A study of 12 cities across Indonesia ranked Medan as the most corrupt and Bandung with the highest percentage of bribery. (Antara Foto/Rosa Panggabean)

New Survey Shows Medan as Most Corrupt City, Bandung Ruled by Bribery


NOVEMBER 22, 2017

Jakarta. A study of 12 cities across Indonesia ranked Medan as the most corrupt and Bandung with the highest percentage of bribery cases, the local chapter of Transparency International announced on Wednesday (22/11).

The 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index in Indonesia is based on a study conducted with 1,200 respondents between June and August, showcasing city-level corruption from the private sector's perspective.

This study is different from Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which ranks countries at the global level.

In 2016, Indonesia was ranked 90th out of 176 countries.

Transparency International Indonesia (TII) said the latest study attempted to look into the problem of corruption from "real issues on the ground."

Cities were awarded scores between 1 and 100, with higher numbers indicating less corruption.

Of the 12 cities, Medan scored the lowest with 37.4, followed by Makassar and Bandung with 53.4 and 57.9 respectively.

The survey also looked into local competitiveness and ease of doing business in each of the above cities. In both aspects, Medan also scored the lowest.

TII conducted the study in Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Pontianak, Pekanbaru, Makassar, Bandung, Balikpapan, Banjarmasin, Padang, Manado and Semarang.

These cities are the highest contributors to Indonesia’s national GDP.

"The survey respondents are businessmen…. It’s important to include them in any effort to eradicate corruption in Indonesia. The stigma that businessmen are all corruptors must be changed, by themselves but also with the help of other stakeholders," Dadang Trisangsoko, secretary general of TII, said during the survey's launch in Jakarta.

Corruption Perception

Bandung ranked highest on "percentage bribery," with 10.8 percent of the city’s total production cost. Makassar was in last place with 1.8 percent.

TII also found that potential for bribery is highest in the drinking water, banking and electricity sectors.

The organization found a worrying 61.5 percent of respondents did not consider corruption as an important issue, while 17 percent said they had failed to make a profit because a competitor had bribed someone.

"There is still a lot of bribery going on. Businesses lose out not because of clean competition, but because someone somewhere along the line is corrupt," Wawan Heru Suyatmiko, TII’s knowledge management program coordinator, said.

Wawan said a lack of awareness about corruption still prevailed among businesspeople in the private sector.

The survey showed only three out of ten people were aware of the National Strategy of Corruption Prevention and Eradication (Stranas PPK).

Only half of the respondents were also aware of the country’s Anti-Corruption Law.

TII hoped the government will use the survey as a reference to corroborate anticorruption policies, and recommended the private sector to adopt its own internal anticorruption policy.

Next Steps for Government

"Efforts to prevent corruption at district administration level must be carried out holistically, involving both the public and private sectors," Diani Sadiawati, an expert staff to the National Development Planning Minister, said.

She said the government is working on the possibility of revising the 2012 Presidential Regulation on Stranas PPK, focusing on how Indonesia can improve its score on the CPI.

"We want to increase collaboration between the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) and the Presidential Staff Office (KSP) with the revision of the presidential regulation," Diani said.

She stressed that while KPK has a mandate to carry out corruption prevention and eradication efforts, "KPK cannot carry out corruption prevention efforts on its own, and must be supported by other stakeholders."