The Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), one of the groups which joined the initiative to set up funds for the KPK, said that the fundraising program would further empower the institution.
“We also want to show the House of Representatives that the new building is very important for the KPK,” LBH Jakarta director Nur-kholis Hidayat told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
Nurkholis said the NGO coalition was working to find a formula that would avoid the financial contribution to the KPK becoming another form of corruption.
“We are formulating how best to realize it. We want to make it clear from the beginning that this is the support from the public for the KPK and that the new building will be owned by the public,” he said.
KPK Deputy Chairman Bambang Widjojanto came up with the public donation initiative, after months
of discussions with the House, which refused to disburse funds for the construction of the new KPK building.
The KPK’s leaders have said the commission needs new headquarters, as its current building, located in Kuningan, South Jakarta, is operating over capacity.
The building — 31 years old and formerly the headquarters of Bank Papan Sejahtera, which was liquidated by the government in 1999 — was designed to accommodate 350. The KPK currently has 752 employees.
The House has been dragging its feet over the KPK’s request, saying the commission could actually find a building to rent instead of building a new one.
Members of House Commission III overseeing law, human rights and security said they only heeded President Susilo Bambang Yudho-yono’s call for austerity measures in budget spending.
Nurkholis alleged the House stonewalling was likely to obstruct the work of the KPK.
He said that another effort by the House to dismantle the power of the KPK was its plan to amend the
corruption law, which would see the stripping of some of the KPK’s authority.
“This donation program is also to show our resistance to the House budgeting policy. We need to support the KPK,” he said.
The fundraising program coordinator, Febri Diansyah of the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW), said the public donation campaign, titled “Saweran Rakyat untuk Gedung KPK” (Fund Raising for the KPK Building) would start soon.
Febri, however, declined to give details of the program yet.
Private citizens have also supported the program.
Employee of a private company Ilfa Asril Habib, said that she would donate her money if the project was transparent.
“I would only donate if I know the money would go to the right place. I think people will also think the same way,” she said. (fzm)