Jokowi and the illusion of corruption eradication

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Tb Ardi Januar
Member of the Prabowo-Sandi National Campaign Team

Another one of Jokowi’s supporters gets arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – “KPK”). The Regent of Pakpak Bharat, Remigo Yolando Berutu, was taken to the Kuningan hold yesterday (18/11/2018) on the suspicion of having accepted Rp 550 million in bribes. He was arrested just the day after having participated in the declaration of support to Jokowi-Ma’ruf in the upcoming presidential elections.

Remigo’s arrest means there’s one more Jokowi supporter being arrested for corruption. As we all know, some of the other supporters previously arrested by KPK include the Regent of Malang, Rendra Kresna; the Mayor of Pasuruan, Setiyono; the Regent of Bekasi, Neneng Hasanah, and many others. Jokowi’s promise to eradicate corruption is being held back by his own circles. In fact, a Functional Group cadre (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) currently being tried for the Indonesian Marine Security Agency (Badan Keamanan Laut – “Bakamla”) corruption case, Fayakhun Andriadi, mentioned the involvement of Jokowi’s family during his testimony.

If we review Jokowi’s promises relating to corruption eradication, many of them are unrealized and proved to be illusory. These include the strengthening of law enforcement personnel and budgetary support. You don’t believe me? Let’s check one at a time.

Jokowi once promised to strengthen KPK by increasing its budget tenfold. However, it is not proven. KPK’s budget in 2016 was Rp 991 billion. In 2017, KPK’s budget was reduced to Rp 734 billion instead of being increased. In other words, instead of the promised tenfold increase, KPK has a 20% cut!

Jokowi has also promised to help eradicate corruption by adding 1,000 new investigators. These extravagant promises remain a pipe dream: according to the Deputy for Prevention of Corruption for KPK’s Directorate of Community Education and Service, Masagung Dewanto, KPK currently has only 50 to 60 personnel who must deal with thousands of corruption cases a year!

Strengthening the KPK is nothing but a promise. What KPK feels is increasing efforts of weakening and decimation. The case of the attack against Novel Baswedan is a proof that the State is powerless to reveal the brain behind this conspiracy. Jokowi’s only apparent service to KPK is when he inaugurated KPK’s new office building – and that’s just as far as inaugurating, because the decision and process of constructing the building started in the previous government.

And that’s only about Jokowi’s promises to KPK. What about his promises to uphold supremacy in other law enforcement agencies? Why, Jokowi calmly breaks them too. You do not believe me? Let’s continue our review then.

Jokowi promised to open bids when there are openings for strategic law enforcement position, but he never did. Even worse, he appointed a member of his party to become the Attorney General. The high legal agencies, whose posts should have been held by professional or career officials, are filled in with party officials. We can feel the consequences: quite a few of the cases handled by the Attorney General’s Office are tried out and decided with strongly political leanings. More than once we hear rumors that many a regional head in legal troubles choose to enter a specific party to gain protection.

The portrait of law enforcement in Jokowi’s era is a grim one, not like what we’re promised. We need the figure of a new leader who has better commitment on corruption eradication, who can return the dignity of Indonesia’s legal supremacy. Prabowo is the right man for the job. He is a leader who does not have corruption stains or flaws. He was never connected to shameful cases of corruption like the rusty Transjakarta Bus case. He has never enriched himself from politics, and he has never ordered his men to steal from the budget.

This is proven from the fact that there are much fewer corruption cases involving Great Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”) than those involving other parties. Prabowo has always ordered his cadres in the House of Representatives (DPR) to not weaken KPK. This was why Gerindra refused to support the idea of Special Task Force for investigating KPK. Furthermore, Gerindra has repeatedly been named as the “Most Transparent Political Party”, among others by Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) and the Public Information Commission (Komisi Informasi Publik – “KIP”).

The issues that burden this country is more than just horrible economy, scarce job opportunities, and continued indebtedness, but also about illusory law enforcement promises. We need a new captain that can take us to a better future, to a new hope. Let us all believe that it would become reality in 2019.