Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Blind eyes on Big-Fish Corruptors

Former Assembly Speaker Amien Rais criticized prosecutors for detaining small-time corruptors like the executives of The General Election Committee (KPU). "The amount corrupted are piece of peanuts," he said.
Amien challenged them to catch and prosecute big-time corruptors and crooks like those involved in the Rp600 trillion (US$60 billion) banking scandal since 1998 financial collapse. Most of them are free or being fugitives.
Let me refresh your memory of promises made by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono when he assume the office. Below is the excerpt of an interview with Time magazine on Yudhoyono's first day in office:
The eradication of corruption will be my priority over the next five years. We have to eradicate it structurally and culturally. I've ordered the police and the attorney-general that any corruption cases once held up be started again. I've also asked that preventative steps be put in place at all levels of government and that my office, the vice-president, ministers and governors be seen as clean in order for them to eradicate corruption in their own offices. I've also asked that the same steps be taken at the provincial government level. I've also asked the attorney-general to take legal action against any banks that are unhealthy or where there are indications of corruption, regardless of who is behind them. This country will be destroyed if we do not stop the growth of corruption. There needs to be some shock therapy so that the people know that this government is serious about corruption.
I would say, no shock therapy, so far!
Yudhoyono mentioned the war on corruption in every speech he makes. The year 2005 was even dubbed the “Year of Eradicating Corruption.” To reinforce the effort, the president even set up the Corruption Eradication Team led by Junior Attorney General for Special Crimes Hendarman Supandji.
But sadly, people’s hopes of seeing bank embezzlers and other big-time crooks in court have not been realized. Yes, the prosecution has been able to resolve some of the cases, but most of them involve the small fry. Of the major corruptors who obtained SP3s, or document ordering the suspension of an investigation, about 20 in total, not a single case has been reopened.
How about the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK)?
Well, as Amien observed, only small-time corruptors!
But Amien should bear in mind (guess he didn't read the previous statements) that government had simplified the corruption eradication when the president told a meeting of provincial governors at the State Palace on Feb. 25, four months after he was sworn in as president, that his government was focusing its antigraft efforts on the prevention of corruption in the future rather than pursuing graft cases that took place in the past.
He argued that," If we only look to the past, it means delving into things that are far from certain. We would be better off preventing mega corruption cases from recurring in the future".
So Pak Amien, don't expect too much!



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November 16, 2005 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Michael Perera said...

Well, quite critical, I must say. But, don't you think that there are way too many issues in Indonesia to concern with (at the first place), rather than just directly trying to get rid of the corruption itself? (Hint: mentality, education, wealth distribution, inferiority complex, etc.).

November 16, 2005 4:07 PM  
Blogger yosef ardi said...

Agree. Eradicating corruption is one thing, no panacea. We should clearly prepare better education and narrow down the wealth distribution gap to prevent corruption as well.

November 21, 2005 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Achmad Sudarsono said...

Hey - Michael - be careful what you say about my country. Indonesia is the greatest country on earth. We have nothing to be ashamed of - except not kicking the Bules out earlier.

February 16, 2007 6:52 PM  

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