Presidential candidates all tainted by corruption: TII [02/06/04]

Transparency International Indonesia (TII) said here on Tuesday that none of the presidential candidates were untainted by from corruption, collusion and nepotism, even though they all claimed they were going to take action against these problems.

We can see that the five presidential candidates have histories of involvement in corruption, especially those who served in past governments, said Emmy Hafild, the secretary-general of TII.

Emmy said the eradication of corruption would be a major issue during the campaign, with the candidates making various pious promises in a bid to woo the voters.

However, in TII's view none of the presidential candidates were serious about eradicating corruption.

According to Emmy, the effort to eradicate corruption must come from society. For example, the private sector must stand united against all forms of bribery.

She said that TII was encouraging the growth of antibribery communities in various parts of Indonesia.

Emmy, who is also known as an environmental activist, denied that corruption had become part of Indonesian culture, and thus very hard to eliminate. She claimed that bribery did not exist after the independence war or in the 1950s.

Corruption has been flourishing since the New Order era up to now. Therefore, it's not right to say it's part of Indonesian culture, she said.

A survey conducted by TII showed that the worst offenders for bribery in Indonesia were the police, and the customs and excise service.

Source: The Jakarta Post, June 2, 2004

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