Jakarta – The six-month-old administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is facing active resistance from all levels of the bureaucracy in its attempt to eliminate corrupt practices in government, say experts.
Mr Yudhoyono has pledged to crack down on corruption in Indonesia, which topped the latest list of Asia’s most corrupt nations issued by the Political & Economic Risk Consultancy. To help reduce corruption within the bureucracy, his government is planning to raise the wages of all public servants next year by an average of 10 per cent.
However, no one in the Cabinet or the top police or military brass, or regional administration leaders has shown any enthusiasm in implementing the President's anti-corruption campaign, said Transparency International (TI) Indonesia secretary-general Emmy Havild.
The President “is having problems in improving public services, as none of his directives to combat corruption have been carried out seriously”. She suggested the appointment of a special secretary tasked with monitoring ministers and all state officials, as the Kenyan government had done.
"The President's instructions about actions against corruption are not clear. He said that he would directly lead the fight, but I am not sure that he can do that given his many other tasks; he needs special assistance," she said.
The chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission, Mr Taufiqurahman Ruki, said only one ministry had thus far shown any seriousness in combating corruption by forming a special division to eradicate internal graft. But he refused to name the ministry.
According to The Jakarta Post, the police force is one of the official institutions well-known to be riddled with corruption at all levels. Some observers have said that graft has actually worsened in the force since the Yudhoyono administration took power.
* Illegal fees nurtured to keep state running (The Jakarta Post, May 2)