National

Dismal year for antigraft
fight: ICW

In November, the President said eradicating the “judicial mafia” was his priority. Almost a year later, activists have called the promise a disappointment.

The Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) on Sunday likened President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s anticorruption  efforts to “firefighting”.

“They only act when a fire has already broken out,” said ICW researcher Febri Diansyah. He called Yudhoyono’s approach to corruption cases “reactive”.

ICW said that the President and his Cabinet had never developed a road map or a comprehensive national strategy for eradicating corruption.

The Cabinet’s plan to eradicate the so-called judicial mafia had been reduced to “routine pleasantries,”
it said.

“There has been almost no realization [of the program]. A special task force was formed but not supported, and it even had to deal with internal conflict. This highlights the President’s lack of determination in stamping out the judicial mafia,” Febri said.

ICW researcher Donal Fariz said Yudhoyono has failed to lead his Cabinet, the National Police chief and the attorney general in carrying out a national agenda of corruption eradication.

According ICW data, Yudhoyono made 34 statements relating to corruption eradication this year;
half of the statements it characterized as supporting anticorrupution and 13 as containing unrealized promises.

 Donal used the example of the Bank Century bailout. The President, he said, had ordered a thorough probe of the bailout but was not supported by the Democratic Party, of which he is the chief patron, and maintained a defensive attitude towards a potential probe.

“We can see here that Yudhoyono’s statement was nothing but a sweet promise,” he added.

The Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) previously said Indonesia was the most corrupt of 16 major Asia-Pacific investment destinations that it surveyed.

In a survey released in March, PERC said Yudhoyono’s drive to fight graft “has been hampered by the politicization of the issue by those threatened by his efforts,” as reported by kompas.com news portal.
Indonesia scored 9.07 on a scale of 10 for corruption in its 2010 survey, up from 7.69 points a year ago.

In the Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International in 2009, Indonesia scored 2.8, with 10 being the cleanest, up from 2.6 the previous year.

Transparency International Indonesia (TII) has highlighted that the study was conducted before Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy chairmen Bibit Samad Rianto and Chandra M. Hamzah were implicated in a criminal case, which many said was done in an attempt to undermine the body.

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