New Indonesian Anticorruption Chief Seeks to Build Trust In KPK

The new acting chief of the Corruption Eradication Commission on Tuesday insisted that the antigraft body would remain independent and able to resist any attempts to interfere in its work. Tumpak Hatorangan Panggabean said he was well aware of the skepticism regarding the independence of the commission, known as the KPK, created by his appointment and those of two other commissioners. “The KPK is an independent institution. All five of us will ensure that the KPK will not be subject to intervention by anyone in any way,” Tumpak said after being sworn in. Tumpak, a former KPK deputy chief, Mas Achmad Santosa and Waluyo were all sworn in as interim commissioners at the State Palace on Tuesday, with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in attendance. They joined KPK deputy chiefs Muhammad Jasin and Haryono Umar to form the leadership of the anti-graft body. The appointment of the three new commissioners has stirred controversy. Yudhoyono issued a presidential regulation authorizing the temporary replacements of three suspended commissioners, a move that some lawmakers complained skirted legal procedures for selecting KPK commissioners. This followed the automatic suspension of two commissioners who were charged with abuse of power by the police, and a third who is facing a murder trial. Critics say the abuse of power charges are intended to weaken the KPK. On Tuesday, Tumpak vowed that the new commissioners would enforce five principles: legal certainty, public interest, transparency, accountability and proportionality. Santosa said the new commissioners would make it a priority to restore the public’s trust in the KPK, and reignite the KPK’s mission of aggressively fighting corruption. He said they would seek to work with other law enforcement agencies, particularly the police and public prosecutors. The commission will also seek support from the executive and legislative branches, he said. “Let us prove ourselves by our actions first,” Santosa said. Waluyo said the KPK would pursue all corruption cases supported by strong evidence until they were resolved. “We agreed to go directly to the KPK office to start working,” said Waluyo, a former KPK deputy. Jasin noted that the three interim commissioners sworn in on Tuesday had all previously served in the commission, just as the remaining two KPK commissioners had suggested regarding the appointments of interim members. The three interim commissioners were short-listed by a team made up of two government ministers, two human rights lawyers and one former KPK chairman. The new commissioners held a closed door meeting after the ceremony and unanimously chose Tumpak to become the acting KPK chief. Tumpak said Santosa and Jasin will focus on investigation and prosecuting corruption, while Waluyo and Haryono will focus on prevention. Teten Masduki, the secretary general of Transparency International Indonesia, said the three new members were “the safest choice to stop speculation that the president was trying to install someone he could control.” However, Teten said such speculation would persist unless the KPK prosecuted major graft cases, particularly the Bank Century case, which allegedly involves a senior police officer and a major contributor to Yudhoyono’s election campaign.

Recommended Posts :