Corruption is rife in Indonesia. Nevertheless, despite the persistent presence of corruption, Indonesia is one of the few countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) that has shown improvement.
The Corruption Perception Index 2013, which was released by Berlin-based Transparency International recently, places Indonesia at the 114th position among 177 countries. The latest ranking is a positive development, given that Indonesia was ranked 118th last year.
In an accompanying report, Transparency International warned the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world.
More than two-thirds of the 177 countries in the 2013 index scored below 50 on a scale from 0 to 100. Scores closer to zero indicate high levels of corruption, while scores closer to 100 indicate low corruption.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in his speech on Anti-Corruption Day, reiterated the governments strong commitment to the anti-corruption movement with the support of the nations citizens, who, he said, showed serious intent to prevent and fight corruption.
President Yudhoyono noted that corruption affects not only the states administration but also the competitiveness within the economy, which eventually leads to poverty and poor quality of human life.
Corruption can affect economic, social and cultural rights negatively, especially the right to employment, security, education and housing, which should be assured by the state in accordance with the countrys Constitution, he stated.
"Corruption is rampant in Indonesia. It is a real threat to the development of this nation," Yudhoyono added.
Corruption is considered one of the main reasons hampering business development in Indonesia, in addition to an inefficient bureaucracy and the lack of infrastructure.
A survey conducted by the World Economic Forum recently found that 19.3 percent of the respondents believed corruption affected business activities in Indonesia.
According to the Secretariat of Stranas PPK (national strategy for the prevention and eradication of corruption), the governments efforts towards eradicating corruption have increased massively.
These efforts include the issuance of Presidential Regulation Number 55 of 2012 on the national strategy for the prevention and eradication of corruption, with a mid-term plan for 2012-2014 and a long-term plan for 2012-2025.
Following the issuance of the regulation, the president issued Presidential Instruction Number 1 of 2013 on Actions to Prevent and Eradicate Corruption (Aksi PPK), which details action plans that state institutions, ministries and regional governments must carry out.
These action plans include the provision of regular updates through an evaluation and monitoring system managed by the Presidential Working Unit for Development Supervision and Control (UKP4).
The Presidential Regulation Number 55/2012 outlines six strategies used by the Indonesian government to realize the Stranas PPKs vision: prevention, law enforcement, the harmonization of rules and regulations, international cooperation, the recovery of assets acquired through corruption and the promotion of anti-corruption education and culture and reporting mechanisms.
On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, the Indonesian Police Watch (IPW) also urged the National Police to end the corrupt practices prevalent among various institutions and top-ranking officials in the country.
"The police must spearhead efforts to eradicate corruption. To achieve that, the police must become a broom that can sweep away corruption," IPW Presidium Chairman Neta S Pane urged recently.
In the pursuit of this goal, the police must first eradicate corruption within its own force, while undertaking efforts to improve public trust.
"It is time for the police to prioritize efforts to eradicate corruption within the force, before tackling corruption in other institutions," Pane added.
He urged police investigators to consistently fight corruption and never give up. "National Police Chief General Sutarman needs to take concrete action to eradicate corruption," he said.
As the countrys anti-corruption agency that has been spearheading the drive over the past 10 years, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) urged people to make corruption their common and top enemy.
"We must make corruption our common and top enemy and declare that there is no place for corruption in Indonesia," KPK chairman Abraham Samad said at the Anti-Corruption Week 2013 to mark International Anti-Corruption Day.
Samad noted that although Indonesia has been independent for 68 years, several households continue to live in poverty, despite Indonesia being a rich country.
"It is terrible and heart-rending to see hungry children and school dropouts when our country has several resources to help them," he added.
He said the state of affairs is due to the fact that Indonesia is not free of corruption. "If there is no corruption, the implementation of development programs will happen smoothly. There will be no dirty or non-asphalt roads and no school drop-outs. We are all agents of change. If we dont make the change, who will?" he remarked.
Through the Anti-Corruption Week being held during December 9-11, the KPK hopes that anti-corruption values will not only be publicized but also implemented in daily life.
"Let us not be greedy or acquisitive because that is what leads to corruption," he noted.
Samad, however, noted that the task to eradicate corruption is tough and the KPK must not only maintain its efforts but also gather support from all classes of society.
"We want to encourage people to stop accepting or becoming apathetic to corruption. If we can build an anti-corruption culture, God willing, corruption will be slowly but surely eradicated," he noted.
In addition, the KPK plans to cooperate with the Education and Culture Ministry to incorporate anti-corruption curricula in national education, which will target students from kindergarten to university.
"Our objective is to bring up a younger generation that is intolerant of corruption. We want children to grow up strong mentally and spiritually, so that they can resist engaging in illegal behaviour," the KPK chief added.
The United Nations has designated December 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day. This years campaign is called "Zero Corruption-100 Percent Development" and aims to reinforce the idea that development can thrive only when societies tackle the root causes of corruption.
The joint campaign, launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), focuses on the corrosive effects of corruption on development.
The campaign aims to highlight that crime undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to human rights violations, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organized crime and other threats to security to flourish.
"Corruption is a barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and needs to be taken into account while defining and implementing a robust post-2015 development agenda", United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in his message to mark the occasion. ***2***