Azhar Bagas, Jakarta – The Anti-Corruption Coalition has held a protest action in front of Corruption Eradication Corruption (KPK) building. They demanded that the government look into the suspension of senor KPK investigator Novel Baswedan and 74 other KPK employees who failed to pass the civics or nationalism test (TWK) as a requirement to become state civil servants.
"I am of one narrative [in saying] that the 75 KPK employees who failed the TWK are victims. The government needs to go down to the lowest level to look at what actually happened, what was experienced", said Coalition field coordinator Syahrul Badri in front of the red-and-white KPK building in South Jakarta on Tuesday May 18.
"If you just stay up there, just play games in that environment, you certainly can't feel anything that is happening [down] here", he added.
The Coalition hopes that the government can open its eyes to the problem. Moreover, said Badri, making the 75 KPK employees non-active has already attracted a great deal of criticism from various parties.
"So, based on this, I hope, we all hope that the government can open its eyes wider. Not to mention that the sacking of the 76 KPK employees has attracted [a great deal of] criticism", he shouted.
Badri said that protest was also held to give a signal to the government to take action to fight injustice. He explained that they are symbolically sounding an alarm over interference in upholding [the fight] against corruption by the banging of a gong.
"We all hope that the various efforts by the public, social elements will succeeded in at least giving a signal to our government, to Jokowi [President Joko Widodo] and his officials", he said.
"We here are symbolising it once again, sound the alarm, banging a gong to give a signal to the government that we are currently in danger. Efforts to prosecute corruption cases in Indonesia are being interfered with", he continued. The protesters then banged the gong together.
The scores of protesters – all of whom wore black clothing with red-and-white headbands – could be seen maintaining health protocols during the action. Scores of police could also be seen on guard at the location to ensure the protest proceeded smoothly. (mae/mae)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Koalisi Antikorupsi Geruduk KPK, Desak Penonaktifan Novel dkk Diusut".]