President, House most to blame for declining public trust in KPK: ICW

Source – April 4, 2022
KPK logo on KPK building in South Jakarta – Undated (Komaps)

Irfan Kamil, Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) says that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and the House of Representatives (DPR) are the parties most responsible for the decline in public trust in the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

This was conveyed by ICW researcher Kurnia Ramadhana in response to the release of a national survey by Indikator Politik Indonesia (IPI) which found that public trust in the KPK has continued to decline since 2019.

"There are three parties most responsible for the KPK's situation at the moment. First, the President. Second, the DPR", said Ramadhana in a written release on Monday April 4.

Ramadhana believes it is these two institutions which brought down the KPK by revising the KPK Law. In addition to this, the President and DPR also selected a problematic commissioner, Firli Bahuri, to lead the anti-graft commission.

In Ramadhana's view, the third party responsible for the decline in public trust in the KPK is the KPK leadership itself, in particular Bahuri.

"Because, they are the highest power holders in the anti-graft agency. The many controversies which they created added to by a sharp decline in performance, it is natural then that the public no longer places its trust in the KPK", he explained.

ICW also believes that given the current state of the KPK it will be truly difficult to save it, especially if the revised KPK remains in force.

And even if it could be revised, said Ramadhana, currently this appears impossible because right from the start the DPR and the President had no wish to strengthen the KPK.

"Finally, with a succession of surveys which confirm the decline in public trust in the KPK, it would be best if the KPK chairperson resign immediately. Because, he has failed to take the KPK in a better direction", said Ramadhana.

IPI survey

Earlier, IPI released the latest findings of a survey on the public's trust in Indonesian institutions. Out of the 12 institutions listed, the public's trust in the KPK was on par with the judiciary and the Attorney General's Office (AGO).

"The trust in the KPK, if we look at the trend in the data, yeah it's seen a decline, in 2018 we found that it was quite high, 84.8 percent. But after 2019, in 2020, 2021 and 2022, that trust has declined, said IPI Executive Director Burhanudin Muhtadi in a release on the survey on Sunday April 4.

Muhtadi revealed that one of the factors in the decline in public trust in the anti-graft agency was the revisions to the KPK Law. Yet prior to this, the KPK was once the most trusted institution in the country.

"The KPK was once one of the institutions [most] trusted by the public aside from the TNI [Indonesian military] and the President, but of late it is as if the KPK has faced a number of issues, particularly after the revisions to the KPK Law", explained Muhtadi.

"We know that this made the public's trust decline even though there has been a slight rise compared with December [2021], but it has yet to return to its initial level", he said.

Meanwhile the publics' highest level of trust is in the TNI with 93 percent, followed by the President with 85 percent.

This is followed by the Supreme Court with 79 percent, the Constitutional Court with 78 percent, the police with 76 percent, the judiciary with 74 percent, the KPK with 74 percent and the AGO with 74 percent also.

Then the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) with 67 percent, the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) with 65 percent, the DPR with 61 percent and the political parties with 54 percent.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Kepercayaan Publik atas KPK Terus Turun, ICW: Presiden, DPR, dan Firli Paling Bertanggung Jawab".]