Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Chairman Firli Bahuri, right, attends a news conference at his office in South Jakarta accompanied by Oversight Board member Indriyanto Seno Adji, center, and KPK Secretary-General Cahya Hardianto Harefa on May 5, 2021. (Antara Photo)

KPK Leaders, Union in Row over Nationalism Test


MAY 05, 2021

Jakarta. The employees' association of the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, alleged on Wednesday that there was an attempt to dismiss certain investigators through the so-called nationalism test.

The allegation came after reports that 75 KPK employees have failed the test.


Union chairman Yudi Purnomo went further by saying that the test was part of a bigger attempt to weaken the respected anti-graft agency.

“Bear in mind that this test could be used to filter out professional KPK employees who have integrity and hold strategic posts where they are handling high-profile cases in the commission,” Yudi said in a statement.

Word has it that Yudi and senior investigator Novel Baswedan are among those failing to pass the test.

Yudi claimed that the union on March 4 formally asked KPK leadership to scrap the nationalism test -- part of the administrative process to transform all KPK employees into civil servants as mandated by the amended KPK law.

But Yudi noted the test was initiated by the internal leadership of the commission with no mention in the KPK law or related government regulations.

In a news conference earlier in the day, the KPK leadership board confirmed that 75 of 1,351 employees had failed the test conducted on March 18 through April 9, while two employees were no show.

The nationalism test aims to ensure employees' allegiance to state ideology Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, and the legitimate government, KPK Chairman Firli Bahuri said.

It also seeks to make sure that no KPK employees belong to organizations banned by the government or court order, he said.

The test involved various intelligence agencies, the National Civil Administrative Agency, the Army and the National Counter-Terrorism Agency.

Firli underlined that identities of the 75 employees failing the test have not been disclosed pending formal announcement by KPK Secretary-General Cahya Harefa.

"We can guarantee that those names have not been revealed," he said.

Playing Victim
In a statement issued earlier in the day, Firli lashed into the union for “playing the victim”

“We must not give in to these unethical people who made revelation ahead of formal announcement by the Commission. I know their game, they are playing the victim,” Firli wrote.

Top KPK investigator Novel Baswedan said separately he was informed that he had failed the nationalism test.

“Yes, that was the information I received,” he said.

Novel, who has led investigations into high-profile graft cases, became a victim of acid attack that damaged his eyes in April 2017.

More than two years later, two active police officers handed themselves in to the police after confessing to their roles in the attack.