The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has decided to skip for the first time in his presidency an event commemorating International Anticorruption Day on Monday organized by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), opting to send Vice President Ma’ruf Amin instead.
Jokowi himself attended a performance commemorating the anticorruption day at SMKN 57 state vocational high school in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, on Monday morning.
When asked why he did not attend the KPK event, Jokowi said he was merely “delegating”.
“Every year, I attend [the KPK’s event] but Pak Ma’ruf hasn’t had the opportunity, so [I’m delegating the] work. Why should I be the one to go every year?” he told reporters at the school.
He went on to say that he was still “evaluating” the possibility of issuing a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to overturn the controversial KPK law revision that was passed in September.
“Up to this second, we are still observing [and] considering, but the law has not yet gone into motion. Later, when it is complete, when there is a supervisory council and there is new KPK leadership, we will evaluate it,” he said.
KPK leaders previously said they hoped that Jokowi would attend its anticorruption event, especially as the current leadership’s term ended this month.
“[We hoped he would come] so we can shake hands for the last time, shake hands with the five of us. If it’s possible, we would like to hug the President,” KPK deputy chairman Saut Situmorang said on Sunday as quoted by kompas.com.
The relationship between the President and the antigraft body has been tense in the past few months, with the Jokowi administration approving a number of policies that experts and activists say will weaken the KPK, leading some to question Jokowi's commitment to the fight against corruption.
Saut, alongside KPK chairman Agus Rahardjo and commissioner Laode Muhammad Syarif, has even joined members of the public in lodging a petition for a judicial review challenging the revised KPK law under their own names, not on behalf of the antigraft body. (kmt)