President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has reiterated his commitment to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Monday, stressing that the anti-graft body, in its capacity as an institution mandated to combat corruption, must be instead strengthened.
The president made the statement in response to the latest move by lawmakers, who suggested that the KPK be suspended.
“I have to emphasize that I won’t let [anyone] weaken the KPK. Therefore, we have to defend the KPK together,” Jokowi said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.
He also emphasized that the KPK was an independent body, and thus must be free of any branches of power in fulfilling its tasks.
“The KPK is an an institution highly trusted by the people. We have to strengthen it to accelerate corruption eradication efforts,” said the president.
Last week, senior lawmaker Henry Yosodiningrat of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) said the KPK should be “frozen” temporarily to make way for a complete evaluation of the anti-graft body.
“If needed, the KPK should be temporarily deactivated. Then we should let the corruption eradication agenda handled by the National Police and the Attorney General’s Office,” Henry said.
In response, PDI-P secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto clarified that his party was “not in a position to dissolve the KPK.”
The KPK is currently investigating a number of corruption cases, including the multi-trillion-rupiah, high-profile e-ID graft case that has implicated dozens of high-ranking politicians, one of which is House of Representatives Speaker and Golkar Party chairman Setya Novanto.