Do you consider yourself to be a patient person? If so, are you always patient or does the particular situation make a difference? I guess I am a mixed bag, I have the patience for children and animals but I am really impatient when it comes to being sick, I don’t like being confined and restricted from my normal activities, I don't like waiting for the teller at the bank, I get agitated when being caught in traffic congestion. However, when it comes to circumstantial inconveniences such as dealing with government bureaucracy, I recognise the phrase "holding on" ... that is because
there is no point in fretting about something I have no control over...so I won't.
Earlier this week, I have just got my SKCK / Surat Keterangan Catatan Kepolisian (Police Certificate) as part of the PR visa requirements to Canada. It was quite an ordeal getting this paper because individuals can only request a police check through the police service in the territory where their ID are being issued. If you think you can take one or two hours off from work, run into the police station, and get the paperworks done in one day, you're wrong! That won't happen in this country. Time required can take up 2-3 days if your KTP/Kartu Tanda Penduduk (Indonesia Identity Card) is from Jakarta, it will take longer if the ID is from the province like mine.
Before describing it, though, in Indonesia all citizens must carry an identity card (KTP) to apply for a job, to apply for a passport, driving license, withdraw money from a bank, or obtain official documents from state institutions or perform a multitude of other tasks. It is issued by the subdistrict head but must bear the signature of the district head . People aged between 17 and 60 years are required to have a valid KTP always. Applying for a KTP, which in theory should be simple and free of charge, has become a moneymaker for officials at the neighborhood and subdistrict levels. Many officials have gone out of their way to complicate procedures for issuing IDs, in order to squeeze even more money out of applicants. There is no specific fee how much you have to pay, but a small tip will help expedite the process.
Now, back to the process of getting the SKCK (Police Report), I'll spare you the details.
1 # First off, I needed the letter from the Head of Neighborhood to get the signatures from the sub-discrict head and the district head to obtain the SKCK. In order to get this, I had to submit copy of ID, family card, passport photograph 3x4cm & 4x6cm @1 pce each and then head to the Polsek (sector police), get the paper in 10 minutes and paid some administration fee.
2 # Next stop, I took the signed and stamped certificate from the Polsek (sector police) to the Polres (the resort police), along with copy of ID, family card, 3 passport photographs each size 3x4cm & 4x6cm. In Polres I had to fill out some forms about physical appearances (facial shape, hair color, blood type) and some other silly questions such as where were you when the communism revolution in Indonesia happened? were you belong to political organization etc? , got my finger prints taken and within one hour I got the SKCK from the Polres and the little card with information about my height, weight, hair color, hair type and my fingers print formula. I paid some money for the finger print and the SKCK letter. As usual, no receipt!
3 # From Polres, I headed to Polda Bandung (Bandung Regional Police Headquarter), brought along the same docs (copy ID, family card, and passport photograhps), and the SKCK from the Polres. In this office I had to fill out some forms which are pretty similar with the ones from Polres but without physical description. I also told them that I needed to obtain SKCK in English from Mabes Polri (National Police Headquarter) in Jakarta. Just like in Polres, I also paid some money here.
4 # In Mabes Polri (National Police Headquarter) in Jakarta, I only needed to submit the original SKCK from Polda Bandung, copy of passport, KTP (Identity Card), family card, birth certificate and 3 passport photographs 4x6cm. No more forms to fill out but there's no same day service or you bring in today and pick it up the next day. Interestingly enough, in Mabes Polri, the service is free of charge!
Morale of the story - red tape is frustrating and it is the same everywhere.