Ibrahim Ibrahim


Bangka Belitung Islands is a region with the most victorious tin route in the world. This tin wealth spans from Singkep to Belitung islands. Since Malaysia and Thailand closed their production and followed by Singkep on the late of 90’s, Bangka Belitung islands have become the only region producing tin in Indonesia and South East Asia. Interestingly, since reformation rolling, tin that initially under full control of government has turned to be free commodity without clear management. Tin has entered the whirlpool playing in all arenas, i.e. politics, law, ecology, social, up to the very complicated economy domain. How can the state loss its control over this nonrenewable commodity then? What can the locality do to fight and overthrow this state power?
There are at least several primary matters that must be carefully read. First, the helter-skelter of tin management was actually a result of uncontrolled decentralization process. Central government was negligent in preserving natural resources and finally causing local elite pragmatism found the best place to deregulate tin governance. Second, tin case was not merely a natural resource one; however, this had even been used for the larger interest, i.e. lame political and economical interests. Third, tin management deregulation then undermined the state authority as a sovereign nation. Tin smuggling case made the problem even more complicated. This country didn’t only loss its nonrenewable natural resources, but also its dignity and pride as a nation embracing natural wealth principle as community property. Central government failed to manage local government and its implication was tin liberalization that subsequently eroded state power. This writing is truly urgent as the reflection of local government struggle against central government that has been running very complex and complicated. 


Tin, Local government, Central government.

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