An Alarming Pattern: The Abuse of Power in the Shadows of Authority

In a chilling addition to the ever-growing list of violence perpetrated by the children of public officials, the case of Gregorius Ronald Tannur (31) has shaken the nation. Ronald, son of Edward Tannur, a member of the Indonesian People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Commission IV for the 2019–2024 period, has been named a suspect in the fatal assault of his girlfriend, Dini Sera Afrianti (28). The Surabaya Police have charged Ronald under multiple articles of the Indonesian Penal Code, including Article 351 paragraph 3 and Article 359, carrying a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison.

This disturbing incident has led to severe consequences not just for Ronald but also for his father, Edward Tannur. In response to his son’s actions, Edward has been suspended by his political party, the National Awakening Party (PKB), to allow him to focus on addressing his son’s violent behavior.

The case of Ronald Tannur is not an isolated incident; it echoes a series of recent cases involving the violent actions of offspring from prominent families. One such case that shocked the nation was that of Mario Dandy, son of former tax official Rafael Alun Trisambodo. Mario’s heinous assault on Cristalino David Ozora in February 2023 left the victim in critical condition, resulting in a 12-year prison sentence for Mario.

Similarly, Aditya Hasibuan, the son of a high-ranking police official, was implicated in an assault against Ken Admiral, shedding light on alleged crimes involving Aditya’s father, Achiruddin Hasibuan. Additionally, Rafael Alun Trisambodo faced legal troubles, leading to his dismissal from his position at the Directorate General of Taxation due to money laundering allegations and accusations of receiving bribes through his tax consulting companies.

Psychologist Veronica Adesla sheds light on the psychology behind these acts of violence. She explains that such behavior stems from an imbalanced power dynamic, where the perpetrator feels superior, dominant, and entitled, leading to a lack of respect and empathy for the victim. Moreover, these actions are often targeted towards women due to deeply entrenched gender inequalities, where women are considered inferior and are subjected to objectification and oppression.

Wawan Kurniawan, a researcher in political psychology at the University of Indonesia, emphasizes the role of upbringing in shaping a child’s behavior. Children, he states, often emulate the actions and power dynamics they witness within their families, which can contribute to their propensity for violence. Furthermore, societal pressures and weak emotional regulation in children of prominent figures can exacerbate their behavior, leading to a lack of accountability for their actions.

Bakhrul Khair Amal, a social and political observer at North Sumatra State University, emphasizes the correlation between a child’s high social status and their tendency to engage in abusive behavior. The combination of financial privilege and a sense of entitlement often leads these individuals to develop a distorted sense of superiority, justifying their violent actions.

In response to these disturbing incidents, the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection condemns the actions of individuals like Ronald Tannur. They emphasize the importance of upholding justice and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable for their crimes.

Legal expert Feri Amsari underscores the constitutional right to fair treatment for every individual, regardless of their social or familial status. He warns against allowing impunity to prevail in cases involving the children of public officials, emphasizing that no one should be above the law, including the offspring of influential figures.

As these cases continue to emerge, it is imperative for society to confront the deeply rooted issues contributing to such behavior. Addressing the root causes, challenging gender inequalities, and fostering open communication within families are crucial steps toward preventing future incidents of violence perpetrated by the privileged children of public officials. Only through collective awareness and action can society hope to break this disturbing pattern and ensure justice for the victims.