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MAKI demands Firli's demotion if found guilty of ethics violation

Jakarta Post - August 25, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – An antigraft watchdog has urged the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Supervisory Council to demote chairman Firli Bahuri if he is proven to have violated the KPK's code of ethics with his alleged "hedonistic lifestyle".

The Indonesian Anti-Corruption Community (MAKI) filed a report against Firli for using a private helicopter to take a personal trip from Palembang, North Sumatra, to his hometown of Baturaja in the same province in June.

"If he violated the KPK code of ethics, he should be demoted to deputy chairman," MAKI coordinator Boyamin Saiman said during a hearing on the case on Tuesday.

The helicopter trip, he argued, indicated Firli's "hedonistic lifestyle" and went against KPK rules prohibiting its leaders from indulging in luxury.

In addition to hearing Boyamin's testimony, council members also summoned Firli to provide an explanation.

Supervisory council chairman Tumpak Hatorangan Panggabean led the hearing.

Boyamin said the council had asked him to prove MAKI's complaints, including details on the alleged helicopter ride and a photograph of Firli without a face mask and therefore, violating, COVID-19 health protocols.

He claimed that based on the registration number, the helicopter had been used by a "high-ranking official" on a trip from Surakarta, Central Java, to Semarang in the same province in 2015.

He also refuted Firli's previous claim that had taken a helicopter to save time, saying that a trip from Palembang to Baturaja would take three to four and a half hours by road.

During the hearing, Boyamin also that Firli claimed he paid for the helicopter service with his own money after previous concerns that the ride, estimated to cost up to US$1,400 an hour, was an illicit gift given by another party.

Firli declined to answer reporters' questions after the hearing, saying he had given all the necessary information to the supervisory council.

He had denied the alleged ethical violations on Monday, claiming he had taken the helicopter to support his work and not for personal use. He added that he made enough money to pay for the ride.

Based on a 2015 government regulation on the financial, protocols and security rights of KPK commissioners, the chairman of the antigraft agency earns a total salary of Rp 123.93 million (US$8,449) per month, including allowances.

Tumpak and other council members were not immediately available for comment regarding the hearing.

Boyamin also expressed his appreciation of the supervisory council for swiftly handling the complaint, adding that prior to its establishment in 2019, the KPK's internal supervisory unit could take more than a year to follow up on reports of ethics violations.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/08/25/maki-demands-firlis-demotion-if-found-guilty-of-ethics-violation.html