Save KPK

KPK (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – the Corruption Eradication Commission) is a national treasure born from the womb of reforms that must not be undermined by anyone including the reformers. Corruption eradication done by KPK becomes the mode of public welfare. But until now, attempts to weaken the KPK continue. The anti-corruption body formed by the spirit to fight systematic corruption in Indonesia, since its establishment has faced the challenges that come surging, especially from pro-status quo groups (corruption beneficiaries).

Those eager to trim KPK’s authority come from various backgrounds, including DPR politicians (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – House of Representatives of the Indonesian Republic), businessmen, elite law enforcement, lawyers, and political party elites. A number of political parties in Senayan (the area of Jakarta where DPR is located), by virtue of legislation is now actively encouraging the revision of the Act N0.30, 2002 on the KPK. This effort has been quite successful with the inclusion of the revised agenda for prolegnas (Program Legislasi Nasional – National Legislation Program) in 2016 and the approval of this agenda in the DPR Legislation Council meeting.

Efforts to revise a regulation usually intend to strengthen or improve the previous regulation. However, this is different from the planned revision of the KPK Law prepared by DPR. The entire draft revision of the KPK Law (3rd edition) intends to weaken KPK and the anti-corruption agenda. In terms of substance, the revision includes crucial points that could potentially weaken the KPK and the eradication of corruption.

It is strongly suspected that the proposed revision of the KPK Law is a consolidation of the status quo that has interests to dissolve KPK, with a wide variety of underlying causes. It could be that they are prisoners of KPK, political and economic brokers do not move freely because of KPK’s radar, and political adventurers and elite law enforcement officers who feel that KPK is a major threat to the legal authorities who benefit from a corrupt system.

All corruption should be fought by the community. The spirit of anti-corruption in Yogyakarta has been echoed since before the reform. One of the loudest voices was the journalist Udin, who wrote a lot of news on corruption, including misappropriation of government program funds. The public is entitled to know about the running of the national government, because it will have a direct impact on people’s lives, including efforts to destroy KPK through the revision of the KPK Law.

There are four crucial points in the draft revision of the KPK Law which could cripple KPK. First, the establishment of the supervisory board which has a number of powers that can inhibit the performance of KPK, such as wiretapping and seizures must be authorized by the supervisory board. Until now KPK has not needed permission to do so, which is what has made its seizures effective. Besides members of the Supervisory Board are selected and appointed by the President. It is feared the magnitude of the intervention of the President to decide who will sit on the Supervisory Board of KPK will facilitate political intervention on KPK. Whereas KPK must be independent.

Second, related to wiretapping. Apart from having the permission of the Supervisory Board, tapping can only be done at the investigation stage. This will constrain KPK enforcement actions and make it difficult for KPK to react quickly to information about bribery and catch people in the act. This proposal describes DPR’s plan to narrow the space for KPK in performing its functions, especially at catching people in the act, a strategy that characterizes KPK.

Third, related to investigators and KPK investigators. In the draft revision of the KPK Law, KPK can not appoint investigators and senior investigators independently. KPK may only recruit investigators from the police. While at the level of senior investigators, KPK may only recruit police, prosecutors, and civil servants. So it is not possible for KPK to recruit independent investigators and senior investigators outside of these three elements. This concept makes KPK only an extension of conventional institutions, namely the police, which has been powerless against corruption.

Fourth, KPK can stop the investigation and prosecution of corruption cases (through warrants to terminate investigations called SP3 – surat perintah penghentian penyidikan). One of the features of the current KPK is no mechanism for the issuance of SP3 and prosecution (Article 40 of the Law Commission). This is one of the parameters that assures the quality of case handling in KPK must be it must be ensured at the level of investigation is very mature and has been evidenced also by proving guilt in court that achieve the perfect figure (100% conviction rate). But KPK’s success story seeks to be amended by DPR by revising article 40 that KPK is authorized to issue a SP3 for the investigation and prosecution of corruption cases. The authority to issue SP3 would bring KPK to a level of authority that is not dissimilar to the Police and the Attorney General and could be misused to stop certain cases. Therefore, we demand that:

1. All factions in the DPR cancel a planned discussion of the revision of KPK Law throughout the plenary session of the Parliament
2. The President Joko Widodo
– refuse to discuss the revision of the KPK Law together with DPR (not issued a presidential letter) and removed from Prolegnas 2015-2019
– be wary of maneuverability and quiet operation done by people in his immediate environment, especially those that have the ambition to master the economic and political sectors to push down KPK through a revision of the KPK Act
3. Society should punish the political parties supporting the revision of laws that undermine the KPK by not selecting a candidate who carried the party into direct Regional Head Election 2017

Yogyakarta, February 16, 2016

Yogyakarta Anticorruption Civil Society Coalition (clerical, culture, academia, NGOs, practitioners, journalists, women’s corruption, the organization with disabilities, advocates, students and Udin Untu Society Coalition (K @ MU)

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