The year 2019 should have been celebrated as the 20-year milestone for Indonesia’s fight against corruption. Instead, it may be largely remembered as the year the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and antigraft activists fought a losing battle.
This year, Indonesia witnessed the enactment of a revised law that would defang the antigraft body. 2019 brought some good news too – but only for a high-profile graft defendant who was freed of all charges and a handful of graft convicts who had their sentences reduced.
Twenty years ago, the country enacted its first anticorruption law in the Reform Era: Law No. 31/1999, which formally classified corruption as an extraordinary crime. The law brought hope for the nation, which had just freed itself from 32 years of the corrupt New Order regime.
The law was followed by the formation of the KPK in 2...
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