'Corruption is blasphemy,' says a poster in Tebet, South Jakarta. (JG Photo/Natalia Laskowska)

Experts Urge KPK to Solve Major Graft Cases on International Anticorruption Day


DECEMBER 09, 2016

Jakarta. On International Anticorruption Day on Friday, Dec. 9, scholars and experts urged Indonesia's antigraft agency the KPK to solve high-profile graft cases left unfinished by its former leaders.

These high-profile cases include the Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance (BLBI) fraud case, the Bank Century bailout case and investigation into suspiciously "fat" bank accounts belonging to high-ranking police officers.

Fariz Fachryan of the Gajah Mada University's Anticorruption Studies Center did praise the Corruption Eradication Commission for its good work in uncovering some major corruption scandals, such as a bribery case involving former Regional Representatives Council Speaker Irman Gusman.

The KPK has been led by Agus Rahardjo since December last year, after former chairman Abraham Samad stepped down over alleged document forgery.

In September, KPK deputy chairman Laode M. Syarif confirmed that investigation into the 2008 Bank Century bailout case and the 1998 Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance case — which cost hundreds of trillions of taxpayers' money — had been resumed.

"The KPK has to make good on these promises," Fariz told BeritaSatu on Friday (09/12).

In 2010, classified documents leaked from the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) revealed suspicious bank accounts belonging to 23 high-ranking police officers.

The National Police claimed they found no irregularities in the so-called "fat" bank accounts, though some of the officers have avoided investigation until now.

Fariz also pointed out the KPK's success in uncovering the e-KTP corruption case, The e-KTP is a biometric identification card that was going to be issued to all Indonesians aged 17 and older, but the project was mothballed in October 2015 following a series of problems, including a late start, technical glitches and officials demanding payments from residents to provide the ostensibly free service.

Various cases of corruption in the e-KTP project had resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion ($172 million) in state losses.

"I think the KPK has done quite well. They've managed to put a number of big-name corruptors in jail," he said.

Fariz said Indonesia's improved efforts at fighting corruption have also earned international acknowledgment.

According to this year's Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index, which ranks 168 countries on a scale from 100 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt), Indonesia was ranked in 88th place — moving up from 107th last year.

The Berlin-based NGO highlighted, however, that corruption is still rampant among the country's bureaucrats and politicians.

Legal expert Indriyanto Seno Adji believes President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration is on the right track in its effort to fight corruption by concentrating on bureaucratic reforms.

Some experts are of the opinion that Indonesia's labyrinthine bureaucracy only encourages graft, as businesses seek to get a "fast-track" treatment to get their projects approved by the government.