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Dari Berkeley Hingga Harvard

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Oleh Tarli Nugroho1

Graham Allison adalah Dekan Kennedy School of Government, Universitas Harvard, dan Grigory Yavlinsky, seorang ekonom Rusia, adalah penasihat Presiden Yeltsin, serta deputi di Komisi Negara untuk Reformasi Ekonomi. Pada 1991 keduanya memimpin sebuah tim yang beranggotakan sekelompok ekonom dari Harvard bersama sejumlah ekonom Soviet yang moderat. Pendek kata, tak ada KGB, tentara, atau kader PKUS (Partai Komunis Uni Soviet) yang fanatik dalam tim itu. Tak heran, mereka kemudian bisa berbicara dengan frekuensi yang sama mengenai ekonomi pasar.

Konsep yang ditawarkan tim yang dipimpin Allison dan Yavlinsky itu kemudian dikenal sebagai “Harvard-Yavlinsky Plan”, atau disebut juga “Grand Bargain”. Beberapa poin dari Rencana Harvard-Yavlinsky itu di antaranya adalah pemangkasan subsidi, dilepasnya kontrol terhadap harga, dan dihapusnya pembatasan usaha individual.

Jangan tanya bagaimana reaksi dan pendapat masyarakat Soviet atas konsep itu, sebab di Amerika sendiri konsep itu menangguk banyak kritik. Kombinasi antara pemotongan subsidi dan dilepasnya kontrol terhadap harga telah membuat harga komoditi melonjak drastis dan membuat upah riil merosot tajam. Dan itulah yang kemudian terjadi. Program itu seperti mengulang kegagalan konsep Yavlinsky pada 1990, “500 Days Program”, yang berusaha mendesain transisi kilat dari sistem ekonomi komando ke sistem pasar bebas dalam kurang dari dua tahun.

Jeffrey Sachs, yang waktu itu masih bekerja di Harvard tapi tak termasuk ke dalam tim itu, mengejek program itu sebagai “sedang berusaha mengubah sup menjadi akuarium”. Itu adalah kata lain dari “tidak masuk akal”.

Jika kita menengok kembali ke belakang, “Mafia Harvard” bukan hanya pernah membuat gerah Kremlin. Pada 1997, ketika krisis moneter sedang mengguncang Indonesia, banyak orang juga menyoroti kerja Tim Harvard di Lapangan Banteng.

Ya, banyak orang lupa, bahwa Tim Harvard telah berkantor di Kementerian Keuangan sejak awal Orde Baru. Dan krisis 1997/1998 tak pelak membuat orang bertanya-tanya: apa saja kerjaan para ekonom dari universitas prestisius tersebut, sehingga perekonomian Indonesia jadi morat-marit seperti hari itu?! Dan, masalahnya, itu bukan kali pertama mereka dipersoalkan.

Pada 1993, Sri Bintang Pamungkas, yang waktu itu masih menjadi anggota DPR RI dari PPP, juga pernah menyoroti kerja Tim Harvard yang berkantor di Kementerian Keuangan tadi. Pangkal yang membuat Sri Bintang berang adalah menurut sebuah laporan tahunan Harvard yang dibacanya, tujuh puluh persen pendapatan tim konsultan Harvard berasal dari Indonesia! Dengan kata lain, mereka telah mendompleng dana asing yang masuk ke Indonesia sebagai pundi-pundi bisnis yang masuk ke kantong mereka sendiri di negeri Paman Sam sana.

Apakah tim itu benar-benar bekerja sesuai prestise institusi kampusnya?

Beberapa majalah di tanah air, seperti TEMPO, WARTA EKONOMI dan PROSPEK, pernah menulis sebuah kejadian lucu pada 1992. Waktu itu ada dua tim Harvard yang bekerja di Indonesia. Kelucuan itu bertolak dari kasus proyek Chandra Asri milik Bimantara Grup. Tim Harvard yang bekerja di Kementerian Keuangan menilai bahwa proyek itu akan membuat utang luar negeri Indonesia membengkak, sehingga seharusnya ditangguhkan.

