Anti-graft activists suspect third party involvement in KPK staff sackings

Source – May 27, 2021
Employees protest at KPK office in Jakarta against KPK law revisions – September 6, 2019 (Antara)

Tatang Guritno, Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) suspects that there has been an endeavor to terminate a number of Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) employees carried out by third parties.

ICW researcher Kurnia Ramadhana believes that the endeavour to terminate their employment using the civics or nationalism test (TWK) was not just carried out by the KPK leadership.

"According to our observations so far, what has to be looked at further is that the KPK leadership did not act alone. There is a pattern, there was cooperation with a certain group", said Ramadhana during a press conference broadcast on the Friends of ICW YouTube channel on Wednesday May 26.

They suspect this, according to Ramadhana, because there have been two other incidents. First, an attack by buzzers on the social media accounts of ICW activists. Second, attempt to hack the accounts of anti-corruption activists and former KPK leaders.

"Because after the TWK (issue) surfaced there were two incidents which reinforced this conclusion. First there was the deployment of buzzers on social media and the YouTube platform which filled them with comments painting the [anti-corruption] movement in a bad light or efforts to degrade the movement", he explained.

"Second there were hacking attempts against anti-corruption activists, and former KPK leaders", added Ramadhana.

Ramadhana said that these actions demonstrate the existence of a plot. This isn't just the work of [KPK Chairperson] Firli Bahuri but there is an evil conspiracy behind the TWK", he said.

Meanwhile the polemic about using the civics test as a condition for KPK employees to be eligible to become state civil servants has continued.

KPK Deputy Chairperson Alexander Marwata and the head of the State Civil Service Agency (BKN) recently announced that 51 of the 75 KPK employees who were declared to have failed the civics test must stop working at the KPK.

The remaining 24 meanwhile can still become state civil servants after undergoing a nationalism education course.

Several parties including civil society organizations, government officials and former KPK leaders have said that the civics test itself was irregular.

In the midst of the continuing polemic, hacking attempts targeted several ICW staff and eight former KPK leaders during a virtual press conference on Monday May 17.

KPK senior investigator Novel Baswedan, inter-commissions and agency network development chief Sujanarko and former KPK spokesperson Febri Diansyah also suffered hacking attempts on the evening of Thursday May 20. Telegram accounts belonging to the three were taken over by an irresponsible party.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Pegawai KPK Tak Lolos TWK Dipecat, ICW Nilai Ada Keterlibatan Kelompok Tertentu".]