New KPK chairman Firli Bahuri, left, being congratulated by President Joko Widodo after his inauguration at the State Palace on Friday. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

KPK Welcomes New Leaders


DECEMBER 20, 2019

Jakarta. The new five-member leadership board of the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, officially entered service on Friday, led by police officer Comr. Gen. Firli Bahuri, who returned to the commission after abruptly leaving his previous law enforcement deputy post after an alleged ethical violation.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo led the inauguration of the five KPK commissioners, who also included judge Nawawi Pomolango, law professor Nurul Ghufron, former Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK) commissioner Lili Pintauli Siregar and Alexander Marwata, the only commissioner from the previous term.

"We do hope for a stronger KPK and a systematic eradication of corruption that has been impacting our economy," President Jokowi told reporters after the inauguration at the State Palace in Central Jakarta. 

"I believe the new KPK chairman and all the commissioners will bring improvement to the KPK along with the oversight body," he said.

Firli won all the votes in the House of Representatives' Commission III to become the new chairman of the KPK, despite allegation that he had met a person who was being investigated by the agency while serving as its deputy for law enforcement.

He was called back by the National Police to become the South Sumatra police chief midway through an internal investigation into his case.

The KPK has never declared him guilty of ethical violation and Firli has publicly stated that his meeting with then West Nusa Tenggara Governor Muhammad Zainul Majdi in May last year was held in public without any malicious intent.

The governor was the subject of a KPK investigation at the time but never named a suspect.

Several days before the vote at the House commission, a number of KPK leaders held a press conference detailing alleged breach of ethics by Firli. Despite opposition from the KPK, Firli secured the votes of all 56 of the commission's members who unanimously decided to name him the next KPK chairman in September.

Alexander, who managed to serve another term, was a judge with the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court before joining the commission, where he worked at the corruption prevention division. He was also a certified auditor who had spent 20 years with the State Finance Development Controller (BPKP).

Lili, the only female commissioner, had worked for the LPSK for a decade until last year.

Judge Nawawi gained popularity after he handled several high-profiles graft cases, convicting former Constitutional Court justice Patrialis Akbar and former Regional Representatives Council (DPD) speaker Irman Gusman of corruption.

Nurul, 45, is the youngest commissioner among the five and could fall victim to the amended KPK law which puts the minimum age for a commissioner at 50. However, the new law was passed before the University of Jember lecturer was elected commissioner.