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Jakarta Post

Minister blames ‘corrupt mentality’ for tenacious regional graft

  • Haeril Halim

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, June 27, 2017   /   01:52 pm
Minister blames ‘corrupt mentality’ for tenacious regional graft Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly (left), Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo (second right) and Home Ministry Secretary General Yuswandi A. Temenggung (second left) attend a hearing with the House of Representatives' special committee on the deliberation of the election bill at the House in South Jakarta on May 24. (Antara/Wahyu Putro A)

Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo claims the government has done its best to create a prevention system amid rampant corruption, especially in regional and local administrations.

Tjahjo made the comments in response to the Corruption Eradication Commission's (KPK) recent arrest of Bengkulu Governor Ridwan Mukti for allegedly accepting Rp1.2 billion (US$90,063) in kickbacks related to infrastructure projects in the province.

Ridwan’s wife Lily Maddari as well as two businessmen have also been arrested and named suspects.

Read also: Bengkulu in spotlight for wrong reason

Ridwan, the chairman of the Golkar Party’s Bengkulu chapter, is the third Bengkulu governor to be charged with corruption.

Somewhat ironically, Ridwan took the initiative to invite the KPK to supervise and monitor his administration after learning that two of his predecessors had been charged with corruption, only months before the graft busters reportedly arrested him red-handed.

Bengkulu Governor Ridwan Mukti (second left) is escorted by Corruption Eradication Commission investigators at the headquarters of the antigraft body in Jakarta on June 20. (Antara/Hafidz Mubarak)

Tjahjo said it was not the bad system in the administration that had driven Ridwan to commit corruption but rather the "corrupt mentality" of public officials, a factor that was "difficult to curb using preventative measures."

“The Bengkulu case is a tough question, as it was known that the KPK was supervising the province. This is related to a corrupt mentality,” Tjahjo said recently at the Presidential Palace. He added that he hoped the arrest was a shock therapy for other local leaders.

Read also: Amid inquiry saga, tireless KPK makes fourth major arrest in June

Tjahjo said that since he was appointed minister in October 2014, he had invited the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) to supervise budgets in local administrations and established a better electronic procurement system as well as strengthen the role of internal supervision. (bbs)