ICW says public’s concerns about Jokowi weakening KPK are being confirmed

CNN Indonesia – May 4, 2021
Logo on Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) building in South Jakarta – Undated (Kompas)

Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) investigator Kurnia Ramadhana says that the public's concerns about President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's policies on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) are being confirmed bit by bit.

Ramadhana is of the view that right from the start there were efforts to weaken the KPK, including now by dismissing KPK employees on the pretext that they failed a civics test (TWK).

The government and the House of Representatives (DPR) he said, rather than strengthening the KPK have instead been shown to be trying to remove the KPK from the arena of corruption eradication in Indonesia.

"In the end the public's concerns about the policies of President Joko Widodo and the DPR who decided to revise the KPK Law and appoint commissioners who were ridden with controversy have been confirmed", said Ramadhana in a press release on Tuesday May 4.

Ramadhana also addressed the issue of several KPK employees who it said will be dismissed after failing to pass the civics test. This, he said, seems as if it was planned from the start as the final episode in wiping out and killing off the KPK.

"This isn't surprising, the signs for arriving at this conclusion can already be clearly seen, starting from the destruction of the anti-corruption agency through the new KPK Law, added to by the controversy over the leadership of Firli Bahuri, and now employees who are known to have high levels of integrity being sidelined", he said.

Ramadhana also addressed the issue of President Widodo, saying that this situation cannot be separated from the role played by the number one person in Indonesia together with DPR members. Because in the end both agreed to revise the KPK Law and include controversial articles in the law.

One of this relates to changing the status of KPK employees into state civil servants. Ramadhana said that this bad practice actually completes the grim face of the KPK under Bahuri's leadership.

This has ranged the KPK’s unwillingness to bring ruling Indonesian Democratic of Struggle (PDI-P) politician Harun Masiku to justice, removing PDI-P politicians names from indictments over the Covid-19 social aid corruption scandal and protecting witnesses in the lobster larvae export bribery case.

"Even leaking information about [planned] raids, so in the end stripping away KPK effectiveness bit by bit", he said.

There has yet to be a response from the KPK on the ICW statement. CNN Indonesia is still attempting to contact the commissioners and KPK spokesperson. (tst/ugo)


The civics test or nationalism test (TWK) is part of the administrative process of transforming all KPK employees into civil servants as mandated by the amended KPK law. According to Firli Bahuri, the test aims to ensure employees' allegiance to state ideology Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution and the legitimate government, and to ensure that no KPK employees belong to any government banned organisations. The test involved various intelligence agencies including the National Civil Administrative Agency, the Army and the National Counter-Terrorism Agency.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "ICW Duga Pemecatan Pegawai KPK Tak Lolos Tes Sudah Dirancang".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20210504123943-12-638300/icw-duga-pemecatan-pegawai-kpk-tak-lolos-tes-sudah-dirancang