Friday, January 08, 2010

Now Indonesia's Judicial Mafia Fight Gets Serious: SBY

----- Original Message -----
From: Loeky Harahap
To: fhui-70an
Sent: Wednesday, January 06, 2010 7:06 AM
Subject: [FHUI-70AN] Now Indonesia's Judicial Mafia Fight Gets Serious: SBY

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday stressed his resolve to purge the “judicial mafia,” calling on law-enforcement agencies to commit to the fight. To boost those efforts, he said he would demand bureaucratic reforms across 13 ministries and state institutions linked to law enforcement and governance.

“Remember, in the hands of corrupt law enforcers, anything bent can be straightened and the straight can be bent. I want judicial mafia practices to cease,” said Yudhoyono at the State Palace, while introducing the 2010 budgets for ministries, government institutions and regional administrations. Law-enforcement officials, whether in Jakarta or the regions, should not manipulate the law, he said.

The president named eliminating corruption in the judiciary as one of his top priorities when announcing the government’s first-100-day program in October. Last week, he formed a six-member task force to suggest ideas for eliminating graft in the country’s courts, considered to be some of Asia’s most corrupt. The task force met with leaders of the National Police and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Tuesday to discuss the way forward. A high-profile feud between the two institutions brought judicial corruption into the political spotlight last year.

Task force chairman Kuntoro Mangkusubroto said the antigraft agency had vowed to help. “The KPK pledged to assist us through its facilities, such as its complaint-handling mechanism that enables people to report judicial mafia activities online and anonymously,” he said. Edward Aritonang, a spokesman for the National Police, said it was also forming a team to support the task force. “We leave everything fully in the control of the task force,” he said. The team would brief provincial police chiefs in Jakarta today, he added.

Yudhoyono also warned critics against judging his government’s success in fulfilling the pledges of its first-100-day program. On Monday, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa claimed, without offering evidence, that the government had completed 92 percent of its 100-day goals. “Although the government’s first-100-day program is important, it is impossible to contain all the development priorities and targets for five years. In addition, it is illogical to measure government success for the 2009-14 period by the first 100-day program,” Yudhoyono said.

But Ikrar Nusa Bakti, a political analyst at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), called the first 100 days “crucial,” saying success would boost public trust. “I’d say the success of the program is the embryo of the success of the government’s five-year program,” he said. Yunarto Widjaja, a political analyst at Charta Politika, suggested that ministers should not hesitate to admit failures. “They should convince the people that they will work harder to implement their programs,” he said. 

Yudhoyono said the economic achievements of last year made him optimistic his government could reach its 2014 economic goals: an annual growth rate of 7 percent, inflation of 5 percent, poverty at 8 percent to 10 percent, and unemployment of 6 percent. The economy grew by more than 4 percent in 2009. Inflation was 2.78 percent, the lowest in a decade.

Additional reporting by Antara

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