Kalla defends Indonesias efforts to eradicate corruption

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla has defended the ongoing efforts to eradicate corruption in Indonesia, affirming that the endeavors have been so fierce that state officials are deterred from committing the crime.

"Corruption does exist, but the efforts to eradicate the crime are also so fierce. Only the brave individuals, who have no fear of being arrested, commit this crime," Kalla told journalists at the Indonesian Red Cross headquarters here on Friday.

In combating the crime of corruption, a fair law enforcement is applied, as can be observed from those arrested and tried in court. Among the convicts are regional leaders, ministers, and members of parliament, Kalla pointed out.

"Please show me a country, whose 40 legislators, more than 100 regional leaders, and nine ministers were arrested on corruption charges. Please find another country with so tough corruption eradication (like Indonesia)," he emphasized.

In January 2019, for instance, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators arrested eight people, including Mesuji District Head Khamami, on graft charges.

The anti-graft bodys spokesman, Febri Diansyah, remarked that during the raid, the KPK investigators seized a cardboard box containing banknotes of Rp100 thousand denomination. The amount of money in the box was estimated to reach around Rp1 billion.

The money might be part of the fees for last years infrastructure projects of the Mesuji Public Works and Peoples Housing Office, he stated.

In April 2018, Chief of the Task Force of Prevention Coordination and Supervision of KPK Asep Rahmat Suwandha revealed that 93 regional leaders, including 18 governors and 75 district heads and city mayors, had been named suspects in corruption.

Responding to a question concerning the statement of Prabowo Subianto, contender of incumbent President Joko Widodo in the upcoming presidential race, that the percentage of the state budget leaks could reach up to 25 percent, Vice President Kalla expressed disagreement to his opinion.

As revealed in various corruption cases that judges handled in courts, the average markup percentage of the development budget was between seven and 15 percent, he noted, adding that corruption crimes may occur in any country, including Indonesia, which has actively been carrying out infrastructure construction projects over the past years.

Kalla noted that the state budget generally and frequently targeted by the corruptors was related to the development budget. Thus, a statement that the state budget leaks could reach 25 percent was untrue.

Source: ANTARA News

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