I've said it before and will no doubt say it again, but there are positive signs that SBY is prepared to go after big corruptors. Whether his officials are prepared to back him remains open to conjecture. Today's Jakarta Post carries the following:1. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has given the green light for a formal investigation into Minister of Justice and Human Rights Hamid Awaluddin, and also for the possible replacement of all General Elections Commission (KPU) members, in connection with allegations of corruption that have plagued the poll body.2. Recently disclosed alleged irregularities at 16 state enterprises may have caused more than Rp 2.7 trillion (about US$287 million) in state losses, a report from the Office of the State Minister for State Enterprises says.
Many, if not most, state firms in the country are known to be poorly managed and to suffer from low rates of return on investments, due mostly to corruption and intervention by vested interests - which often regard the companies as cash cows for their own personal use.3. On Friday, the AGO announced that it decided to halt its graft investigation into cement company PT Semen Bosowa Maros and telecommunications firm PT Bakrie Telecom, which are owned by a nephew of Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Aburizal Bakrie, respectively.
Lucky Djani, the deputy coordinator of Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), said that prosecutors must quickly explain to the public, the legal reasons behind its controversial decision. He said that the public has grown "sick" of prosecutors' just dropping such cases without explanation, especially graft cases involving high-profile businesspeople or state officials.
What Jakartass finds most significant, however, is that apparently State Minister for State Enterprises Sugiharto has asked President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to issue a presidential regulation on the protection of witnesses to encourage people to report corruption at state enterprises and other institutions.
Elsewhere in the paper
, Wimar Witoelar reflects on 'ex-strongman Soeharto, still at large and larger than life'.