Water under the bridge: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (left) shakes hands with Vice President Jusuf Kalla prior to a Cabinet meeting to discuss the government’s corruption eradication program at the Presidential office in Jakarta on Monday. JP/R. Berto Wedhatama
In a bid to continue his anti-graft campaign, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked the National Police and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to end their rivalries and co-operate in the handling of the country's graft cases.
Speaking at the Presidential Office on Monday during a coordinating meeting on the fight against corruption, Yudhoyono said the KPK was having "friction" with the police, after previous rifts with the Supreme Court and the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK).
"This is the reality. I let it come to light as part of our transparency.
"Rivalry always exists; maybe between the attorney offices, the police and the KPK. It doesn't only happen in Indonesia.
"But it's not that there is no solution. Let's return to the Constitution, to existing regulations. Let's enhance our communication and coordination, and respect each other's roles and functions."
SBY told law enforcement institutions to seek internal solutions to settle problems among them instead venting to the press.
He also told them to build synergy so as to boost efforts to eradicate graft practices in the country.
Tension has been likely escalating between the police and the KPK particularly since National Police detectives' chief Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji protested earlier this month the commission's wiretapping of his conversation related to alleged graft case involving Bank Century and PT Antaboga and before the death of Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, former director of PT Putra Rajawali Banjaran, last March.
Susno denied pointing his finger at the KPK, but rumors have gone so far as to the police are planning to arrest KPK deputy chairman Chandra Hamzah for "misusing authority" related to the wiretapping.
National Police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri said after the meeting that the police had no plans to arrest Chandra. He also denied that there had been any frictions or rivalries between the police and the anti-graft body.
Chandra said heads of law enforcement institutions attending the meeting had agreed on improving communications among them as part of efforts to build the synergy in tackling with graft.
He added there was no such thing as attempts to weaken the KPK.
"We were even told that law enforcers needed to upgrade their capability and capacity."
Vice President Jusuf Kalla - who severely lost to Yudhoyono at July 8 presidential election - was among those attending the meeting.
The KPK has received public support in its fight against corruption, with the public calling for an end to moves to weaken the authority of the graft watchdog.
The arrest of KPK suspended chairman, Antasari Azhar, has made the public worry that the antigraft body might lose sight of its goals in combating corruption.
Antasari was arrested in relation to the murder of Nasrudin.