The Jakarta Post
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has expressed concern over the continuing dispute between the National Police and the Corruption Eradication Commission ( KPK ) despite his “directive” to resolve the quandary two months ago.
During a limited Cabinet meeting held at the Navy’s Sea Military Command ( Kolinlamil ) in North Jakarta, on Thursday, Yudhoyono was upset by the fact that his directive had not materialized.
In October, the President pledged to issue a regulation that would make it difficult for the police to withdraw police investigators being seconded to the antigraft body.
“State secretary [Sudi Silalahi] has reported to me [on the matter]. I am also aware of this issue in the media. It may have been too late to issue the regulation concerning police investigators seconded to the KPK. Please, do it as soon as possible. Within one or two days, the draft [of the regulation] must be passed to the administrative reforms minister [Azwar Abubakar],” he said during the meeting.
A draft of a government regulation is written by the State Secretariat and administered by the administrative reforms minister before being signed by the President.
The standoff between the National Police and the KPK has not been resolved even though Yudhoyono issued a clear directive in his Oct. 8 speech.
The dispute between the two law enforcement institutions has been heating up since the KPK named Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo, the main suspect in the driving simulator graft scandal at the National Police Traffic Corps ( Korlantas ) in July.
The police responded by recalling their investigators seconded to the KPK, even though their tenures had not expired, a move that seriously affected the performance of the antigraft body.
On Wednesday, the KPK revealed that the National Police had requested the withdrawals of Comr. Novel Baswedan, the chief investigator in Djoko’s case, and 12 other officers seconded to the antigraft body.
This came two days after the KPK locked up Djoko at a detention cell belonging to the Indonesian Military ( TNI ) on Jl. Guntur, South Jakarta.
Yudhoyono renewed his commitment to let the KPK extend the tenures of the investigators for up to 12 years. “If the tenure was too short, it would be ineffective for them to help the KPK finish its jobs,” he said.
KPK deputy chairman Busyro Muqoddas decried the fact that his commission had been “paralyzed” by the lack of investigators, particularly given that it had been investigating several high-profile cases.
“I hope the President will sign the regulation soon. It will solve most of our problems,” Busyro said, adding that the KPK had sent a completed draft revision of the regulation to the President in early November.
Separately, Oce Madril, an analyst from the Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University’s Center for Anticorruption Studies ( Pukat ), said Yudhoyono’s immediate action was vital in resolving the Police-KPK dispute.
“This is actually a test for Yudhoyono to prove his commitment to resolving the conflict and to anticorruption in general because the KPK’s manpower issue would also impact on the enforcement of corruption cases,” he said.
Minister Azwar, meanwhile, seemed to have little knowledge about the revision of Government Regulation No. 63/2005 on the KPK’s human resources, even though his ministry was responsible for administering the amendment.