Yudhoyono Vows to Eradicate Indonesia’s ‘Judicial Mafia’ in 100 Days

By webadmin on 12:54 am Nov 06, 2009
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Janeman Latul

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday named the eradication of the country’s “judicial mafia” as his government’s top priority during its first 100 days, shifting the focus away from the ambitious and extensive economic goals outlined just last week.

“This will be our priority in the first 100 days,” Yudhoyono said, following a cabinet meeting. “We will take real action to eradicate the judicial mafia.”

Yudhoyono said the judicial mafia included those involved in bribery, blackmail, the fixing of lawsuits and the intimidation of witnesses.

“The judicial mafia could be anywhere — in the National Police, the Attorney General’s Office, judicial agencies and the Corruption Eradication Commission …” he said.

He acknowledged that it would be difficult to wipe out such an entrenched culture of corruption. He also revealed a new address — PO Box 9948, Jakarta 1000 — where people could mail complaints about irregularities in the judicial system.

Yudhoyono’s shift in focus followed the public broadcasting this week of wiretapped telephone conversations that revealed an apparent plot involving members of the National Police and the Attorney General’s Office to attack the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) by framing two of its deputy chairmen with allegations of corruption.

Just last week at the National Summit, the government had outlined an ambitious list of programs related primarily to economic development.

At the summit, organized by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa had said the government’s priorities included achieving quality growth, reducing poverty, creating jobs, improving infrastructure and focusing on the development of agriculture and industry.

The government outlined 45 programs intended to address the country’s most pressing needs during its first 100 days. Among them, 15 were named top priorities.

Among other things, Yudhoyono had stressed the need to increase the country’s capacity to generate electricity.

“Power supply can become an obstacle to economic growth, business and investment,” he said.

He said the government would focus on clean energy, including geothermal power and hydropower, after completion of the first phase of the “fast track” electricity generating program, which involves creating 10,000 megawatts of capacity with coal-fired plants. State utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara has struggled to meet soaring demand for electricity, resulting in frequent rolling blackouts.

Yudhoyono also vowed to spend more money to develop the country’s ailing infrastructure. He said the central government would work with regional administrations and public-private partnerships to develop power projects, roads, airports and seaports.

The government also vowed to disburse Rp 2 trillion ($210 million) in business loans and Rp 20 trillion a year in capital loans to encourage entrepreneurship and indirectly fight graft and poverty.

“We’ve only passed 30 percent of the first hundred days, we have another 70 percent,” Yudhoyono said. “But without a plan, we are almost certain to be doomed to failure.”

Key 100-Day Priorities

1 Eradicate ‘judicial mafia’
2 Revitalize defense industry
3 Eradicate terrorism
4 Electricity generation
5 Food production and security