The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and House of Representatives leaders have agreed to postpone the discussion of proposed revisions of the 2002 Law on Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and to focus instead on promoting the points of the amendments amid an adverse public outcry.
The decision came after Jokowi met with House' speakers and chairs of political factions and commissions at the State Palace on Monday afternoon.
"I appreciate the dynamic process of the political dynamics at the House. On the revision of the KPK Law, we agree that the revision shoud not be discussed now," he said in a joint press conference at the State Palace after the meeting.
The plan to revise the 2002 law must have be thoroughly studied and promoted to the public, he added.
House Speaker Ade Komarudin said the House would not remove it from the 2016 National Legislation Program (Prolegnas) or from the list of priority bills to be discussed by the House, despite the postponement.
The KPK Law revision had been listed as a priority law along with 40 other bills the House aimed to complete this year.
In the consultation meeting with the President, the House and the government had also agreed to proceed with a tax amnesty bill and the revision of the 2003 counterterrorism law, he said.
Numerous elements of the public had strongly criticized the plan for the revision, accusing the House of aiming to weaken and cripple the KPK's power to fight corruption.
Seven out of 10 factions at the House, lead by Jokowi's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), had pushed for the revisions. The other government-supporting parties include the National Awakening Party (PKB), the Golkar Party, the NasDem Party, the United Development Party (PPP), the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the People's Conscience Party (Hanura). The political factions opposing the revisions are the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), the Democratic Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhur Binsar Pandjaitan said Jokowi agreed to postpone the discussion following public protests.
The President agreed on the revisions, but was waiting for the right time, he said.
The postponement will be used to promote the four key points of the revisions. They include the establishment of an oversight council to monitor the antigraft body's performance, giving the KPK the authority to issue investigation termination warrants in corruption cases, requiring the KPK to obtain permits to conduct wiretaps and removing the KPK's ability to recruit its own investigators.
"The President wants the publicity to focus on the four points because we believe they are needed to strengthen the KPK," Luhut told journalists.
"Government wants to strengthen the role and the authority of the KPK."
The government planned to invite prominent figures opposing the revisions of the KPK Law, such as the professors who openly protested to Jokowi, Luhut added.
Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said that the promotion of the revisions was required amid contradictory public opinion to avoid any possible misunderstanding. (rin)
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