Tag Archives: ICW

PDIP endorses Teten Masduki for West Java Vice-Governor

Today PDIP endorsed Rieke Diah Pitaloka and Teten Masduki as Governor and Vice-Governor, respectively, in West Java’s gubernatorial elections.  Teten Masduki is one of the founders of Indonesia Corruption Watch and was, until very recently, the Secretary-General of Transparency International Indonesia.  Rieke, a former “artis”, became a national parliamentarian with PDIP in 2009.  They are both from West Java.  It’ll be very interesting to see how they perform in the elections, which are scheduled for next February.

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Komisi III Intervention: Soemarmo Edition

Kompas.com reported on an example of Commission III for legal affairs directly intervening in legal proceedings.  The quote from Emerson Yuntho, from ICW, captures the general concern of Commission III intervention in corruption cases:

“Alasan pemindahan sidang biasanya kalau ada kondisi keamanan, kondisi politik, atau alasan/pertimbangan lain yang membuat proses tidak fair. Tidak ada yang salah dengan pemindahan sidang. Yang menjadi pertanyaan kenapa Komisi III mempersoalkan hal itu. Saya agak khawatir Komisi III membela kepentingan koruptor,” kata Wakil Koordinator Badan Pekerja Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) Emerson Yuntho dalam perbincangan dengan Kompas, Sabtu (2/6/2012).

Original article here: DPR Dinilai Intervensi Kasus Soemarmo.

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ICW Annual Corruption Monitoring Report for 2011

ICW released its annual corruption monitoring report two weeks back.  The report includes data on actors, sectors, the modus operandi, the institution or agency involved, location, the legal response, and makes recommendations.  Overall they identified 436 corruption cases involving 1,053 suspects.  The estimated state losses totalled Rp. 2.2 Trillion or approximately $245 million.  Suspects were most commonly civil servants, contractors or regional parliamentarians.  The highest numbers of cases were in the education and regional finance sectors; whereas the highest total state losses were in the government investment (presumably infrastructure) and regional finance sectors.

Here’s the presentation summarizing the report:

The report mostly uses national and local newspapers sources to track cases and their outcomes as well data from KPK, the Police and State Prosecutor’s Office.  This is done through a network of local anti-corruption NGOs to collate newspaper.  I’m only familiar with KP2KKN’s media archive for Central Java which is excellent for the past 3-4 years.  I too am using local newspapers to build a database of local corruption cases from 2000 until 2010 for two provinces–East Java and North Sumatra–which I hope to make publicly available when the cleaning is complete.

Thanks to Adnan for sending me the report.  ICW’s website is: www.antikorupsi.org


Danang on Corruption and Party Financing

This week Danang Widoyoko, a Coordinator at ICW, in a op-ed in the Semarang based Suara Merdeka drew attention to the link between corruption and party financing, including election campaign funds and day-to-day operational costs.  Full op-ed available here.

OF recent uncovered corruption scandals, most relate to politics such as the athletes village, bribery at the Ministry of Manpower and the traveler’s checks bribery case [relating to the appointment of Miranda Goeltem to the Central Bank].  These all relate to funding of political parties, both for election campaign and every political party operational costs.

Similarly, cases of corruption involving the regional heads almost always relate to winning local elections. Direct elections involve great costs.  It is an investment that must be returned. Given that the large cost of winning is not comparable with official income received, then graft is necessary.  No matter how much his salary, it will not be able to cover expenses that run to 10-100 billion rupiah ($1-10 million).

DARI sejumlah skandal korupsi yang terbongkar, sebagian besar terkait politik seperti kasus wisma atlet, suap di Kemenakertrans dan kasus cek pelawat. Muaranya untuk pendanaan parpol, baik untuk kampanye, operasional pemilu atau operasional partai politik sehari-hari.

Demikian juga kasus korupsi yang melibatkan kepala daerah, hampir semuanya terkait dengan pemenangan pemilihan kepala daerah (pilkada). Pilkada langsung membutuhkan ongkos besar. Itu adalah investasi yang harus dikembalikan. Karena besarnya ongkos pemenangan tidak sebanding dengan penghasilan resmi yang diterima, maka korupsi menjadi pilihan. Sebesar apa pun gajinya tidak akan mampu menutupi pengeluaran yang mencapai puluhan hingga ratusan miliar rupiah.

