Wednesday’s arrest of Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) shocked many in the highly conservative province, which is also the only one in Indonesia given special autonomy to enact sharia-based laws. The head of the Aceh chapter of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) said his group both supported the KPK and, should Irwandi be found guilty of corruption, giving Irwandi the same kind of brutal punishment that thieves in Saudi Arabia receive.
“Even though those arrested come from the Porch of Mecca (as Aceh is sometimes referred to) the KPK need not hesitate because not all people are righteous in the Porch of Mecca, some are evil, so if there is evidence (of his corruption), just cut off his hand as a lesson to others,” said FPI Aceh Chairman Tengku Muslim At-tahiry in a statement to Detik today.
Although only FPI — the infamous hardliner group known for protesting against everything from politicians and pluralism to Lady Gaga and baby camels — has advocated that Irwandi lose his hand over his alleged corruption, many netizens inside and out of Aceh argued that the region’s controversial use of public caning as a punishment for sharia-based crimes such as adultery and homosexuality, should also be applied to corruptors.
The KPK arrested Irwandi and nine other people, including Bener Meriah Regent Ahmadi, in Aceh’s capital city of Banda Aceh on Wednesday in relation to a corruption investigation. Irwandi and Ahmadi were questioned at Aceh Provincial Police headquarters before being flown to Jakarta yesterday morning. They are both currently being detained at KPK headquarters. Commission officials say Irwandi is suspected of receiving an IDR500 million bribe (US$35,000) from Ahmadi related to the 2018 Aceh Marathon.