ICW: “President not ‘anti-corruption’, his award should be revoked”

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The Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) has demanded the Bung Hatta Anti-Corruption Award (BHACA) previously awarded to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) be revoked immediately. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – The Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) has demanded the Bung Hatta Anti-Corruption Award (BHACA) previously awarded to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) be revoked immediately. This statement was issued by ICW researcher Kurnia Ramadhana in a press conference held at the Office of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (Yayasan Lembaga Hukum Indonesia – “YLBHI”) in Jakarta. BHACA was awarded to Jokowi in 2010, when he was the Mayor of Surakarta. 

Jokowi is now the President, which means that any action – or lack of – and stance of his towards the KPK Law in particular and towards the strengthening or weakening of KPK in general is even more closely watched by anti-corruption activists. 

“ICW concludes that Jokowi is no longer consistent with what he has frequently been stating concerning the State’s corruption eradication agenda. If Jokowi is really serious about strengthening anti-corruption agencies, the Government Regulation in lieu of Law (Peraturan Pemerintah Pengganti Undang-Undang – “Perppu”) for the Revision of Law No. 30 of 2002 concerning the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – “KPK”) should have been issued already. If there are no concrete steps taken by the President, it is no wonder that the public would be disappointed – especially since back in 2010, Joko Widodo as the Mayor of Solo was awarded with an anti-corruption award, the Bung Hatta Anti-Corruption Award. The question is, when KPK is under this kind of danger and the President does not do anything, should he still be allowed to keep the award? We think not,” Kurnias said. 

Similar to ICW, Fajri Nursyamsi, the Network and Advocacy Director of the Laws and Policies Study Center (Pusat Studi Hukum dan Kebijakan – “PSHK”) stated that if Jokowi does not issue the Perppu, it would be natural that the people should request that the Bung Hatta Anti-Corruption Award awarded to Jokowi be revoked. “Because we can no longer see an anti-corrupt person in President Jokowi, as he did not save KPK at the end of his leadership term with Jusuf Kalla (JK), despite our great hopes towards his leadership in Indonesia within the next five years,” Fajri said. 

Meanwhile, official representatives of the Bung Hatta Anti-Corruption Award stated that they will not retract the award from Jokowi. “We are more focused on things that would actually support the eradication of corruption instead of responding to political issues,” said the Chairwoman of Bung Hatta Anti-Corruption Award’s Daily Management Council, Shanti Poesposoetjipto. Shanti stated that BHACA’s mission is to encourage the reduction of corruption in Indonesia. Its current important work is to help reduce the gap of understanding of corruption, which BHACA still frequently finds in both governmental and public levels. “We put our concern there first, because there are huge gaps of understanding concerning corruption among the people in both public and private sectors,” she said. 

As for Jokowi’s consistency in terms of the spirit of anti-corruption, Shanti responded by reminding that Jokowi is now the President of RI, who was voted by the people through election. “It is us who elected him anyway. If we want to uphold democracy, let us respect the president and maintain the country’s stability. Let us not be carried away by narrow views,” she said. (dsy)