Farih Maulana Sidik, Jakarta – Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) employees used Car Free Day on Sunday September 8 to hold a long-march from the Hotel Indonesia (HI) traffic circle to the KPK building. The action was held to reject planned revisions to Law Number 30/2002 on the KPK (UU KPK).
The KPK employees, wearing all-black clothing, began marching on foot from the HI on Jl Jenderal Sudirman in Central Jakarta to the KPK's Red-and-White building on Jl Rasuna Said in South Jakarta at 8am.
After handing out flowers to the public that had arrived for Car Free Day, the KPK employees began the march carrying a banners with messages such as "Help" and "If Jokowi [President Joko Widodo] Agrees with Revisions to the UU KPK = The Death of the KPK".
As they marched to Jl Rasuna Said, the employees sang the song "Advance Without Fear" (Maju Tak Gentar). After arriving at the KPK building the employees will be greeted by the KPK leadership.
"All of us KPK employees will hand out more than 1 thousand flowers to the public. Symbolically, later we will go to the KPK building and be welcomed by the leadership. Then we will put up a length of black cloth there", KPK employee Heni Mustika told journalists at the location.
Detik.com also reported that a group calling itself the Democracy Upholders Society held an action in front of the KPK building on the afternoon of Saturday September 7. The group expressed its appreciation for the work of the KPK leadership candidate selection committees (pansel capim KPK), urged the House of Representatives to quickly vote on the KPK candidate leaders who have passed the selection process and in support of the revisions to the KPK law. Detik.com reported that a similar rally was also held in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya.
Given the widespread public opposition to revising the KPK law – which most see quite rightly as an attempt by the political elite to weaken the KPK – this raises the question of who is orchestrating the rallies supporting the revisions. Likewise, protests by groups who appear to have been mobilised to support the pansel capim KPK have also been held to counter rallies by civil society and anti-corruption activists who have repeatedly criticised the pansel capim KPK for choosing candidates with questionable backgrounds and a history of attacking the KPK.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Tolak Revisi UU 30/2002, Pegawai KPK Long March Bundaran HI-Gedung Merah Putih".]