President Joko Widodo addresses high school students in Jakarta during an event to observe International Anti-Corruption Day on Monday. (Antara Photo/Aprillio Akbar)

Jokowi Mulls Over Death Penalty for Corruptors


DECEMBER 09, 2019

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Monday his administration is open to the possibility of imposing the death sentence against graft convicts.

The existing anti-corruption law mentions capital punishment but no inmates have been executed for corruption since the law was issued in 1999.

"That's possible [to impose death sentence], if the people demand it," Jokowi said during a visit to a Jakarta high school for an International Anti-Corruption Day commemoration. 

He was responding to a question from a student named Harley Hermansyah, who asked if the government had the courage to execute graft convicts.

Article 2 of the anti-corruption law stipulates that graft convicts could face the death sentence "under certain circumstances": if the crime is committed during a major natural disaster or when the nation is being hit by a severe financial crisis.

"For instance, when there was an earthquake or tsunami in Aceh or West Nusa Tenggara, and someone misappropriated the budget for post-disaster mitigation, then [the death sentence] can be imposed," the president said.

KPK Saves Rp 63t in State Assets 

On the same day, the leaders of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), announced they had prevented Rp 63.9 trillion ($4.5 billion) in potential state losses during their four-year term that expires later this month.

KPK chairman Agus Raharjo said the outstanding achievement was mainly thanks to the commission's prevention unit, whose works happened mostly away from the media's eye.

"The media have focused their attention on our law enforcement unit, but our prevention unit has already saved the government Rp 63.9 trillion in potential state losses," Agus said during an event to commemorate the International Anti-Corruption Day at the KPK building in South Jakarta.

The prevention unit's job is to monitor state officials, coordinate and supervise state assets recovery across law enforcement agencies and prevent officials from taking bribes.

Agus said business permit issuance was the most graft-prone government service, with many businessmen having lodged complaints about the issue with the KPK.