Karapan Sapi, is Madura’s annual traditional event, it is such a bull racing tournament. It is usually held at week-end within August to September, or ideally before or after the fasting month. Date back to the early begin, Karapan Sapi was existed before 15 Century. The championship starts from the district level to the regency level and moving forward to the level Residence. Last, the final will be held on September or October in the city of Pamekasan to compete for President Cup.

Looking at the background, bulls are not animal type for racing activities for they are not classified as fast runner animals. To some extent, expecting the bull to race may be similar to expecting pubic servants to speed up the process of administration or to innovate in the bureaucracy environment. You might become crazy yourselves expecting bureaucracy to change. I do hope this will not always the case.

For “karapan” this can be solved by training the bull twice or three times a week, not more than that. The exercise is held around 3pm before dawn. It is said that a pair of healthy and strong bulls will cost Rp. 4 millions per pair for their food and other maintenance. Moreover, they are also consuming some traditional herb and dozens of chicken eggs per days.

However, by the same way, could we  expect public servants to perform well by providing good salary, long hours of education and abundant time for training and exercise each day or even an excessive supervision every day? Remember, they are human with mind and soul, they also have families to be taken care of. Pouring budget to satisfy full of their needs will cost the national budget a lot more than IDR 4,000,000  a week (a monthly pension fund received by the Indonesian retired general who used to serve in the military). Furthermore, would that be enough to support public servant’s need? Everyone may guess.

But, I think the only thing we can do in reforming public servants is to touch their heart, motivate them and give them trust to develop better system in the current world with a great volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. In addition, unleash the bureaucratic laws and regulations that limits them to innovate.

Not to mention, there is another secret information. In order to make the bulls running as fast as they can, the tail are tied with nails and it was also given the chili and ginger. The jockey’s whip is also added by nails. It seems sadistic here, but that is the way, the culture. The more they get hurt, the more of the bull will run faster.

Ohh God, should we used such kind of sadistic ways to make public servants to move faster for reform? As citizens sometimes we end up by thinking like the “Karapan” audience who want to get good entertainment by expecting public servants to innovate, develop good infrastructures for better development, but actually they forget that the “bull” and the jockey have been long-suffering for a decent treatment due to the very low salaries, poor education/training and even low-level of honor and dignity. The public sector system and their people have been easily infected by corruption and dirty politics. Hopefully, there are only few of them. In fact, there are many of them who actually strive for the better system to make them a better innovator in the corrupt system.

God bless the cows, and the public servants too..

Reference: http://eastjava.com/blog/2010/10/12/karapan-sapi-madura/astjava.com/blog/2010/10/12/karapan-sapi-madura/