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Rahman: The Postmodern Oemar Bakri

by on January 3, 2010

A small city like Pontianak offers narrow range of livelihood alternatives. Broadly speaking, there are only two ways to reach success in a city with this size of population – working as public servant or entrepreneur. Beyond of those, private company employment rate is too low to match with current professional demand.

A famous song from Iwan Fals, Oemar Bakri, is being notable for being representative and critical in depicting the satire of a public servant in Indonesia. Oemar Bakri, the Indonesian John Doe teacher, is coined as a symbolic protest to the government who crusaded about education betterment. Today, he evolved and degenerated even more.

Rahman, 24-years-old, holds Bachelor degree in Bahasa Indonesia of a reputable university in Pontianak. “I worked as a contractual teacher in a public high school. After 3 months being paid for IDR 250.000 only, I realized that I can not fulfill my household expenditure from such income”, he explained to me about the irony of teaching condition in Indonesia.

Rahman believes that working as a migrant in big cities such as Jakarta and Bandung is not a favorable option. Based on that belief and forced by his newlywed status, he settled the decision to find another moneymaking job as, deplorably and unexpectedly, an informal-contractual parking man (tukang parkir). “A friend in my neighborhood approached me and offered me this profession. I can make, at least, IDR 1.3 million per month and bring it back for my wife and 1-year-old daughter. It is far more better than working as a contractual teacher. No need to go to Java island, right?”, he expressed his happiness with a smile.

Oemar Bakri… Oemar Bakri pegawai negeri
Oemar Bakri… Oemar Bakri 40 tahun mengabdi
Jadi guru jujur berbakti memang makan hati
Oemar Bakri… Oemar Bakri banyak ciptakan menteri
Oemar Bakri… Profesor dokter insinyur pun jadi
Tapi mengapa gaji guru Oemar Bakri seperti dikebiri?

Oemar Bakri… Oemar Bakri the civil servant
Oemar Bakri… Oemar Bakri devoted (his life) for 40 years
Being an honest teacher is killing him softly
Oemar Bakri… Oemar Bakri produced many Ministers
Oemar Bakri… Oemar Bakri also created engineer, doctor, and professor
But why the salary of Oemar Bakri as a teacher is being castrated?

(Iwan Fals)

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