Pada saat yang bersamaan Chandra Asri menyewa jasa konsultan Harvard yang bernaung di bawah The Economics Resources Group (ERG), atau Harvard-ERG. Kontras dengan rekomendasi Tim Harvard di Kementerian Keuangan, Tim Harvard-ERG ini justru merekomendasikan agar proyek Chandra Asri diteruskan saja. Nah!

Kejadian itu barangkali bisa dijadikan cermin, bahwa prestise tidaklah menentukan prestasi. Tak pernah jelas, apakah Tim Harvard itu pernah “hengkang” dari Indonesia atau tidak. Yang jelas kini kita mendengar bahwa Kantor Staf Kepresidenan menyatakan akan merekrut sejumlah alumni Harvard sebagai stafnya.

Sebelum beranjak jauh, pertanyaan yang pertama kali singgah di kepala saya adalah: apa gunanya merekrut fresh graduate, yang baru dan/atau bahkan belum selesai kuliah, meskipun itu adalah alumni Harvard?!

Secara spontan, saya hanya punya tiga perkiraan menanggapi rencana itu. Pertama, itu adalah cara lingkaran inti istana untuk mendapatkan kredit kewibawaan di tengah semakin terkikisnya wibawa istana sekarang ini. Dengan merekrut alumni Harvard, bolehlah prestise mereka naik sedikit.

Kedua, rekrutmen itu dimaksudkan untuk memperkuat komunikasi eksternal lembaga kepresidenan, terutama dengan dunia internasional. Sebelumnya kita harus paham betapa sangat kedodorannya komunikasi elite dari pemerintahan Jokowi sekarang ini. Sebagai presiden, Jokowi bukan berasal dari lingkaran elite dan bukan orang yang telah lama memiliki relasi dengan elite nasional. Celakanya, para pembantu yang berada di lingkaran intinya, juga bukan berasal dari lingkaran elite, atau yang memiliki relasi kuat dengan elite nasional. Dan itu menghambat banyak kerja kepresidenan dalam satu semester terakhir.

Satu-satunya orang yang bisa berkomunikasi dengan elite nasional di lingkaran inti Jokowi hanyalah Luhut Binsar Panjaitan. Dan kita bisa paham kenapa presiden kemudian memberi wewenang lebih besar kepada Kepala Staf Kepresidenan-nya tersebut, meskipun itu telah membuat gusar Wakil Presiden Jusuf Kalla. Berbeda dengan kewenangan Ketua UKP4 pada masa pemerintahan Yudhoyono, Luhut Binsar memang diberi tambahan wewenang untuk berkomunikasi dengan DPR dan partai politik.

Dari soal komunikasi elite ini kita bisa melihat bahwa belum-belum Jokowi sudah menempatkan Jusuf Kalla sebagai “kompetitor”, karena ia enggan menjadikan wakilnya itu sebagai mediator dalam membangun komunikasi dengan elite nasional. Mungkin Jokowi tidak percaya pada Kalla. Apalagi jika Golkar nantinya benar-benar merapat ke istana, yang akan semakin memperbesar posisi tawar Wakil Presiden.

Nah, jika komunikasi dengan elite nasional bisa diselesaikan oleh Luhut seorang, tidak demikian halnya dengan komunikasi dengan lembaga-lembaga asing. Saya menduga, di sinilah peran alumni-alumni Harvard itu diperlukan, yakni sebagai “pelicin komunikasi” dengan dunia luar.

Ketiga, dipilihnya alumni Harvard, sebagaimana dipilihnya alumni Berkeley pada masa Orde Baru, atau dipilihnya alumni Chicago di Chile pada masa Pinochet dulu, saya kira hanya akan merupakan sampel tambahan saja dari kisah tentang sebuah rezim yang akan menyandarkan dirinya pada rezim utang internasional. Para kreditor selalu membutuhkan para teknokrat yang biasa berpikir dan berbicara seturut bahasa mereka. Dan para fresh graduate yang tak berpengalaman biasanya adalah “pelicin komunikasi” yang menyenangkan.

Dugaan terakhir tadi memang masih harus diuji. Tapi, kita tentu tak berharap bahwa batas ujian itu akan sama seperti batas ujian dari Rencana Harvard-Yavlinsky tempo hari.[]

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