Lawmakers from the House of Representatives’ Commission III overseeing legal and human rights affairs flexed their authority over the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) when they refused to have talks with KPK at a hearing on Wednesday over the absence of commission deputies.
Twenty seven members of the commission in attendance spent an hour bickering over the urgency of presenting KPK deputies to the meeting without giving any opportunities for KPK leaders, including Abraham Samad, Busyro Muqqodas, Bambang Widjajanto and Zulkarnaen, to explain.
It was Commission III deputy chairman Aziz Syamsuddin from the Golkar Party who first insisted that KPK chief Samad bring his colleagues into the meeting due to the ‘complexity of issues that the KPK was handling’.
“I know this meeting is legitimate regardless the number of attending representatives from KPK. It would still be [legitimate] even if only one leader attended today’s hearing, however, the KPK is overseeing many big cases therefore all higher officers, including the deputies, must come here and attentively listen to the discussion,” Aziz said.
Aziz’s insistence, however, raised criticisms from fellow lawmakers, such as from Herman Heri of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) who said that the presence of KPK deputies was unnecessary as all KPK leaders were already present.
“This meeting is between institutions, not between individuals. Therefore I think we must not bicker over the absence of the deputies. We must continue discussing more important matters,” he said.
After almost an hour in pointless debate, Commission III lawmakers finally agreed to adjourn the discussion at 12 o’clock for lunch, without any clarification of whether or not the KPK should have its deputies in the room after the one-hour recess.
“We will use the break to discuss what to do next before we start the hearing again at around one in the afternoon,” Nasir Djamil of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) said.