Indonesia: KPK’s role in doubt as new law takes effect

  • 17 Oct 19 marks the day when the controversial revision to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law officially comes into effect, raising the question as to what will happen to the country’s leading corruption-fighting agency under the new legislation.
  • By default, the revised law takes effect 30 days after being passed by the House of Representatives as President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has yet to issue a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to revoke the bill.
  • Ifdhal Kasim from the Office of the Presidential Staff said on 16 Oct 19 that the President was still considering several matters before making any decision with regard to the KPK Law revision.
  • “The President still needs to talk with representatives of all political parties before taking the decision. However, this talk has yet to take place because of Pak Jokowi’s tight schedule ahead of his inauguration,” Ifdhal told The Jakarta Post on 16 Oct 19.
  • Aside from issuing the Perppu, he added that the President could take other measures, including pushing for a judicial review at the Constitutional Court.
  • “According to the new law, KPK commissioners are no longer investigators and prosecutors; thus, there might be no operation to arrest officials suspected of committing corruption anymore,” KPK chief, Agus Rahardjo said on 15 Oct 19, as quoted by Antara news agency.
  • Another KPK commissioner, Laode Muhammad Syarif, said the new law might leave the antigraft body in limbo as the supervisory council had yet to be formed.
  • “We can still use the existing law to perform our duties given the lack of such a council, so we can still perform our duty of, among other things, wiretapping and raids against graft suspects,” Laode told journalists recently.
  • “However, we still hope the President could delay the signing of the revision by issuing the Perppu or some other way, because the revised law is dubious,” he went on to say.

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