CICAK VS BUAYA Is it a crisis?

This paper will give a review about Cicak-Buaya case, faced by Indonesia’s Police Department. This metaphor, said by Sosno Duadji, become a real conflict.
From this analysis we can see that the police department is late to give a response for this case. If they can see the situation create by Susno Duadji’s statement is a prodromal stage, they should be able to stop this case became a full blown crisis.

Cicak-Buaya Case come to public after Kepala Badan Reserse Kriminal Markas Besar Polisi Republik Indonesia (in that time), Susno Duadji convey that his cell phone is being bug. He made a metaphor for his institution and the institution that bugging his cell phone as a Cicak and Buaya. This metaphor contained by Tempo Magazine at July 6th, 2009.
This methapor than broaden, become the “conflict” between KPK and police department.

What is a crisis?
A crisis is a major occurrence with a potentially negative outcome affecting the organization, company, or good name. It will interrupt normal business transaction and sometimes threaten the existence of the organization. Crisis more serious than a “problem”, but also not so catastrophic, that the life of the organization will be destroyed.

Prodromal stage
Before crisis happen, actually there are a stage, what Barton (1993) said as prodromal stage.
I think, if we see this case at the beginning, just when Susno Duadji made a metaphor Cicak –Buaya, it is not a crisis. It still a prodromal stage, because what was said by Susno Duadji will not destroyed police department. Because Cicak and Buaya is just a terminology. As Goenawan Mohamad said at his article Cicak & Buaya, “Saya yakin Komisaris Jenderal Polisi Susno Duadji tak memperhitungkan betapa ampuhnya perumpamaan yang dipakainya dalam majalah Tempo…”
But, Barton said, if this prodromal stage is not handled carefully, this stage can be develop into a real crisis. Moreover, unfortunately, Susno Duadji, himself, or Police Department, as the institution where Susno Duadji work for, is not doing any crisis communication after the terminology blow up.
Crisis communication is the dialog between the organization and its public prior to, during, and after the negative occurrence. Crisis communication if done effectively will minimize the damage of organization reputation/image.
I think, if the explanation about how and in what condition the term said by Susno Duadji given earlier, this term will not going to have a broaden effect as it was.

Metaphor describe the reality
After the metaphor go public, there are a lot of opinion. Many of the opinion said that this metaphor is a picture of how the institution saw their position. Just like Goenawan Mohamad said, “Dipakai dalam suasana konflik, kedua kata itu menyugestikan bahwa yang terjadi tidak berbeda dari perseteruan di alam bebas, di mana penyelesaiannya bukanlah atas dasar hokum sebagai aturan bersama, melainkan ditentukan oleh kekuatan. … dengan mengambil ibarat dari dunia hewan, kekerasan dan kebuasan menjadi demikian tampak penting ketika sebuah pertentangan harus diputuskan.”
I think this is the reason why the people reacted strongly to Susno Duadji’s statement. They are not jus look at the statement itself, but also the background of the case. People declare a war to corruption. So they try hardly to defend KPK as an institution that assigned to clean the corruption in Indonesia.

Behind Cicak-Buaya, there is a real conflict
The cicak-buaya metaphor actually is Susno Duadji’s respons for the journalist when asking about the rumours that he had a contribution is century case and KPK’s plan to arrest him after they collect an authentic proof. Bugging his cell phone is one of the way for KPK to collect the proof, from Susno.
I think this is the real crisis faced by police department. This case – that police department have a contribution in corruption – will damage the reputation of police department, and maybe will diminished public trust to this institution.
In addition, Susno Duadji, as an institution representative or as a person who related with this case, takes a wrong step, if we see this from crisis communication strategy. According to Fearn-Banks, there are several ways to handling rumors, such as: giving a complete, accurate information to the public that contradictory with the rumor message, those rumors that do not pose a threat may be handled in low key manner without publicity, and even do nothing, because sometime denial draw more attention than silence.
Instead of giving complete information about his objective of issuance a letter to Century Bank to disburse money for Boedi Sampoerno, he underestimated KPK, and implicitly said that they do something outside their authority, with saying, “Mana berani dia nangkap? Tidak, saya tidak marah. Mereka kan anak buah saya. Mereka pasti memberi tahu saya. Saya cuma kasih tahu kepada mereka, gunakan kewenangan itu dengan baik.”
And, instead of doing nothing, and keep silence, the police department even attack KPK, using voice recording they found, to proof that KPK’s deputy chairmen accept bribe. Then, cicak-buaya methapor than have a broaden meaning, become the “conflict” between KPK and police department. Every side tries to defend their institution, even with trying to look for other side’s fault.
At October 29th, 2009, Bibit Samad Rianto dan Chandra M Hamzah was arrested. So many people who claim exemption for KPK Chairman Chandra Hamzah and Bibit Samad Riyanto who are arrested by police a few days ago. A few national leaders give themselves as a guarantee to the police agency to defer the arrest of both.
As the response for conflict between two state institutions, president established Tim 8, as an independent fact-finding team at November 2th, 2009. Then, this team gives a recommendation to president, Bibit and Chandra detention, finally suspended.

Crisis communication
Finally, Police department realize that Cicak – Buaya metaphor have been develop from prodromal stage to a crisis. At the meeting with the leaders of mass media in Menkominfo office at November 2th, 2009, Chief of Police, Jendral Bambang Hendarso Danuri said an apology, “Itu oknum Polri. Jadi anggota kami yang salah. Polri tidak pernah menggunakan istilah itu. Kami mohon maaf.”
Then, in a Commission III of House of Representatives working meeting with the Chief of Police, November 6th, 2009, Susno Duadji also explaining what exactly happened and in what context he give this metaphor to the journalist. He said, “Saya ini kan bukan orang yang mengerti teknologi. Kebetulan ada cicak. Kalau mau saya bandingkan dengan arwana kan tidak mungkin. Saya mau ngomong tokek, tapi staf saya bilang ‘dengan buaya’.”
According to Fearn-Banks, this reaction, when the organization has been accused of a misdeed, called as apologia. Bambang Hendarso Danuri using an actual apology because he confess that his staff made a mistake, and he, as the leader said sorry for that.
While Susno Duadji, using redefinition strategy to express that he didn’t intend to commit that misdeed.
These are good strategy, but in my opinion, they are too late. They should used this strategy earlier, before the conflict become a “war”.

We still don’t know how this case will be ended. Bibit and Chandra detention finally suspended. Susno Duadji, this March 10th, 2010 is being arrested , but we are not so sure, for what case.
But, actually, Susno Duadji has made his metaphor “Cicak-Buaya” became so famous, beyond his purpose, maybe. Unfortunately, this famous goes to ne negative situation, related with conflict between two institutions.
Police department was rather too late address this case, so this conflict becomes bigger and bigger, until the president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, have to intervene to solve these problems.

Goenawan Mohamad, Cicak&Buaya (
Fearn-Banks (2007), Crisis Communication: a casebook approach, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: London.…/bibit-chandra-ditahan buaya buatan oknum polri kapolri minta maaf luruskan soal cicak vs buaya