Jakarta – Several former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) leaders along with anti-graft activists held a protest action on Monday April 10 calling for the removal of Firli Bahuri from his position as KPK chairperson.
They made the call at a rally in front of the old KPK building in South Jakarta after a number of issues related to Bahuri have emerged recently and become public knowledge.
The former KPK commissioners who took part in the action included Abraham Samad, Saut Situmorang and Bambang Widjojanto, as well as former senior investigator Novel Baswedan.
"Remove Firli!", called Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid in a speech. "Remove!" responded the scores of other participants at the action.
Hamid said that the KPK was going through a dark period because it was no longer being weakened from outside but by its own leadership. According to Hamid, this cannot be tolerated.
"We want to reiterate that the KPK is experiencing a weakening and even decay. Unfortunately, if in the past we witnessed the KPK suffering external attacks, today it is also experiencing decay from the KPK leaders themselves", said Hamid.
Usman said the demonstration was a form of affirmation that the KPK must be saved. He does not want to allow the KPK to be destroyed both from the outside and from within.
Samad, Situmorang and Widjojanto meanwhile have officially reported Bahuri's code of ethics violations to the KPK Supervisory Board (Dewas).
One of the reasons they made the report was because of the alleged leaking of documents related to a KPK investigation at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources that allegedly involved Bahuri.
"We represent more than 56 individuals and organisations making these allegations. The essence is that potential violations have been committed both ethically and criminally by Firli Bahuri in this case as the KPK chairperson", said Situmorang at the action on Monday.
Situmorang emphasised that the former KPK leaders will not just report Bahuri to the KPK's Supervisory Board, but will also report him to law enforcement officials. According to Situmorang, the alleged leaking of the documents by Bahuri entered the realm of a criminal act.
"We see that the series of document leaks that have been committed by Firli are actions that cannot be tolerated anymore and that these actions are a criminal act. Therefore, aside from reporting Firli to the Supervisory Board, we will also report Firli to law enforcement officials", he said.
Situmorang is asking that the KPK Supervisory Board immediately examine the matter and impose sanctions in the form of dishonorably discharging Bahuri because he has committed ethical and criminal violations.
"We also urge law enforcement officials not to play games and immediately declare Firli, from the results of their investigation, as a suspect who has committed a crime," said Situmorang. (ina/bmw)
In 2015, former KPK chairperson Abraham Samad and his deputy Bambang Widjojanto – known for their aggressive prosecution of corrupt officials – were "suspended" by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo after they were arrested on trumped up charges – that police later dropped – and replaced them with more "compliant" interim chiefs. In 2019 Widodo chose Firli Bahuri as the new KPK chairperson despite his chequered past of ethical violations and links with corrupt officials. Saut Situmorang resigned in protest over the selection. The KPK was further weakened in late 2019 by the enactment of the revised KPK Law that was rushed through parliament in the face of widespread and often violent public opposition. And in what was seen as the final step in reigning in the KPK, in 2021 Bahuri removed 75 of the KPK's most experienced and respected investigators – including Novel Baswedan – who had opposed the revisions to the KPK law and his leadership of the KPK.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Ramai-ramai Eks Pimpinan KPK Desak Firli Bahuri Dicopot".]