Arrest of PKS boss the
start of wider political
turmoil, says expert

The arrest of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chairman Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is just part of a wider process of political intrigue that will occur in the run up to the 2014 general election, an expert says.

However, Yogyakarta Muhammadiyah University (UMY) rector Bambang Cipto said on Thursday that he hoped the arrest of Luthfi would be the last example of such intrigue.

“All parties played out a draw,” he said.

Bambang said that with the Luthfi’s arrest, no political parties would dare to claim themselves to be “the cleanest party”. Ahead of the 2014 election, all political parties were trying to improve their image, he said.

Claiming itself to be an Islamic-based party, the PKS and other Islamic political parties had in fact misused Islamic symbols to strengthen their own image. “We still don’t have any party leaders that can say they are ‘thinkers’. Most of them are just opportunists,” added Bambang.

Nevertheless, he said, the effect of Luthfi’s arrest was likely to be only the beginning. “We will have more issues coming up ahead of the 2014 election,” said Bambang.

The secretary of psychology of the Islamic Education Doctoral Program, Nurul Yamin, said corrupt practices could be seen in politicians from almost all political parties and had worsened the country’s position on the international stage.

In the field of human development, particularly in the education sector, Indonesia ranks between the 102nd and the 112th among 137 countries over the last 11 years.

“The country’s development has suffered quite a drastic decline,” said Nurul. According to the Human Development Index (HDI) report issued by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Indonesia ranked 124th in 2011, a decline from 108th in 2010 and 105th in 1999. (ebf)

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