The House of Representatives intends to finish deliberation on the KPK Law revisions before Sept. 30. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari).

House of Representatives Agrees to Revise KPK Law Despite Anti-Graft Agency's Objections

BY : MARKUS JUNIANTO SIHALOHO & TELLY NATHALIA

SEPTEMBER 05, 2019

Jakarta. The House of Representatives, or DPR, on Wednesday approved proposed revisions to the 2002 Corruption Eradication Commission Law and said it intended to pass them before the current 2014-2019 parliament is disbanded on Sept. 30. 

The revisions of the law were a House initiative proposed by its legislative committee.

Wednesday's decision was approved by all the political factions at the DPR without objection.

If approved, this will be the second time the law will have been amended. 

The following are the six revisions proposed by the DPR:

1. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) will become an independent branch of the executive power of government. Up until now, the KPK functions as an independent agency and is not part of the government.

2. The KPK will have to get approval from a "board of observers" to conduct wiretaps. 

3. The KPK will become an integral part of the criminal justice system. As such, it will be obliged to synergize with other law-enforcing institutions.

4. The KPK will ramp up preventive measures by making it compulsory for all government institutions, ministries and agencies to file a wealth report before their term starts and after it ends.

5. The KPK's "board of observers" will comprise five officials tasked with monitoring the agency's activities. 

6.  The KPK will have the authority to stop the investigation or prosecution of a corruption case if it is not completed within one year. The dropping of a case should be reported to the board of observers and announced to the public.

Reactions

KPK's commissioners on Wednesday said the revisions, if passed, will put the anti-graft agency in an extremely difficult situation. 

"There are nine points in the revisions that could potentially paralyze the KPK," the commissioners said in a statement.

These include threats to the KPK's independence, the complicated procedures for wiretapping and the restrictions in conducting investigations and finding investigators.

The KPK said President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo should discuss the revisions with experts and members of the public before making any decision. 

"We categorically reject the revisions of the KPK Law," the statement from the anti-graft agency said.

Since its establishment in 2003, the KPK has investigated more than one thousand graft cases. Lawmakers were involved in 255 of those cases, the agency said.

Jokowi said during a visit to West Kalimantan that he had not read the proposed revisions by the DPR.

"From what I've seen, the KPK is doing a good job," Jokowi said.

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KPK DPR corruption jokowi

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