The Jakarta Post
Antigraft activists have criticized the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for discussing a salary increase for its leadership even as polls show declining public faith in the antigraft agency.
KPK spokesperson Ali Fikri said the KPK had conducted a virtual meeting with the Law and Human Rights Ministry on May 29 to discuss a revision of the government regulation on the salaries of the KPK chairman and his four deputy deputies.
Ali said the KPK did not initiate the meeting to discuss the raise.
“Out of respect for the invitation [from the Law and Human Rights Ministry], we attended the meeting and delivered the chairperson’s direction that the discussion be left entirely to the government whether the preparation [for the salary raise] will continue,” Ali said in a written statement on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, the antigraft watchdog Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) criticized the fact that the KPK had discussed the raise directly with the ministry as it posed “huge potential for a conflict of interest.”
ICW activist Kurnia Ramadhana said that any salary increase would not be proportional to their performance, citing a recent survey from Jakarta-based pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia that found that public faith in the KPK had declined by seven percentage points to 74.3 percent compared with 81.3 percent in February.
“The decline in public trust cannot be separated from the leadership of [KPK chair] Firli Bahuri, which has been severely lacking in achievement. The public has seen too many controversies from the KPK,” Kurnia said in a written statement published on Tuesday.
He added that the salary should not be raised during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“As public officials, the KPK leaders must understand and realize that the handling of the COVID-19 outbreak requires an enormous allocation of funds, so now is not the time to think about yourself with this request for a raise,” he said.
Kurnia urged KPK leaders to publicly reject the pay rise deliberation, adding that the raise should be given to the next elected chair and commissioners if discussions were to continue.
Government Regulation No. 82/2015 stipulates a monthly income of Rp 123.9 million (US$8,783) for the KPK chair, comprising a Rp 5 million base salary and Rp 118.9 million in benefits. The four deputy chairs each receive Rp 112.6 million monthly, consisting of a base salary of Rp 4.6 million and Rp 108 million in benefits.