Editorial: Jokowi Must Learn From Humiliation

JANUARY 13, 2015

Our grave concerns over President Joko Widodo’s nomination of Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan as Indonesia’s police chief proved to have merit when on Tuesday the Corruption Eradication Commission declared the three-star police general a graft suspect.

We commend the antigraft body for its smart move in making the announcement before Budi gained power as the chief of the National Police. It’s a bold move that could prevent one of the country’s most powerful institutions falling further into the hands of corrupt officials.

This announcement is a big humiliation for Joko, and serves as a final warning for him to appoint figures with proven and clean track records as state officials. We call on him to stop depending on others to decide on key policies and appointments. Otherwise, he will only continue to humiliate himself.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and its chairwoman, Megawati Soekarnoputri, must also cease causing problems for the president. The party is now a liability for Joko.

As the party that nominated him for president, it should support all the policies and programs he wants to implement because his success is also the party’s success. PDI-P officials, euphoric over their victory in both the presidential and legislative elections, must remember that in the 2019 elections the voters will punish them if the government fails to meet the people’s high expectations.

The KPK has a reputation to uphold. So far, it has never failed to obtain a conviction and jail sentence after naming someone a suspect. In Budi’s case, it would not risk it without solid evidence. Budi is guilty until he can prove himself innocent.

Joko must withdraw Budi’s nomination and find a credible officer with a cleaner record.