This problem is not unique to Indonesia.  The United States is struggling to deal with the corrupting influence of money on American election campaigns and thus American policy making.  Here’s an interesting idea from the Massachusetts senate campaign, where the two main candidates, Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren, have agreed to make contributions to others charity if third parties run campaign ads on their behalf (see article here).  The idea is to reduce the influence of third parties and money on the campaign.

h/t KP2KKN’s media archive blog, here.

h/t Chris Blattnam for the article on the senate race in Massachusetts, here.

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Angelina Sondakh? Tick. Who’s next?

On Friday KPK announced that Angelina Sondakh, the Democrat parliamentarian and former artis (celebrity), has been named a suspect in the corruption case involving construction of the athletes’ village for last year’s Southeast Asian Games in Palembang, South Sumatra.  The press is now asking “who’s next?”  It seems increasingly likely that the current Chair of the Democrat Party, Anas Urbaningrum, will also be named a suspect in the case; that Angelina will provide additional evidence that will allow investigators to connect the incident to Anas.

Somewhat tongue in cheek, ICW cleverly called on KPK to make the former celebrity / popstar sing:

The Corruption Eradication Commission should be able to make the new suspect in the case of alleged bribery relating to the [SEA Games] Athletes Village, Angelina Sondakh, open all the issues involved in the case. “Make her sing,” said the coordinator of Indonesian Corruption Watch, Danang Widoyoko, when contacted by Tempo, Saturday, February 4, 2012.

One way to make Angie talk is to make her a justice collaborator who can work together [with KPK]  to uncover the case. According to Danang, Angie is the right person for this role in this case. As long as KPK can clearly prove her involvement and can coax a confession from her.

Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi harus bisa membuat tersangka baru kasus dugaan suap Wisma Atlet, Angelina Sondakh, membuka seluruh persoalan kasus tersebut. “Buat dia bernyanyi,” kata Koordinator Indonesian Corruption Watch, Danang Widoyoko, saat dihubungi Tempo, Sabtu, 4 Februari 2012.

Salah satu cara untuk ‘membunyikan’ wanita yang akrab dipanggil Angie ini adalah dengan menjadikannya justice collaborator atau pelaku yang dapat bekerja sama mengungkap kasus. Kata Danang, Angie dinilai sebagai orang yang tepat melihat dugaan perannya dalam kasus ini. Syaratnya, KPK harus bisa terlebih dulu membuktikan dan membuat Angie mengakui perbuatannya.  [Tempo.co here]

Meanwhile, Suara Merdeka reminded its readers of Angelina’s motto for the Democrat Party in the 2009 national elections:

Still remember the passage of this ad? “Block your ears and say … No!”

These words were spoken by Angelina Sondakh in an advertisement of the Democrat Party’s anti-corruption media campaign before the 2009 elections. Wearing a blue dress, Miss Indonesia 2001 was thumbs down for the corruptors.

Masih ingat petikan iklan ini? “Tutup telinga dan katakan…Tidak!”

Perkataan itu diucapkan Angelina Sondakh dalam sebuah iklan antikorupsi Partai Demokrat yang merupakan media kampanye menjelang Pemilu 2009. Memakai busana biru, Putri Indonesia 2001 itu mengacungkan jempol ke bawah untuk para koruptor.  [Suara Merdeka here].

You can watch the advertisement on YouTube below, Angelina is the third woman in the blue shirt with black polka dots.  It’s quite funny; like a low-budget jamu ad?

h/t KP2KKN’s comprehensive media blog, here.

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ICW receives international award

Yesterday it was reported that Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) received an award from the University of Pennsylvania for its good governance work.  Here’s Danang Widjoko as quoted in Suara Merdeka (here):

“This is an achievement of recognition from the international community, especially since the proposed method of assessment was based on experts in various fields,” said ICW Coordinator Danang Widojoko when contacted by Suara Merdeka on Tuesday (31/1).

But according to Danang, the objective of ICW has not been to achieve this award. Rather, ICW’s goal, continued Danang, is to empower communities to combat corruption. “And this goal is still far from achieved,” said Danang.

