Weak internal monitoring allowed KPU corruption

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Discussion titled “What Happened Behind Wahyu’s Case?” held at Warung Komando, Tebet, South Jakarta, on Sunday (19/01/2020). (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – The bribery case that involved former Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”) Wahyu Setiawan and three other members of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle ( “PDIP”), i.e. lawyer Donny Tri Istiqomah, former member of the Elections Supervisory Board (Badan Pengawas Pemilu – “Bawaslu”) Agustiani Tio Fridelina, and Saefullah, started from issues relating to the determination of interim replacement of House of Representative (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) members. PDIP politician Adian Napitupulu said that the case started with disqualified votes involving Nazarudin Kiemas. 

Nazarudin Kiemas died in March 2019. Due to clerical errors, his name continued to be listed as one of PDIP’s legislative candidates for the April 2019 Legislative Elections, and he was then duly elected a legislator. After much confusion, the Supreme Court ruled that the votes count and can be transferred to another PDIP candidate. Therefore, the votes won by Nazarudin Kiemas will be distributed at PDIP’s discretion and authority. 

Adian stated that PDIP, based on the Supreme Court statement, appointed Harun Masiku to replace Nazarudin. Later, in order to strengthen this legal basis, PDIP requested that the Supreme Court issue a formal judgment to that effect. However, KPU ignored both Supreme Court legal products and declared that Riezky Aprilia will replace Nazarudin. “In this case, Harun was the victim because KPU ignored his rights, which was based on the Supreme Court’s statement and judgment. According to the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – “KPK”), Harun was the perpetrator in the bribery case. But at the same time, he was also a victim because he has not received his rightful position and he was seduced by Wahyu Setiawan’s promises of succession,” he stated in the discussion titled “What Happened Behind Wahyu’s Case?” held at Warung Komando, Tebet, South Jakarta, on Sunday (19/01/2020). 

Adian requests that the KPK not enter into the realm of opinions when responding to unsavory rumors concerning the conflicts within PDIP’s Central Leadership Board (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – DPP”). He stated that there were no arguments between KPK inspectors and DPP PDIP staff during the search relating to Wahyu’s case. “We need to say this: we want the people to get real facts and not information that is incorrect,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Yenti Garnasih concludes that the former KPU Commissioner case is basically a fraud case. She concludes that Wahyu had cheated Harun, by promising the latter that he could become a member of DPR, while in fact the power to push Harun into DPR membership was the agreement of the entire KPU leadership, not Wahyu himself. Yenti believes in KPU’s statement that it is impossible for the Wahyu bribery case not to involve collegial collective decision. This is why the case is really a fraud case, not a bribery case. “Therefore, how will the bribe receiver grant the position, while KPU states that it is impossible to give without a collegial collective decision? I therefore conclude that there is fraud there for sure. I do not think that this is the issue,” she said 

Yenti stated that if KPK wants to categorize Wahyu Setiawan’s case as a bribery case, there must be a clear chronological order of action. This will help law enforcers learn about the modus operandi of a case. “In relation to bribery in Wahyu’s case, they say that Article 5 or 12 (of the Corruption Crime Law) is violated, that’s fine. However, it is necessary for us to know the chronological order of the violation so that we can learn from it,” she said. 

Yenti concludes that Wahyu has persuaded Harun that the latter may become a member of DPR if he is willing to pay for it, and therefore he is in the wrong. However, Harun himself is also wrong for allowing himself to be persuaded to use underhanded means. Giving money to Wahyu in order to get himself a DPR seat is bribery, pure and simple. “Yes, it is an act of bribery and corruption, because the relevant person (Wahyu) is a State Administrator,” she said. 

However, Yenti reiterates that KPK must still prove Harun’s act of bribery, as the definition of “briber” is “a person proven to have initiated a State Administrator (in this case, Wahyu) to change his professional opinion (in this case changing a member of DPR in the PDIP Faction due to the death of the original elected member). “We do not want to mistake a fraud case for one of bribery, as the initiative comes from the fraudster. He (Wahyu) baited Harun,” she said. 

KPU’s weak internal monitoring 
Emrus Sihombing, political observer from Pelita Harapan University, concludes that the bribery case against former KPU Commissioner Wahyu Setiawan can serve as an entry point for KPK in exposing corrupt practices in the electoral organization agency. “If we use the tip of the iceberg theory, we can say that only the surface has been exposed here. This case can be an entry point for exposing the whole thing,” he said. 

Emrus stated that Wahyu’s corruption is possible because KPU’s internal monitoring is weak. This is an opportunity for “naughty” staff members to get into the act. This suspicion is strengthened by Wahyu’s statement, which includes the phrase “Siap mainkan” (“Let’s play this”) to help with the appointment of PDIP cadre Harun Masiku as an interim DPR RI member. “The word “mainkan” or “play” implies that first, he agrees (to the changed appointment); second, that has a huge chance to actually do it; and third, that the act involves others (and that he is confident he can persuade these others),” he said. 

Emrus then that the authorities seek out the recording made when KPU Commissioners held their plenary meeting to determine which of PDIP’s legislative candidates will become the interim DPR RI member replacing Nazarudin Kiemas. “Do the records exist? Subpoena everything; it’ll tell us who played around with this appointment,” he said. 

Emrus believes that corrupt practices in KPU do not just occur on a central level, but at provincial, regency, and municipal levels as well. He urges an investigation at regional KPU levels, in order to expose the “infection” within the agency. He further stated that such an investigation would only improve KPU’s future performance. “If we are willing to expose that, if our regular and key Informants are regional heads whose terms have ended, Regional House of Representative members, and regional KPU commissioners whose terms have ended are interviewed, everything will come out into the open,” he said. “We must expose this if we want to improve KPU. We need to expose data about the games, but we need to protect the sources. Let’s not focus on who did it, but on what happened, for the sake of a better KPU.” {dan)