President Joko Widodo and VP Jusuf Kalla Lead Cabinet Meeting - Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – During the 2014 Presidential Election campaign, Joko Widodo brought new optimism to the public when he stated his plan to launch a large-scale anti-corruption campaign if elected. He stated that corruption could seriously disrupt the country’s social, cultural, economic and democratic system.

But President Widodo’s anti-corruption commitment was challenged and the surrounding environment became an actor and was sent to prison by the Corruption Eradication Commission (CEC). Starting from the ranks of the work cabinet whose people were chosen by the president to the members of his supporting party in parliament.

Idrus Marham, a former Minister of Social Affairs and a senior official of the Golkar Party, is Widodo’s first minister who was involved in a corruption case. He was named a suspect in October 2018 then after being proven involved in a case of embezzlement related to a power plant in Riau.

After going through a series of trials, Marham was sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday and fined Rp150 million (US$10.71 million), two months in prison. He was guilty of receiving Rp2.25 billion in bribes from businessman Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo. Marham was guilty of violating Article 11 of the Law on the Eradication of Crime of Corruption in conjunction with Article 55 paragraph 1 of the first Criminal Code.

“Declaring the defendant Idrus Marham has been proven legally and convincingly according to the law guilty of committing a criminal act of corruption that was carried out jointly,” said chief judge Yanto when reading the verdict in a hearing at the Jakarta Corruption Court, Tuesday (04/23).

In addition to Marham, the name of the Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita was called involved in the case that ensnared members of the Golkar faction Bowo Sidik Pangarso. In his remarks during his trial last Friday, he claimed to get Rp2 billion from Minister Lukita to secure Minister of Trade Regulation No.16/M-DAG/PER/3/2017 concerning Trade in Refined Crystal Sugar through the Commodity Auction Market, which will apply end of June 2017.

Pangarso said that the money later became part of the Rp8 billion money that was included in the 400 thousand envelopes for money politics in the April 17 election. The Golkar politician has been named a suspect in a bribery case for fertilizer transportation cooperation between PT Pupuk Indonesia Logistik and PT Humpuss Transportasi Kimia. The anti-graft commission said it would study Pangarso’s testimony and not rule out the possibility of summoning and examining Minister Lukita.

Look back, last March, the name of the Minister of Religion Lukman Hakim Saifuddin was also mentioned in a corruption case of buying and selling positions at the religious ministry with suspects Persatuan Pembangunan Party Chairperson Romahurmuziy. The anti-graft commission will summon Minister Saifuddin regarding the amount of money seized from his work office during the search. Although up to now, the CEC has not yet confirmed the date of its inspection. Romahurmuziy is the steering committee on the winning team of Widodo-Amin in the 2019 Presidential Election. He was seen close to Widodo on various occasions especially after the party he led entered the Widodo support coalition.

The name of the Minister of Youth and Sports Imam Nahrawi was also never empty of reports about corruption. He was mentioned in a corruption case for the 2018 Indonesian National Sports Committee grant. According to the CEC’ prosecutor, Nahrawi’s name was on the list of recipients of bribes totaling Rp3.4 billion. Except for Nahrawi, who until now has not been questioned, a number of officials in this ministry have been named suspects.

Even the Minister of Home Affairs, Tjahjo Kumolo, also had to go back and forth to the CEC office because he was examined as a witness in the bribery case of the Meikarta project. Kumolo was questioned after the non-active regent of Bekasi, Neneng Hasanah Yasin said that he was asked by the Minister to help the Meikarta project. Yasin became a suspect after being arrested the CEC received funding for the management of the Meikarta residential and office complex permits.

In addition to the Ministers, corruption cases in Indonesia during the Widodo administration were dominated by officials in the legislature. Based on data from the CEC, there were 103 members of the House of Representative who were caught in corruption cases throughout 2018. The number was the highest compared to other officials/private sector. House members who were caught in corruption cases throughout 2004-2018 amounted to 247 peoples, the most compared to others. As for 2018 officials/private sector caught by the anti-graft commission reached 260 peoples.

Indonesia Corruption Watch noted, on average the cases of alleged corruption handled by law enforcers in the 2015-2018 period amounted to 576 cases with the number of suspects reaching 1,298 people and state losses of Rp4.17 trillion per year. The highest number of the prosecution was recorded in 2017, reaching 392 cases with actors as 1,153 suspects. One of the CEC investigators, Novel Baswedan had experienced watering hard water two years ago and until now there has been no bright spot on who did it.

1US$=RP14.000

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com

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