“Killing the KPK is the same as killing this nation”

Peaceful rally in support of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Slogan reads "Killing the KPK is the same as killing this nation" - Ivan Atmanagara - originally posted to Flickr as membunuh KPK
Peaceful rally in support of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Slogan reads “Killing the KPK is the same as killing this nation” – Ivan Atmanagara – originally posted to Flickr as membunuh KPK

Watching this last few weeks of politics in Indonesia has been like watching a bad Indonesian soap opera (called sinetron over here) unfold.

Earlier in the year, the Jokowi Government filed Budi Gunawan as the sole candidate for the Chief of Police to Parliament [3].

But then the KPK (Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission) announced Budi Gunawan as a suspect three days following this dodgy appointment (Gunamawan is alleged to be Megawati’s boyfriend. His inauguration was due to happen on Megawati’s birthday !?!).

Gunawan was suspected of accepting bribes and gratuities while serving as Chief of Police Career Development Bureau from 2003 to 2006, as well as during other positions during his service  in the police.

The KPK ensnared Budi Gunawan with Article 12 paragraph a or b, Article 5, paragraph 2, Article 11 or Article 12 B of Law No. 31 of 1999 in conjunction with Law No. 20 Year 2001 on Corruption Eradication in conjunction with Article 55 paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code to-1..

The Parliament however announced Budi Gunawan (Megawati’s alleged ‘boyfriend’) was qualified despite the KPK allegations, and he was inaugurated by President Jokowi. This announcement became a heated political situation in Indonesia during mid-January 2015 [4] [5]  and, under increasing pressure, Jokowi finally canceled Gunawan’s appointment and appointed Badrodin Haiti as acting police chief instead.

But on Friday, the KPK and Polri (Indonesia’s police service) have been engaged in a new battle, as the chairman of Indonesia’s Anti Corruption Institution was arrested on suspicion of being involved in alleged abuse of authority or omission or coercion during his time as a lawyer. A perceived direct tactic of systemic retaliations by Indonesia’s police service on behalf of their hard done Gunawan .

The alleged case which conveniently saw the arrest of KPK chairman Bambang Widjojanto was alleged to have occurred several years ago. And this case was been brought to the attention of POLRI (Indonesian police) by a man who has been involved in multiple suspect and alleged criminal activities himself. (I’ll add a link about the alleged case of this man later as cant find it right now – it was in print media in yesterday’s Kompas newspaper. It involved acts of physical violence and abuse against a rainforest activist in his region of Kalimantan).

So anyway the ‘gossipy’ side of this (Megawati’s and Gunawan’s realtionship) was just stuff I heard round that traps in Jakarta, but the frightening thing is that the chairman of the KPK WAS arrested, and for reasons the criminal justice system can hardly justify on an allegation brought to the attention of the police (conveniently, years later) by a dodgy thug! This whole saga just continues to become sicker and sicker.

But the protest banner pictured says it all, really.. “Killing the KPK is the same as killing this nation”.. As that is what many anti corruption activists in Indonesia fear is happening right now!

There’s so much more to these minor points about this that could be discussed. But that would require more time. It’s all incredibly disappointing, particularly from a ‘leader’ such as Jokowi who carried the hopes of so many on his shoulders 😦

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