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University professors reject KPK law revision

Tempo - September 9, 2019

Avit Hidayat and Maya Ayu Puspitasari, Jakarta – Hundreds of professors and lecturers from several universities reject the revision of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law. The academics are garnering support to fight all efforts to weaken the KPK.

Law Professor from the University of Jenderal Soedirman, Hibnu Nugroho, said the revision of Law No. 30/2002 did not show an effort to strengthen the KPK as an institution that could act against extraordinary crimes. "If it is revised, the spirit to eradicate extraordinary crime will be gone," Hibnu told Tempo yesterday.

According to Hibnu, a number of articles in the revision draft actually hampers the eradication of corruption. For example, the point of forming a Supervisory Board whose role is to give wiretapping, search and seize permits. The addition of a bureaucracy layer, he said, would only slow down corruption combat.

Another article which will also weaken the KPK is the requirement that investigators are from the police. This is an odd rule considering the KPK was established to answer to public distrust of the police and prosecutors.

"This is a systematic effort to cripple and kill the KPK slowly, which can be examined from several crucial points contained in the revision draft," said Herdiansyah Hamzah, an academic from Mulawarman University

Similarly, Gadjah Mada University's Law Faculty Dean Sigit Riyanto said the KPK Law revision would weaken the special characteristics of the antigraft body. The revision strips down many of the KPK's authorities, which will make it no different from other any law enforcement body.

Judging from the closed discussion of this revision at the House of Representatives Legislative Body, Sigit believes that the revision is irrelevant with the eradication of corruption. Moreover, during the discussion, the DPR never listened to public opinions.

"The DPR only has a few days left in the office, and yet they created an agenda that is very unlikely to be carried out, an agenda that is against the mandate of reform," he said.

Meanwhile, DPR Law Commission member Arsul Sani denied that the KPK Law revision is an effort to weaken corruption combat. He said there are articles that actually increases the authority of KPK, institutions; one of them is the KPK's authority to execute.

"So far there has not been any. This has escaped public scrutiny," said the United Development Party (PPP) secretary-general.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1245430/university-professors-reject-kpk-law-revision