Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Political Revenge? Downgrading Indonesia’s KPK From Hero to Villain

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Abstract:  The importance of Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi [KPK]), has once again been brought into focus during the 2024 presidential election campaign period when politics and corruption collide. This article suggests that legislative and political actions since 2019 to the KPK’s purpose and structure severely limit its capacity and independence making it susceptible to greater political interference and coercion. The KPK was established by Law 30/2002, as a response to and recognition of rampant corruption throughout the governmental, political and public sectors, business communities, and society in general, which became common practice during President Suharto’s New Order Regime. The KPK’s commission encompasses conducting investigations, indictments, and prosecutions. However, in late 2019, the People’s Representative Council enacted amending legislation to weaken its authority and ability to operate independently. Crucial legislative changes included creating a government-appointed supervisory body overseeing the KPK’s internal operations and changing KPK employee status from independent agents to public servants. These two provisions alone seriously weaken the KPK’s autonomy and create the risk of turning it into a politically controlled auxiliary state agency. In some respects, KPK has become a victim of its own successes, having achieved convictions of senior ministers, politicians, government officials, and business leaders, which in turn has produced enemies. Without political protection, the KPK faces the prospect of not only becoming, in essence, a nonentity but also facing further deterioration of its credibility and authority.

Keywords:  corruption; criminal investigations; Indonesia; KPK; presidential candidates; presidential elections

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.7907


© David Price. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.