A Look Back at the Year That Wasn’t in Fighting Graft
Antigraft activists said on Thursday that 2011 would end with a number of major corruption cases left unresolved.
The year would not only be remembered for the headline-making graft cases, they said, but also for the intensity of the attacks on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) by politicians.
“The fight against corruption in 2011 was marked by a number of major cases, but unfortunately enforcement efforts were ineffective and generally lacking,” said Danang Kurniadi, from Gadjah Mada University’s Anti-Corruption Studies Center.
He said six cases dominated the news this year. One of those, he said, was a case of document forgery at the Constitutional Court said to involve former General Elections Commission (KPU) member and now Democratic Party politician Andi Nurpati.
The court was asked to rule in a dispute over a seat in the House of Representatives from South Sulawesi claimed by both Dewi Yasin Limpo of the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura) and Mestariyani Habie of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).
The court found in favor of Mestariyani, but court staff, allegedly at the behest of Andi, drafted a forged letter giving the seat to Dewi. Andi has not been named a suspect in the case.
“This case has just evaporated like a genie coming out of its bottle with neither odor, color nor trace,” Danang said.
Another unresolved case, he said, involves the unusually large bank accounts belonging to a number of active and former police generals, which the police and the KPK refused to investigate.
The police have also refused to obey a ruling from the Information Commission to disclose information about the case.
“This raises a big question about the police’s commitment to fight corruption,” Danang said.
He also highlighted tender rigging allegations surrounding the Southeast Asian Games, a bribery scandal linked to an appointment at the central bank in 2004, a case inside the tax court and yet another bribery case linked to the budgeting process at the House.
Jamil Mubarok, from the Indonesian Transparency Society, said attacks on the KPK also dominated the year. “The KPK has become a target for politicians at the House especially when their interests or peers are threatened,” he said.
Some lawmakers have said they support disbanding the KPK while others have tried to limit the body’s powers.
Arif Faisal, from the Advocacy Center for People’s Rights to Education, highlighted the dwindling credibility of the Anti-Corruption Court system in the country, with numerous graft suspects acquitted in 2011.
“This proves that outside the KPK, law enforcers are not ready to handle corruption cases properly,” he said.