Editorial: Jokowi Will Kill the KPK Without Direct Action
FEBRUARY 06, 2015
So, this is it?
The end game of the criminal and political tit-for-tat in the last month has been destruction of the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK.
With National Police chief of detectives Comr. Gen. Budi Waseso’s vow that all KPK leaders will soon be named suspects in criminal investigations, the end of KPK as we know it is in sight: By the KPK’s own rules, its leaders must resign from active duty if named a suspect.
Without its leaders, the KPK cannot function; all current investigations will stop.
President Joko Widodo will likely issue an emergency decree to appoint commissioners to fill the void until the current KPK leadership’s term ends in October, and the House of Representative can select new persons for the job. None of this seems right, and we believe it violates a basic sense of justice.
The cases against the KPK leaders appear to have no compelling basis in fact — leveled not in pursuit of justice, but rather transparent revenge for the KPK’s naming of Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan, the president’s nominee for police chief, a graft suspect.
The KPK’s four commissioners have done their jobs well. While the timing of their decision to make Budi a suspect after his nomination by the president — and on evidence equally old as the allegations subsequently leveled in retaliation against them — can be seen as politically colored, the KPK is duty-bound to uphold its mission of corruption eradication. The evidence against Budi so far appears solid.
If Joko appoints all the KPK’s leaders, it loses its independence. Worse, the appointment process will open the door to unseemly political trades.
Whether he intended to or not, the president has set in motion a chain reaction that will kill the KPK.
He must stop it and intervene with direct action. If he does not, we the public should do so for him.