03 July 2008

Corruption In Indonesia

The recent arrest of the fifth currently serving politician, Bulyan Royan, for alleged corruption this year proves two points; the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) are getting better at their job and that politicians are still living in the New Order mentality that has them thinking they are immune from arrest and prosecution.

Those arrested to date include Saleh Djasit of the Golkar Party, Al Amin Nasution of the United Development Party, Hamka Yamdhu of the Golkar Party and Sarjan Taher of the Democratic Party for bribery.

Saleh was arrested for his alleged involvement in a IDR 12 billion markup in the purchase of fire trucks while he was Riau Governor from 1999 to 2004.

Al Amin was arrested at a five-star hotel in Jakarta after allegedly receiving a bribe of some IDR 3 billion for his assistance in trying to win government approval to convert a protected forest area into a production forest. He is married to a famous singer and when he was arrested he was allegedly in the company of an "escort".
Hamka is accused of receiving Bank Indonesia money as a bribe for helping to pass a law on Bank Indonesia.

Sarjan was arrested for alleged involvement in a South Sumatra bribery case.

The KPK has also arrested two former lawmakers, Anthony Zeidra Abidin of Golkar Party and Noor Adenan Razak of the National Mandate Party, both who are alleged to have received bribes.

What is interesting is that after coming in for some exaggerated criticism from lawmakers earlier in the year about the KPK being nothing but a toothless tiger that would never be able to live up to its promise on paper, the KPK has had some spectacular successes. There are a few people who must be wondering about how quickly this toothless tiger has emerged and started stalking its prey. A little bit of fear is just what the doctor ordered. Anything that makes people think twice before heading down the corruption path is a good thing.

Bulyan is alleged to have been instrumental in the program for the procurement of patrol boats by the Transportation Ministry's Directorate General of Sea Transportation. The allegation is that of graft. When the KPK arrested Bulyan he was carrying some USD 66,000 and 5,500 euros in cash. The program is to procure 20 patrol boats and the funds allocated for this total some USD 12.4 million.

Even more fun is that the Secretary General of the Reform Star Party, Usman Ali, has said that Bulyan has told him that he received the cash from someone else but has yet to say who that someone is. But then Ali went on to say that the Reform Star Party is a small party and that Bulyan could not have done this by himself. This in effect suggests that there are more people involved in this little corruption scam and that it is likely to include more politicians.

There is nothing more fun than a little scandal whether it be corruption or sex or a bit of both!

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