22 September 2009
The KPK Perpu Has Been Signed...
The President has signed the Peraturan Pemerintah Pengganti Undang-Undang (Interim Law) into effect on Monday (21 September 2009). I have not yet received a copy of the Perpu, but have been in discussion about the content.
The Perpu adds two articles to Law No. 30 of 2002 on the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi / KPK), namely: Article 33A and 33B. These additional articles deal with the execution of duties of the commissioners of the KPK and provides the president the authority to nominate additional temporary commissioners to the KPK when there is a vacuum of leadership. Presumably, this provides requisite authority for whatever reason underscores the dismissal or suspension of commissioners from the KPK.
In this case, the Head of the KPK, Antasari Azhar, has been arrested and is to go on trial for his alleged involvement in the assassination of a Director of PT Putra Rajawali Banjaran, Nasrudin Zulkarnaen. Consequently, Antasari has been dismissed from his position. Furthermore, two other commissioners, Chandra M. Hamzah (I used to work for Chandra before he became a commissioner - just in case any disclosure is needed) and Bibit Samad Rianto, have been declared non-active as they have become suspects in an abuse of authority matter involving the issuance of travel bans (cekal) and their subsequent lifting of the bans against two corruption suspects, Anggoro Widjoyo and Djoko Tjandra.
A perpu in this case is not the right way to go. It sends the wrong message. By issuing a perpu the president is in effect stating that he agrees with the manner in which the police are going about this matter. He is also stating that it is legitimate for the police to criminalize actions that are explicitly within the administrative field. Even the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Mahfud M.D., has stated that this is an administrative matter that would require the two individuals who feel that they have been victimized by the administrative actions of the KPK to file suit to seek compensation or damages for any loses sustained.
Issuing perpus in this context is a slippery slope that might come back to haunt the president when he is a former president.