Constitutional Court chairman: RI in alarming state

Mahfud said the problem has now even been made more difficult to solve because elites have held each other hostage while the state continued to be plundered.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Constitutional Court Chairman Mahfud MD said Indonesia is in an alarming state of being mired in corruption and therefore needs a movement to free it.

"Our state is in an alarming state of being mired in corruption. What I have revealed is a mere small part of it. There are still a lot of cases out there," he said at a meeting at the office of one of Indonesia`s largest Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) here on Thursday.

Present at the meeting were NU Chief KH Said Aqil Siroj, NU Advisory Board members KH Malik Madaniy and KH Masdar F Masudi and NU Secretary General Marsudi Syuhud and member of the State Audit Board, Ali Masykur Musa, who is an NU member.

Mahfud said corruption in the country is not an easy problem to solve because it has been deeply rooted.

"I myself do not know how to deal with it. All theories for fighting it have been used up. All methods have also been presented," he said.

Mahfud said the problem has now even been made more difficult to solve because elites have held each other hostage while the state continued to be plundered.

"There has been a hostage taking so that noone dares to act because he has been held hostage," he said.

Mahfud said the community must be encouraged to reveal cases of corruption and voice the need to fight corruption.

"Now we are lacking persons who have courage and would speak up. They have all been held hostage so that they have not courage to speak up. We, who are not involved, must speak up as loud as possible if we still love the nation," he said.

That is why he said he has never cared about all allegations and negative statements about him as Constitutional Court chairman so far.

"What is important is I would never comment on cases we are still handling. For other cases I do not care. I do not care who people would say about me," he said.

Ali Masykur Musa earlier revealed a number of the State Audit Board`s (BPK) findings linked to state financial irregularities.

"The state finance is not state budget. The state budget is only part of it," he said.

Ali Masykur said he saw at least seven areas that could be used for corruption such as non-budgetary funds, grants and non-tax state revenue including official travel funds.

"Seventy percent of official travels is fictitious," he said.

Ali Masykur regrettably said that the BPK has no authority to conduct a legal process such as investigation.

On the occasion Said Aqil Siroj reiterated NU`s commitment to corruption fight.

"Corruption could make the country go bankrupt and in Islam those who do it could be sentenced to death," he said.

To show its care on corruption eradication efforts NU once produced a fatwa (religious decree) banning its clerics to take part in prayers in the demise of a corrupter.

"It is not that prayers cannot be carried out for the body of a corrupter but clerics are appealed not to participate in the prayers," he said.(*)

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