Disappointment, anger over Jokowi’s support for KPK law revision

Detik News – September 13, 2019
People scatter flowers as symbol of morning in front of KPK building – September 13, 2019 (Detik)
People scatter flowers as symbol of morning in front of KPK building – September 13, 2019 (Detik)

Jakarta – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s approval of revisions to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law has disappointed many – from political observers to academics – who have voiced their disagreement with the planned revisions.

Indonesian Madani Circle (LIMA) Director Ray Rangkuti is disappointed with Widodo’s agreement to revise the KPK law and believes that it shows Widodo is powerless in the face of the interests of the political parties (parpol) in the House of Representatives (DPR).

“The speed at which the president responded to a letter from the DPR to push through revisions to the KPK Law and the MD3 Law [Legislative Institutions Law] shows that Jokowi has become powerless in the face of the parpols”, said Rangkuti during a discussion at the Forum of Concerned Citizens for Indonesia’s Parliament (Formappi) secretariat in Jakarta.

Formappi researcher Lucius Karus believes that the DPR is taking the KPK into a “niche in Muslim graveyard” and this state of affairs is terrible.

A similar expression of disappointment came from Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) who believe the president’s letter (surpres) approving revisions to the KPK Law will be the worst historical moment of Widodo’s presidency. ICW researcher Donal Fariz said Widodo prefers to listen to the political parties rather than the voices of the people.

“The signing of the surpres will be the worst historical moment in Jokowi’s leadership. He prefers to listen to the desires of the parties rather than the voices of the people and figures who want the KPK to be strong and independent”, Fariz told journalists on Wednesday September 11.

“Right now the KPK is on the horns of a dilemma because the deliberations at the DPR will not be able to be controlled”, he said.

From the academic world, the Association of Indonesian Professors (Pergubi) has declared that they reject the revisions to the KPK law and went to the KPK building to show their opposition to the revisions.

Pergubi Chairperson Professor Gimbal Doloksaribu said he hopes that the decision to revise the KPK law will be reconsidered because the current period of the DPR members will end in early October.

“We professors, we are unwilling to let our country collapse because of the actions of rouge individuals. We hope that the revisions to the KPK law will be thought through more carefully because the DPR only has two more weeks [to sit]”, said Doloksaribu at the KPK building in Jakarta on Friday September 13.

Pergubi Secretary General Professor M Arief said that they have already sent a letter opposing the revisions to Widodo and DPR Speaker Bambang Soesatyo. According to Arief, the deliberations on the revisions have been rushed and there is concern that they will be incomplete.

As well as Widodo’s approval of the revisions to the KPK law, Andalas University Constitutional Studies Centre (Pusako) Director Feri Amsari is also critical of the five newly selected KPK commissioners. Amsari believes that that both are part of a single packet to completely kill off the KPK.

“The KPK candidate leaders and the revisions to the KPK law are a single packet to completely kill off the KPK. Why is this so? Because even if bad people are selected [to lead] the KPK, they will only serve a four-year term and this is not long enough to abort cases which are already underway”, Amsari told journalists.

Disappointment was also expressed by the three current KPK commissioners: Agus Rahardjo, Laode M Syarif and Saut Situmorang, who held a press conference saying that they felt that the KPK is being besieged from several quarters.

“First, we are very concerned, the situation facing the eradication of corruption is very alarming. It feels as if the KPK is being besieged from all sides”, said KPK Chairperson Agus Rahardjo at his office in South Jakarta on Friday evening.

Rahardjo said that the management of the KPK will be returned to President Widodo. “With a heavy heart, today, we surrender responsibility for the KPK’s management to the Bapak {Mr] President of the Republic of Indonesia”, said Rahardjo.

Several days earlier, voices of opposition to the KPK law revision also came from the campus where Widodo once studied, the Gajah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta.

As of September 9, 251 UGM lecturers have rejected the revisions. The dean of the UGM Faculty of Law, Professor Sigit Riyanto, explained that the lecturers have signed a petition opposing the revisions which will be sent to Widodo.

Still in Yogyakarta, academics from the Indonesian Islamic University (UII) have declared their opposition to the weakening of the KPK through revisions to Law Number 2002/30 on the KPK. UII Dean Fathul Wahid spoke personally during a press conference at the Faculty of Law building on Monday September 9.

As many as 30 legal and anti-corruption centres from various tertiary education institutions have also spoken out calling in Widodo’s pledge to strengthen the KPK. (dnu/imk)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Kekecewaan atas Sikap Jokowi Setujui Revisi UU KPK”.]

Source: https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4705837/kekecewaan-atas-sikap-jokowi-setujui-revisi-uu-kpk