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Jakarta Post

Great power, greater graft

  • Editorial board

    Jakarta

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Thu, March 4 2021   /  01:00 am
South Sulawesi governor Nurdin Abdullah (left) arrives at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) headquarter in Jakarta on Feb. 27, 2021. Graft busters arrest Nurdin and five other individuals in an alleged corruption case in South Sulawesi. (Antara/Dhemas Reviyanto)

It should not take an angel or a saint to be a government official in any country but as things now stand in Indonesia, before long only a saint will be able to stay in office and not be thrown into jail for corruption before the end of his term. The arrest of South Sulawesi Governor Nurdin Abdullah by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is another example of how even the best politician with a clean and progressive track record can face graft charges. Nurdin rose to prominence thanks to his reform-minded programs as the regent of Bantaeng, where he set up a new healthcare system, created jobs in agriculture and industry, while also implementing a merit-based system in local bureaucracy. For all those achievements during his two terms as regent between 2008 and 2018, he won the prestigious Bung Hatta anticorruption award. His arrest was shocking, yet it was also familiar. ...