Indonesia: KPK faces uncertain future as new law takes effect

  • The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is bracing for the possibility of major hurdles to its graft-busting operations following the enactment of the revised KPK Law and the reappointment of Yasonna Laoly as the law and human rights minister.
  • The revised KPK Law took effect by default on 17 Oct 19, 30 days after being passed by the House of Representatives, although President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has yet to sign the bill as of 23 Oct 19.
  • Law and Human Rights Ministry Legislation Director General Widodo Ekatjahjana said the government had enacted the bill into Law No. 19/2019 on corruption.
  • The President is yet to issue a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to revoke the revised law, which strips the KPK of some of its law-enforcement powers.
  • However, the odds that a Perppu will be issued appear to have slimmed after Jokowi reappointed Yasonna Laoly as the law and human rights minister in his new Cabinet. In his first term, Yasonna – an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician – adamantly opposed pressure from civil society groups for the President to issue the Perppu.
  • Despite the hurdles, KPK chairman Agus Rahardjo asserted that the KPK’s ongoing investigations into several graft cases “will continue at least until the end of current KPK leaders’ term”.
  • The antigraft body is currently investigating several corruption cases implicating high-profile figures, such as former youth and sports minister Imam Nahrawi and Bambang Irianto, the former president director of the now-defunct Pertamina Energy Trading Ltd (Petral).

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