Parliament ratifies controversial revisions to law governing Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission

Protesters forming a human chain in front of the KPK office and holding up a sign that reads, “KPK: birthed by President Megawati, dead in President Jokowi’s hands?” on September 6, 2019. Photo: KPK.go.id
Protesters forming a human chain in front of the KPK office and holding up a sign that reads, “KPK: birthed by President Megawati, dead in President Jokowi’s hands?” on September 6, 2019. Photo: KPK.go.id

The House of Representatives (DPR) today ratified revisions to the law governing the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) that have been met with widespread public resistance over fears that they would cripple the independent agency’s graft-fighting abilities.

The Revisions to Law no. 30/2002 on KPK (RUU KPK) was passed into law at a plenary session today without much fuss, just 13 days after it was first officially tabled for deliberation at the DPR.

As reported by Tirto, seven factions, namely PDI-P, Golkar, Nasdem, Hanura, PPP, PKB and PAN (all of which, excluding PAN, are part of the government coalition) approved RUU KPK without any objections. Opposition parties PKS and Gerindra disapproved of RUU KPK’s passing based on objections to several of its points, while the Democrats approved RUU KPK despite having some objections.

102 members of the DPR, out of a total of 575, attended the plenary session to vote.

RUU KPK contains nine seriously problematic issues that anti-corruption activists say would prevent the agency from fulfilling its mission. 

Among those issues, the revision calls for an “oversight council” to monitor the KPK’s performance, removing its independent status by making it a government body, requiring KPK investigators to obtain permits from the oversight council to conduct wiretaps, and the removal of the KPK’s ability to recruit its own investigators.

President Joko Widodo’s commitment to fight corruption came into question when he issued a presidential letter (Surpres) last week approving continued deliberations on RUU KPK when many expected him to stop it in its tracks.

It appears that little to no deliberations were done since the government and DPR yesterday agreed on all of the points contained in RUU KPK, including articles on the aforementioned problematic issues.

Furthermore, in today’s DPR plenary session, Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, who was appointed by Jokowi in his Surpres to represent the government in deliberations on RUU KPK, conveyed the president’s hope for its ratification.

“Please allow us to represent the president in saying thanks, as the president approves of the Revision to Law no. 30/2002 on the Corruption Eradication Commission to be passed into law,” he said.

DPR Deputy Speaker Fahri Hamzah said the public are welcome to file a legal challenge against RUU KPK with the Constitutional Court.

Read the latest Coconuts Jakarta stories here

Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast

Leave a Reply

Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on
MOST POPULAR