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Jakarta Post

If the watchman is restrained, investors flee

Malang, East Java   /   Tue, October 15, 2019   /  12:04 pm
If the watchman is restrained, investors flee President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo meets with executives of South Korean automaker Hyundai at the Merdeka Palace. The government plans to implement a bold reform agenda to attract foreign investment amid fierce competition from neighboring countries. (Courtesy of Presidential Office/-)

An Indonesian friend involved in a messy divorce was advised by colleagues not to hire a lawyer. Instead he should bribe the judge more than his estranged wife was paying. Being a moral person he refused, believing it’s every citizen’s duty to help purge corruption from the nation. He paid an attorney and lost his case. A local personal pain but one indicating a national ill making investors quake. Surreptitiously sliding an envelope across a desk anywhere in the archipelago is risky business for Australians — home and away. Bribing a public official is a crime here in the republic and over there in the Commonwealth; the dirty deal may have been done any place between Sabang and Merauke but a prosecution can be launched anywhere between Perth and Sydney. The penalties are harsh: Up to 10 years in an Aussie prison, or a fine of A$1.78 million (US$1.20 million...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.