Unlike what is happening in Thailand, Indonesia has taken recent steps to tackle the widespread corruption that is believed to plague Asean’s biggest country.

In 2002, in the first flush of Indonesia’s post-Suharto era, then-President Megawati Sukarnoputri pushed a law through the legislature establishing the Corruption Eradication Commission. The agency, a decade later, may actually be altering the political landscape of the country.

KPK
The agency may actually be altering the political landscape of the country.

Certainly, cleaning up corruption completely in a country as lawless and sprawling as Indonesia may be impossible. Nonetheless, since it began operations in late 2003, the KPK, as it is known by its Indonesian initials, has become a fearsome force with a staff of 750 that has gone after people close enough to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to help cost him his cachet as a reformer and bring his political party to its knees.

It has recently counted coup with important scalps from three of the country’s most prominent political parties including the president’s own ruling Democrats, reducing the party’s political footprint drastically and destroying its image as the party of political rectitude. It has taken on top members of the National Police, arrested the nation’s chief oil and gas regulator and charged the head of the Constitutional Court with accepting bribes.

Already widely praised at home, the KPK was given a Ramon Magsaysay award for 2013, often described as Asia’s Nobel Prize, for its “greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia.”

“Given the steady drip-drip-drip of cases [brought by the KPK] I think these guys are on a campaign that is making them the most important political force in this country,” said a veteran political observer in Jakarta. “It has basically destroyed Yudhoyono and his political party. You could argue that it is not just Jokowi’s [Jakarta Gov. Joko Widowo’s] popularity and clean image but public anger with the corruption exposed by the KPK that is redrawing the political map for 2014.”

via Indonesia’s Corruption Battle Gets Serious | Asia Sentinel.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get notified of our weekly selection of news

You May Also Like

Energy transition and emerging markets

The push for carbon neutrality and improved environmental sustainability places a unique set of pressures on emerging markets. The essential question is: how can such economies fulfil their economic potential while at the same time striving for net zero?

Indonesia signs $8.1 billion defense deal with France to buy 42 Rafale jets

The agreement to obtain the first six Rafale aircraft was signed in a meeting between Indonesia’s Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and France’s Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly during her visit to Jakarta.