Fighting Back Attempts to Weaken the KPK
Since the Commission for the Eradication of Corruption (KPK) was founded in 2003, attempts to weaken this institution has been made many times, in many ways. One of the more prominent attempts is through the legislative process, by demanding a revision to the Law No. 30 of 2002 (Revision of KPK Law).
The attempt to revise the KPK Law has begun in 2011. The attempt became more aggressively done by the government and the Parliament in 2015. In that year, discussions on the revision of the Law were done in June, October and December.
In the text of the revision, ICW has noted at least seventeen crucial items that potentially weaken the KPK. These include a limitation of KPK’s work to a 12-year period, eliminating the authority of prosecution, giving the authority to order an investigation to be stopped, reducing the authority of wiretapping, limiting the process of investigator recruitment and limiting the number of corruption cases handled.
If the Revision of KPK Law is enacted, it is not only the KPK that is threatened, but the entire agenda of coruption eradication in Indonesia. Fortunately due to numerous rejection, the process of discussion of the Revision of KPK Law failed to be done until the end of 2015.
The failure of the attempt to weaken the KPK through the Revision of KPK Law is inseparable from several activities by the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) along with various elements of society. These are demonstrations, discussions and joint statements, gathering public support through petitioning rejection of the Revision, and conducting audiences with the relevant parties.
A series of ICW demonstrations with the Coalition include a satire demonstration of “laying the first stone of the construction of the KPK Museum” on October 8, 2015, celebrating the International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9 by hanging a giant banner in front of the House of Representatives as a form of criticism against the Parliament who tried to weaken KPK by revising the KPK Law. Finally, on December 17, 2015, a flower bouquet was placed in front of the KPK building as a sign of grief.
Discussions and statements involving the media on the revision of the KPK Law were regularly conducted in 2015. Audiences to encourage rejection of the weakening of KPK were also conducted, for example with the Chairman of the Regional Representative Council (February 2015), Chairman of Muhammadiyah Central Executive Board (September 2015) and representatives of the Democratic Party (October 2015).
To rally public support, ICW with Bagus Suryo (an alumnus of ICW’s Anti-Corruption School) made a campaign in the form of an online petition “Do not Kill KPK, Stop the Revision of KPK Law”. By the end of December 2015, this petition has been signed by at least 50 thousand people. Although in 2015 the attempts to weaken the KPK were successfully thwarted, various parties still have to continue guarding the effort. This is because the legislation process of the revision of KPK Law did not stop, but continuing in 2016.
In January 2016, as many as 150 professors from various universities raised support for the rejection of the revision of the KPK Law. They sent a letter of rejection of the revision of the KPK Law to President Jokowi as input from academics. Finally on February 22, 2016, President Jokowi expressed the government’s stance of delaying the discussion of the revision of the KPK Law.
“I appreciate the process of political dynamics in the House of Representatives, especially in the draft revision of the Corruption Eradication Commission Law. Regarding the plan to revise the KPK Law, we agree that this revision should not be discussed at this time,” said President Jokowi.***
Kelompok masyarakat sipil melakukan aksi "Tolak Bala" di depan Gedung Merah-Putih KPK, 20 Desember 2019, menjelang pelantikan Pimpinan KPK dan Dewan Pengawas KPK Terpilih (Dok. ICW)
The participants of the Public Procurement Monitoring Training, representatives from local CSOs and journalists. Photo: NPPA, 2019