Indonesia Corruption Watch coordinator Adnan Topan Husodo at Menteng Park in Jakarta on Monday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)

Strains Start to Show in Relations Between Jokowi and Now-Toothless KPK


DECEMBER 10, 2019

Jakarta. A rift seems to have formed between President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, indicated by the president's absence during an International Anti-Corruption Day commemoration at the anti-graft agency's headquarters in Jakarta on Monday.

Indonesia Corruption Watch coordinator Adnan Topan Husodo said the president's conspicuous absence showed something was wrong in the relationship between the two. 

Vice President Ma'ruf Amin had come in place of Jokowi to the event. 

"The president chose not to involve the KPK when he formulated the revisions to the KPK Law, this was already a sign that something was not right between them. It sent a signal that the government is not serious in stopping corruption," Adnan said at Menteng Park in Jakarta on Monday.

The revisions to the KPK Law were proposed by House of Representatives members and approved with no opposition from the lawmakers.

Even if the president does not sign the law, it will automatically come into effect 30 days after it is approved by the House.

Adnan said the lack of support from the head of state for the KPK would stymie efforts to fight corruption. 

"When the head of state doesn't even seem to be perturbed by corruption, the general public won't be either," he said.

Adnan said the newly adopted KPK Law has turned the agency into a "soulless body." 

"Since the law was adopted, the KPK has not tackled any new corruption case. The state has taken away its capacity to enforce the law. How can we prevent corruption if we can't arrest the perpetrators? How can we educate the public if we can't bring them to court?" Adnan said.

Under the new law, the KPK is no longer an independent agency and has practically no power to investigate corruption cases. 

The ICW commemorated International Anti-Corruption Day by launching "Art Against Corruption: Maintaining Collective Memories," an art exhibition at the glasshouse in Menteng Park.

The exhibition features satirical paintings, dancing and music inspired by major corruption cases in Indonesia and will open until Thursday.