community. In more detail, we will discuss matters that are the background of the reform in Indonesia.

Background of the Reformation

  1. Economy Crysis

Economic conditions that occurred in Indonesia at that time continued to decline. There was an economic crisis caused by the monetary crisis that occurred in Southeast Asian countries. Rupiah experienced depression and a very drastic weakening.

Besides emerging state and private debts, as well as irregularities that occur in the economic system because the conglomerates control the economic fields by means of monopoly, oligopoly, corruption, and collusion. The community does not experience prosperity in the economic field.

  1. Political crisis

Supposedly, people’s sovereignty is in the hands of the MPR. But in reality MPR members have been arranged and engineered in such a way. In fact, most MPR members are appointed based on family ties (Nepotism).

During the new order the state administrators were not transparent, the people’s aspirations were not implemented. This has caused distrust of the people in the New Order government so that the reformist group emerged.

  1. Legal crisis

At that time, there were legal deviations such as the judiciary being under executive authority. The law is used as a justification for government policies and actions. Such laws can be controlled by the authorities.

  1. Social crisis

During the New Order era, Indonesian society experienced a social crisis that was divided into two classes, namely;

The elite, namely the term for political elites and businessmen of Chinese descent who are close to the New Order government or the Cendana family.

Small people, namely the term for ordinary people who are not relatives or acquaintances of the Cendana family.

The socio-economic disparity that occurred in Indonesian society caused social jealousy, causing riots and looting. This caused an extraordinary public reaction and riots and looting occurred in various regions in Indonesia.

  1. Crisis of Trust in Government

Of the overall problems that occurred, the most peak was a crisis of confidence in the government. The public no longer believes in the New Order government , causing many demonstrations and riots such as the Trisakti Tragedy on May 12, 1998. These events then led to more riots and looting reaction until finally President Soeharta resigned from his position as president.


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