14 September 2009
Anti-Corruption Forces Under Siege -- Indonesia...
I will be wearing my best white outfit in support of this action. I am not sure what difference it will make here in Sydney. Perhaps I can swing around Maroubra way and set up shop out in front of the Indonesian Consulate in my best whites and a sign or something.
It is a sad indictment of Indonesian politics and law enforcement that the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is being slowly but surely set up for dismantling. The KPK has grown into an organization that has had some considerable success. It would seem that this success is the root cause for the animosity that is now prevalent between the KPK and the police and the Office of the Attorney General.
It was an unfortunate and ultimately untimely coincidence that the Head of the KPK found himself embroiled in a over-heating love triangle (perhaps because of his fancy for the old triangle of love) that ended in the murder of his competitor for the triangle of love.
Probably what is even sadder, but simultaneously more interesting, is that the President who campaigned for a first term on a platform of cleanliness or anti-corruption, and then similarly campaigned for a second term on a similar platform all the while toting the successes of the KPK and the great strides Indonesia has made in this area, has remained out of the fray.
In fact, the presidential spokesperson on legal affairs has stated in unequivocal terms that the president is watching but is not going to become involved. In essence, the president is going to let this thing run its course. Presumably even if it means that the KPK is stripped of its powers and ultimately dismantled.
By my reckoning this would be the perfect time for the president to stand up and be counted. If he truly wants to leave a legacy of reform, good governance, and more importantly clean governance, then this is the issue to stand up on. If for nothing else, the man must stand on his principles, and judging by his campaigning and public statements his principles are that anti-corruption is something that he holds dear. Now, if that is true, now would be a good time to prove it.
The idea that the president is going to stand back from this one makes a mockery of all those who argue that having won 60% of the popular vote in the presidential elections that the president has a mandate to force through change. The man seemingly does not have the testicular fortitude to stand up for the one institution that can cement his legacy as a reformer, as a man dedicated to the people who have suffered for so long at the hands of corrupt officials. No, at this rate the president will be remembered as the president who presided over the dismantling of one of the more prominent successes of the reformasi period.
So, get out your white shirts and stand united with those who support the work of the KPK to date and support the idea that the KPK must continue with the ability to do this work into the future.