Public representatives supporting the Corruption Eradication Emergency Office have delivered 1,505 letters to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo through the State Secretariat. The letters were received by the emergency office since it was opened on September 15.
The 1,505 letters contained requests to Widodo to cancel the sacking of 56 Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) employees and are made up of 917 send digitally and 588 delivered through the emergency office. In addition to this, they also delivered a change.org petition signed by 70,503 people.
In a press release, one of the representatives of the Corruption Eradication Emergency Office, Arief Maulana from the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH), said that the letters were received from all across Indonesia including Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Bogor, Karawang, Padang, Banten, Tenggarong, Bengkulu and Jambi.
"The senders' backgrounds were also diverse, ranging from workers, high school and university students, researchers, former KPK commissioners, professors, lectures, bank employees, online motorcycle taxi drivers, traditional buskers, office security guards, victims of social aid corruption and roving soft-drink sellers", said Maulana in the press release on Wednesday September 29.
The letters were delivered to the State Secretariat by six representatives, namely Jentera Indonesian College of Law (STHI) Student Executive Council (BEM) Chairperson Renie Aryandani, Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI) General Secretary Sunarno, two victims of social aid corruption, Eni Rohayati and Donris Sianturi, and two academics from the Andalas University, Charles Simabura and Feri Amsari. The representatives were accompanied by Maulana.
"The messages to the president in the letters were diverse. [But] one general message contained in all of the letters was a request to cancel the dismissal of the 57 KPK employees who are said to have failed the civics knowledge test", said Maulana.
As has been reported, one of the 57 employees, former KPK Inter-Commission and Agency Cooperation Management Director (PJKAKI) Sujanarko has now retired. This leaves 56 KPK employees who will be dismissed on September 30 for failing to pass the civics knowledge or nationalism test (TWK) which is seen by many as being problematic.
Other messages meanwhile were for Widodo to pay attention to the ordinary people, one of which was because the Covid-19 pandemic has added to the people's difficulties.
"We are living during a pandemic which is very difficult, Pak [Mr], a time of thievery which is actually supported by weakening the KPK", wrote a person named Seva in their letter.
So far there have been two regions aside from Jakarta which have established Corruption Eradication Emergency Offices, Bandung in West Java and in East Java.
The establishment of the emergency offices is a symbol of the public's disappointment with the performance of the KPK under President Widodo's administration and a symbol that the anti-corruption movement will continue despite the KPK having been smashed.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "1.505 Surat Dikirim ke Jokowi, Isinya Minta Pemecatan 56 Pegawai KPK Dibatalkan".]