Jakarta – The vice presidential candidate running under the number 2 electoral ticket, Mahfud MD, claims he often receives complaints from businesspeople over their difficulties investing in Indonesia because there is no legal certainty.
According to Mahfud, businesspeople find it difficult to invest because they are often forced to pay bribes, a practice that can in fact also give rise to legal risks.
"If you're willing to bribe only then does it go ahead, so many companies come to me, investors, saying, 'Pak [Mr], how can we invest here, in Indonesia, it's difficult'", said Mahfud during a public dialogue organised by the Muhammadiyah Central Board at the Jakarta Muhammadiyah University (UMJ) campus in Cirendeu, South Tangerang, on Thursday November 23.
Mahfud said he also hears confessions from investors that they are asked to pay bribes if they want to invest in a project. In the end they lose out to those who do pay.
"Why? 'Yeah, that's because if we don't bribe we lose out in every business project', beaten by others who do bribe. 'But, if we bribe then it gets known by civil society [groups] and we're the ones who get arrested, get imprisoned'. [So] if you don't bribe, you don't get", he said.
On top of that, said Mahfud, business licensing is difficult in Indonesia. Because companies are forced to practice bribery to open a business in Indonesia.
"Within the administration there is also overlapping in licensing, it often happens that people requesting permits get caught up [in the bureaucracy]", said the Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs.
Mahfud believes that this situation needs to be sorted out quickly and should not be repeated. He also highlighted the issue of legal uncertainty that must also be overcome immediately.
Mahfud pledged to fix the legal issues in Indonesia so there is no longer any favouritism. In addition to this, he also pledged to provide protection to the little people.
"So we have formulated [the problems of] law enforcement, from the above there is always a collusion between businesspeople and the authorities, so that if a powerful person has a case, basically they bribe and it's resolved. Meanwhile the rights of the ordinary people are taken away arbitrarily", he said. (thr/tsa)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mahfud Cerita Aduan Investor: Enggak Nyuap, Enggak Dapat".]