Danang acknowledged that the award helps to raise our spirits in our fight to eradicate corruption. “This award lessons our frustration which is a result of a battle to eradicate corruption corruption,” he said.

“Ini sebuah pencapaian yang diapresiasi oleh dunia internasional, terutama karena metode penilaiannya berdasarkan usulan para ahli di berbagai bidang,” kata Koordinator ICW Danang Widojoko saat dihubungi Suara Merdeka, Selasa (31/1).

Namun menurut Danang, penghargaan ini bukanlah tujuan ICW. Yang menjadi tujuan ICW, lanjut Danang, memberdayakan masyarakat untuk memberantas korupsi. Dan tujuan ini masih jauh dari tercapai. “Dan tujuan ini masih jauh dari tercapai,” kata Danang.

Danang mengakui, penghargaan ini menambah semangat untuk terus berantas korupsi. “Penghargaan ini paling tidak membuat kami tidak frustasi karena beratnya memberantas korupsi,” katanya.

Oddly, from a quick search I can’t seem to find any announcement or press release from the University of Pennsylvania.  Any UPenn staff or students out there who know about this?

h/t KP2KKN’s trusty new blog here.


The Political Economy of Central Banks: Miranda Goeltom Edition

As noted yesterday, Miranda Goeltom was named a suspect in a corruption case relating to her appointment to Indonesia’s Central Bank in 2004.  Testimony from other witnesses indicates that about Rp. 24 billion ($2.7 million) was distributed to 41 of 56 members of Parliament’s finance commission who voted to confirm Miranda.  It is generally thought that Artha Graha Group of Tomy Winata is involved in providing the funds.  The case first emerged in 2008 and I’ve always wondered about the political economy of this case–what it is that those putting up the cash would want in return.  At least three possibilities were suggested in commentary this week.

O’Rourke in his Reformasi newsletter notes that there have been suspicions that the bribes relate to monetary policy and the preference of commodity exporters for a weak Rupiah exchange rate (Artha Graha Group’s portfolio includes palm oil plantations, which is one of Indonesia’s largest export commodities):

At the time of the bribery, suspicions revolved around the influence of resource-sector exporters over economic policy-making: specifically, a depressed exchange rate helps expand the profit margins of resource companies that export commodities, such as palm oil, pulp, paper and coal.

Yunus Husein, the Head of the Financial Transaction Report and Analysis Centre (PPTAK) and quoting an unnamed former Central Bank commissioner, suggests that most appointments are sponsored by problem banks that may require policy leniency or access to short-term financing for liquidity reasons:

“According to one of the deputy governors of Bank Indonesia who was questioned by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the selection of Bank Indonesia senior deputy governor usually involves sponsors.  Usually the sponsors are troubled banks,”said Yunus Husein, a member of the council that examined the travelers checks, at ICW’s office on Friday (27/1).

“Menurut pengakuan salah satu deputi gubernur Bank Indonesia kepada KPK yang waktu itu diperiksa di ruangan saya di PPATK, dalam pemilihan deputi gubernur senior BI biasanya ada sponsor-sponsor. Biasanya sponsor-sponsor itu bank-bank bermasalah,” kata anggota majelis eksaminasi kasus suap cek pelawat ICW, Yunus Husein, di kantor ICW, Jumat (27/1).

Yunus, speaking at ICW, also suggested that it relates to gaining access to inside information about Central Bank market operations:

According to [Yunus], by sponsoring a Bank Indonesia deputy governor, one can control information and access the Indonesian banking system.

“Moreover, many Bank Indonesia policies, such as open market operations and the sale and purchase of SBI (Bank Indonesia Certificates), relate to intervention in the market. If information is obtained [of these operations] it could of course bring benefits. At the very least one can guard against losses” said Yunus.

Menurutnya, dengan menjadi sponsor deputi gubernur BI, seseorang bisa menguasai informasi dan akses dunia perbankan Indonesia.

“Apalagi BI banyak policy (kebijakan) seperti open market operation dan jual beli SBI (Sertifikat Bank Indonesia) dalam rangka intervensi di pasar. Kalau informasi itu diperoleh, tentunya bisa memberi keuntungan. Paling tidak, mencegah kerugian bagi dirinya,” imbuh Yunus.

Quotes from Suara Merdeka article here.  h/t KP2KKN’s blog here.

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