Anti-Corruption Weekly Digest: Update November 2-6, 2015

Gratification in the medical profession

A story recently surfaced about gratification that passed from pharmaceutical companies to physicians. According to a report by Tempo, there are extensive collusions between pharmaceutical companies and physicians in order to prescribe specific medications for patients. These stories raised the question: can physicians be charged with the Law on Corruption Crimes?

According to Tempo, PT Interbat allegedly distributed Rp 131 billion of cash to physicians during the last three years, 2013-2015, in a bid to make them prescribe drugs produced by Interbat. This sum of money were distributed to 2,125 physicians and 151 major hospitals in 5 provinces: Jakarta, Banten, West Java, East Java and South Sulawesi. Tempo's investigations revealed that a physician can receive between Rp 5 million up to Rp 2,5 billion.

Indonesian Corruption Act under its articles 12B and 12C detailed about the act of gratification. These articles prohibit state apparatus or civil servants from receiving gratification. When they received gratification, they are obliged to submit what they have received to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) within 30 days. Otherwise, their act of receiving gratification would be construed as bribery, liable for a criminal sanction between four to twenty years in prison. The Interbat case sparked a public controversy, particularly among the medical profession, of whether medical doctors are counted as civil servants as referred to by the Law on Corruption Crimes.

The definition of civil servants in Indonesia is not limited to anyone working for and received stipends from the state. It also encompass anyone appointed from a selection based on general regulations (article 92 of the Criminal Code/KUHP). According to Law No. 29 of 2004, medical doctors can only open practice when they have obtained a Certificate of Registration (STR) from the Indonesian Council of Doctors (KKI), an institution that answers directly to the President. Simply put, a physician may not take medical measures, including prescription of drugs, without state authorization from KKI. Ergo, medical doctors are classified as civil servants by this definition.

In fact, especially within the domain of the Health Ministry, regulations are even more technical. Physicians are bound by Minister's Decree No. 4/2014 about gratification control under the domain of the Health Ministry, which specified that Health Ministry Apparatus have an obligation to report any form of gratification received.

This Decree defined Health Ministry Apparatus as encompassing state officials, civil servants, government employees, and other workers within the domain of the Health Ministry. So what about the physicians? They are included as they work within the domain of the Health Ministry.

The main point of the Minister's Decree is to strongly prohibit Health Ministry Apparatus to receive gratification that is considered as bribery. Among others, this include product marketing fees, cash back for personal interest, gratification on procurement or any other authority, and sponsorship on marketing or research of a product. Additionally, the Minister's Decree also established a special Gratification Control Unit (UPG) within the Ministry, which is intended to enforce prevention of corruption.

The regulations enforced in the Law on Corruption Crimes and the Health Minister's Decree No 14/2014 have positioned the profession of medical doctors as a subject that can be charged with corruption crimes, whether they are state (civil servant) or private physicians. Should there be sufficient evidence of any physician receiving gratification, then law enforcement officers like the National Police, Attorney General's Office or KPK can begin a legal process.***

Criminalizing electoral observers

For Ronny Maryanto, the 2014 election was not a celebration of democracy. The national jubilation turned out to be the beginning of his predicament. Now, Ronny – an election observer from the Committee for Investigation and Eradication of Corruption, Collusion and Nepotism (KP2KKN) in Semarang, Central Java – must face legal charges.

Ronny's story began when he filed a report of money politics practice implicating the Vice Chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR) Fadli Zon to the Electoral Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu) of Semarang. Accordingly, Panwaslu followed up on his report, and south after witnesses that received money around Pasar Bulu area. Thereafter, Panwaslu halted their investigation when they were unable to find money politics recipients to testify.

Ronny took it upon himself and went to Pasar Bulu to find witnesses. He actually found the recipients of money politics packages from Fadli Zon along with evidence of Prabowo-Hatta campaign posters for last year's Election (as described during the Electoral Supervisory Board – Bawaslu press conference, November 5, 2015).

Soon after, Ronny was placed at the other end of a counter report about libel filed at the Police Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim). Ronny was charged with article 310 of the Criminal Code about defamation and article 311 about slander. This report was swiftly processed that on Nov 11, police declared dossiers to be complete (P21) and was submitted to the Attorney General's Office for prosecution. At the same time, Fadli Zon spoke to the media and claimed to have no knowledge about the case and have even forgotten about the original report.

This affair proves to be another ugly precedent in facilitating public participation on election monitoring. The people will fear criminalization when they take a stand and actively report allegations of electoral misconduct. According to Donal Fariz, Coordinator of Political Corruption Unit at Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), public observer have a good chance to be charged with defamation, which he describe as a rubber article. Donal also strongly refused a suggestion from Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo to file another counter report against Fadli Zon using the same article – defamation.

In roughly one month, the people will participate in another celebration of democracy during the regional elections (pilkada). Public participation would be essential to ensure a good election to find competent leaders. The criminalizing case against Ronny should not continue, it need to stop. The President need to intervene with a stern warning to the Attorney General and a firm instruction for the Police and Attorney General's Office to prioritize reports of electoral violation instead of defamation cases.

The parallel regional election is getting closer. The public believes that protection of their rights to participate and to take a stand against any electoral violation encountered can save the upcoming election from corruption.***


  • 37 candidates of ad-hoc judges at the corruption court have questionable track records -

  • Members of the House of Representatives (DPR) masked their scheme on a new Rp 740 billion compound construction project that was eventually passed by the government for the 2016 State Budget (APBN) -

  • Indications of corruption sniffed in the forestry sector as 192 elaeis oil palm companies found to violate Provincial Spatial Plan (RTRWP) and Gov Regulation No 60/2012 –

  • Awareness campaigns about the dangers of corruption must begin at an early age within the family.

  • Anti-corruption activist in Semarang named as suspect of a defamation case filed by Fadli Zon.


November 2

  • Rio Capella seek status as justice collaborator

  • Provincial Attorney General (Kejati) of Bangka Belitung terminated (SP3) investigation on alleged corruption of a Steam Power Plant (PLTU) construction project in Air Anyir Village, District of Merawang.

  • CEO of Pelindo II, RJ Lino, missed his examination as witness in alleged corruption of mobile crane procurement at the company.

November 3

  • Non-active North Sumatera Governor Gatot Pujo Nugroho was named as suspect by the Attorney General Office (Kejagung) in an alleged misappropriation of Social Aid in 2012-2013 at the Provincial Administration.

  • Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors charged Adriansyah, a member of the House of Representatives for 2014-2019, with 5 years and 3 months in prison and a fine of Rp 250 million.

November 4

  • KPK again named North Sumatera Governor Gatot Pujo Nugroho as suspect in an alleged bribery for five members of the Provincial Representatives Council (DPRD) for 2009-2014.

November 5

  • KPK named five members of DPRD Sumatera Utara (2009-2014) as suspects for receiving bribery from Governor Gatot Pujo Nugroho.

November 6

  • Police Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim) questioned three witnesses in the alleged corruption of mobile crane procurement at Pelindo II.


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