Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD speaks to journalists at his offices in Jakarta on Tuesday. (JG Photo/Diana Mariska)

Jokowi Deems Issuing Presidential Regulation on KPK Law 'Unethical' During Constitutional Court Review


NOVEMBER 06, 2019

Jakarta. Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD said President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo deems it inappropriate to issue a presidential regulation in lieu of law on the Corruption Eradication Committee, or KPK, while a judicial review of a revised law on the national antigraft agency is still ongoing.

"We have informed the president on the necessity for a presidential regulation. But there are groups that think the opposite, that there is no urgency. All suggestions have been delivered to the president, and he has decided that such regulation is not yet required," Mahfud said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The House of Representatives passed a revision of the 2002 KPK Law in September, in a move seen by many as an attempt to curtail the antigraft agency's ability to tackle corruption. The law revision's passing also sparked a series of student protests across Indonesia, resulting in several deaths.

Jokowi has tried to appease the protesting students and met with senior academics and former officials to ask their advice on the new law. He said after the meeting that he would consider issuing a presidential regulation on the matter. 

However, a group of students separately filed a judicial review of the new KPK Law in the Constitutional Court, claiming that the national legislature may have breached proper procedures when it passed the law revision in record time. 

Mahfud said the president's decision was influenced by the ongoing judicial review.

"The president believes it will be unethical to overlap the judicial review with a presidential regulation while it is still ongoing. However, we will evaluate the situation and wait for the Constitutional Court's verdict," said the minister, who previously served as chief justice of the court.

Mahfud said he had shared his opinion on a presidential regulation with Jokowi.

"I expressed my view, but now that I am a minister, I cannot oppose [the president's decision]. Even before I became a minister, I always said it was the authority of the president. [The presidential regulation] is not up to me, because I do not have the authority. But I assure you that I have made recommendations," he said.

"People may say what they want, and may have their own opinions. It is always that way. However, the country must carry on. My principle is to improve what can be improved. We have an opportunity to work on other matters, such as strengthening the Attorney General's Office and the police, and push the KPK to investigate major cases," the minister added.