Jakarta – The director of the Andalas University Law Faculty Constitutional Studies Centre (PUSaKO), Feri Amsari, says that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is trying to cover up the systematic defects of the revised Corruption Eradication Commission Law (UU KPK) by choosing KPK supervisory council (dewas) members who have good backgrounds.
“The dewas is like a nice cover for a dish. Jokowi wants to cover up stale rice and chili sauce, cover up the shortcomings of the UU KPK”, said Amsari in a written press release on Saturday December 21.
“So the dewas is a bad system but he wants to cover it up with good people. Even though the dewas is filled with good people, the system itself is still bad”, he said.
Amsari agrees that the members of the supervisory council inaugurated by Widodo have good backgrounds and bring with them a sense of being able to work well. But, this is no guarantee that the supervisory council will work ideally over the next four years because the system itself is wrong.
“Particularly because the system developed by the new UU is very bad because the people are appointed [to the council] by the president”, said Amsari.
According to Amsari, the problem actually lies with the system established by the revisions to the KPK law, namely the very existence of the supervisory council itself.
Amsari explained that the position of the supervisory council based on Law Number 19/2019 is very important within the KPK. It is far more important than the KPK leadership itself which is chaired by police officer Commissioner General Firli Bahuri.
The supervisory council has pro-judicial authority to the point of monitoring the ethics of the KPK leadership. The development of any cases handled by the KPK will be dependent on the supervisory council’s decisions.
Thus, he said, the new KPK leadership for 2019-2023 will just be administrative organisers while the real authority will lie with the supervisory council.
“The dewas has intentionally been filled by good figures, but the problem is not whether or not they are good figures, but the bad system introduced by the UU KPK”, added Amsari.
Trisakti University criminal law expert Abdul Ficar Hadjar is asking the public to remain critical of the supervisory council’s performance even though it is currently filled by people with good images.
“Don’t let it become a batman trap for us, so that then [the dewas members make] us agree with the system”, he said.
Hadjar even believes that the KPK has the potential to become a tool for those in power to bring down its political rivals through the supervisory council.
“As long as its authority is held by the president, the potential for this is very high”, said Hadjar.
Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra) Secretary General Misbah Hasan is worried that the huge amount of authority held by the supervisory council will influence the sting operations (OTT) often carried out by the KPK.
“Don’t let the supervisory council instead be accused of becoming the source of the problem in the KPK’s effectiveness in carrying out OTT. Rather, the KPK’s OTT operations should be increased”, he said.
On Friday December 20 Widodo inaugurated the KPK supervisory council in concert with inaugurating the new KPK leadership for 2019-2023.
The people trusted to become members of the supervisory council were figures well known for their integrity, namely Tumpak Hatorangan Panggabean, Albertina Ho, Harjono, Syamsuddin Haris and Artidjo Alkostar. (bmw/mjo)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Pengamat Soal Dewas KPK: Jokowi Ingin Tutupi ‘Nasi Basi’”.]