Nurturing Hero or Villain: BAKAMLA as the Indonesian Coast Guard

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Maritime security governance is crucial for Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago spread across a vast water area about the size of the United States. The existence of several law enforcement institutions to uphold Indonesian laws made governance and authority fractured and weak. Consequently, BAKAMLA was established to improve Indonesian maritime security governance by synergising and monitoring law enforcement at sea. Despite being supported politically by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, institutionally, BAKAMLA remains underperforming. This article discusses whether the existence of BAKAMLA fulfils Indonesia’s political and security needs to have an integrated coast guard institution. The article considers relevant literature and the research phase employed in-depth interviews with stakeholders of Indonesia’s law enforcement officers at sea. This article concludes that BAKAMLA is still relevant if significant adjustments are made to institutional empowerment by revising and harmonising relevant laws. Such revision reflects the aspirations of political support and will from the Indonesian government to BAKAMLA.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitics and Governance
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2024


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