The postponement of the law revision followed the pros and cons regarding four points of the draft revision which many quarters saw as an attempt to weaken the authority of the anti-graft body in fighting corruption in the country.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The planned revision of Law No.30/2002 on Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is finally postponed after President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) met with the leadership of the House of Representatives (DPR) and of the KPK on Monday.

The postponement of the law revision followed the pros and cons regarding four points of the draft revision which many quarters saw as an attempt to weaken the authority of the anti-graft body in fighting corruption in the country.

"After a comprehensive discussion, we agreed that the issue of revision of KPK law should not be discussed at this time. It must be postponed. I looked at the need for sufficient time for finalizing the planned revision of the law and making the public aware," President Jokowi stated after meeting with the leaders of the DPR and the KPK.

On Wednesday night last week, the DPR decided to postpone the deliberation of the draft from Thursday (Feb.18) to next Tuesday (Feb 23). It has planned to take the draft to its plenary to decide whether it could be endorsed as the House initiative to revise it.

However, a series of opposition to the plan from many quarters have come to the surface in the run up to the plenary session, including from the Democrat Party leaders and religious figures.

Chief of the Democrat Party Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is opposed to the proposed revision of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) law, arguing that it will allow powers to intervene in corruption eradication efforts.

"We object to, and do not agree with, the revision of the law. We will raise this stand at a plenary meeting of the House of Representatives (DPR) next week," he said on Saturday.

He made his remarks in his closing address to a discussion with netizens on the proposed revision of Law No. 30/2002 on the KPK.

He said he, along with Democrat Party cadres, have discussed several points in the draft revision of KPK and came to the conclusion that the party rejected the changes.

Citing an example, he said the revision of clauses on the position of the KPKs board of commissioners and the authority of the KPK to tap conversations, seize and stop investigations, will weaken the commission.

"The Democrat Party and I believe that the DPR-proposed draft revision of the law will weaken the KPK because it will lead to dualism and a conflict over authority within the KPK," he said.

Four points currently being discussed under the revision of the KPK law are limiting the anti-graft agencys authority to conduct wiretapping activities, to drop a case, to recruit its own investigators, and to establish an oversight committee.

The four points are being viewed to weaken the KPK, due to which increasingly more numbers of anti-corruption activists, academicians, and religious leaders have been strong opposing the revision. The government has been urged to reject the revision.

The revision effort is led by the Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) and has been supported by six other party factions. Gerindra, Demokrat, and PKS are the only three political parties to have rejected the revision.

In the meantime, a number of religious figures have also urged President Jokowi to stop efforts to revise the law.

"We urged President Jokowi (Joko Widodo) to stop the revision effort because seeing the draft revision it will only weaken (KPK)," Catholic priest Benny Susetyo said at a meeting of inter-faith figures on corruption here on Sunday.

He said pressures from the public should make the President stop the revision and meet his promise that the government is committed to fighting corruption.

To deal with the current emergency caused by corruption Susetyo said strong will from the leader to eradicate corruption and reject any effort to weaken the effort is needed.

The chairman of Islamic organization Muhammadiyah, Hajriyanto Y Tohari said he suspected that the President might have a hidden agenda by allowing the people to be involved in a polemic over the KPK law revision.

"I suspect there is a hidden agenda behind him allowing people to have a polemic over the revision issue. Will he let the people to continue with it," he said.

The same opposition also came from 12 professors from various universities who have voiced their support to the leadership of the KPK.

"This is a form of support from academicians, particularly from campuses, to participate in maintaining and strengthening the KPK," Prof. Bambang Widodo Umar of the University of Indonesia (UI) stated at the KPK building in Jakarta, on Feb. 19.

He and Prof. Faisal Santiago of the Borobudur University were received by KPK Chairman Agus Rahardjo and Deputy Chairperson Basaria Panjaitan.

The agency still needs to eradicate corruption, and any revision of the KPK law would need an in-depth study, he added.

KPK Chairman Agus Rahardjo even threatened on Sunday that he would resign if the DPR finally decided to revise the law on KPK.

"I am ready to resign if the law is revised. I will be the first person to resign" he remarked at a meeting of interfaith leaders organized to support the fight against corruption at the office of the Muhammadiyah Islamic organization.

He pointed out that more concrete steps were needed to fight corruption in the country as the situation has become critical.

On the occasion, Agus expressed gratitude to the religious leaders present at the event for their support to the institution that he leads.

"The KPK is thankful for the support from religious leaders of Muhammadiyah as well as those of Buddhism, Hinduism, Konghucu, and Catholicism faiths. Your position is clear that the revision will weaken and not strengthen KPK," he emphasized.

However, the meeting between President Jokowi and the leaders of the DPR agreed the postponement of the revision.

The decision was taken during a consultation meeting between President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), and the key members of the House of Representatives in the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, on Monday.

However, the revision proposal will not be removed from the 2015 National Legislation Program (Prolegnas).

House Speaker Ade Komarudin underlined that the deal to postpone the move to revise the law governing the anti-graft institution did not mean it stood scrapped from the 2015 Prolegnas.(*)

Reporter: Andi Abdussalam
Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2016