Workers clean signage in front of the Corruption Eradication Commission building in South Jakarta. (Antara Photo)

KPK to Dismiss 56 Employees Including Top Investigator Novel Baswedan


SEPTEMBER 16, 2021

Jakarta. The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, is set to honorably dismiss 56 employees, some of whom are senior and renowned investigators such as Novel Baswedan.

Those employees will be dismissed en masse in the end of this month for failing to pass the nationalism test, KPK Commissioner Alexander Marwata said on Wednesday.


“Six of them have been given a chance to take remedial education and training on nation-building and national identity but they refused to attend. Accordingly they cannot be sworn in as civil servants and will be honorably dismissed on September 30,” he said.

As for the remaining 50, Alexander said they simply failed the test in March and April and didn’t meet requirements to become civil servants.

Alexander said the commission thanks outgoing employees for their “dedication and good deeds” during their time with KPK and wishes them good luck.

Novel -- who has led investigations into many high-profile corruption cases involving ministers and high-ranking police officers -- has confirmed since the beginning that he failed the so-called nationalism test.

On Tuesday, Novel claimed that several colleagues had been offered two letters to sign: one on their resignation and the other on job application for undisclosed state-owned companies. 

“For us, it’s truly an insult,” Novel said, adding that their anti-corruption works went beyond financial motive.

Novel became a victim of acid attack that damaged his eyes in April 2017. More than two years later, two active policemen handed themselves in to the police after confessing to their roles in the attack.

Penyidik Senior Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) Novel Baswedan tiba di Polda Metro Jaya, Jakarta, Senin (6/1/2020). Kedatangan Novel Baswedan untuk memberikan keterangan sebagai saksi pasca penetapan tersangka dua pelaku penyiraman air keras. ANTARA FOTO/Galih Pradipta/ama.
Novel Baswedan arrives at Jakarta Police office, January 6, 2020, to testify against two policemen accused of carrying out the 2017 acid attck on him. (Antara Photo)

The move to transition KPK employees’ status into civil servants was mandated by the law passed in 2019. However, Novel and several other senior investigators including employee union chairman Yudi Purnomo argued that the law says nothing about nationalism test.

They alleged that the test became a tool to filter out investigators critical of the government and of the current KPK leadership.

In June, KPK went ahead with the plan by installing more than 1,200 employees as civil servants after they passed the test.

They swore the oath to uphold and protect state ideology Pancasila and the constitution and pledged allegiance to the government.

The ceremony was held in coincidence to the anniversary of Pancasila which now becomes a national holiday.