Corruption eradication under Jokowi's watch little more than jargon: ICW

Source – December 20, 2021
President Widodo and KPK Chairperson Firli Bahuri at Anti-Corruption Day commemoration – December 9, 2021 (Kompas)

Tatang Guritno, Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) says that over the last seven years of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's leadership the issue of corruption eradication has been little more than jargon.

This was conveyed by ICW researcher Kurnia Ramadhana after the Draft Law on the Seizure of Assets failed to be included in the 2022 Priority National Legislation Program (Prolegnas).

“ICW is urging President Joko Widodo to not just pay lip service to the planned legislation of the Draft Law on Asset Seizure", Ramadhana told on Monday December 20.

This is because there are efforts at dodging responsibility over the deliberations on the draft law between the House of Representatives (DPR) and the government.

The government claims that it has already submitted the draft law as a priority. Conversely, the deputy chairperson of the DPR's Legislation Body (Baleg), Achmad Baidowi, says that the government never included the bill in the 2022 Prolegnas.

Looking at this situation, Ramadhana is pessimistic that the draft law's legislation process will proceed smoothly.

"Because the DPR's track recorded so far is that they rarely priorities laws which strengthen law enforcement, especially the eradication of corruption", he said.

Ramadhana explained that is important to enact the Asset Seizure Law immediately because of the imbalance between state losses and alternative punishments (fines) in corruption cases.

"According to ICW's records, state losses in 2020 reached 56 trillion rupiah while alternative punishments only amounted to 19 trillion rupiah", he said.

"This demonstrates that a criminal law approach which uses in personam (against a particular person) has yet to be proven effective in recovering state losses", Ramadhana concluded.

Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD earlier said that the government had already submitted the Draft Asset Seizure Law as priority legislation.

But because was not included in the 2022 Prolegnas, Mahfud said that there was disagreement by DPR over the submission.

Achmad Baidowi meanwhile said that the DPR does not want to be seen as the only party that is to blame for the deadlock in the enactment of the draft law. He asserts that the government did not in fact submit the draft law as priority legislation.

"Yes, if it wasn't submitted, then why would we want to agree to it. So don't always make the DPR the target [of criticism]", he said.

The deliberations on the Draft Law on Asset Seizures have again become a public issue after President Widodo said that the government is committed to pushing for its immediate deliberation and enactment.

This was conveyed by Widodo when he attended a commemoration of International Anti-Corruption Day at the Corruption Eradication Commission's (KPK) red-and-white building in South Jakarta on Thursday December 9.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "ICW: Jokowi Hanya Jadikan Isu Pemberantasan Korupsi sebagai Jargon".]