Jakarta, Indonesia. The Asian nation Indonesia is a long way from Ukraine, but both emerging nation share a very real problem in common; massive corruption in business and governmental affairs.
The investigation into dozens of politicians is a cause for concern in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, but no other country has taken such a tough stance against graft over the past decade, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla pleads in his defense.
The Indonesian anti-graft agency, known by its initials KPK, has put on trial two suspects and is looking into claims that at least 37 people benefited from the theft of $170 million dollars linked to a national electronic identity card.
The accusations in the corruption police indictment letter say sums ranging from $5,000 to $5.5 million dollars were openly divided up in a room in parliament. Those implicated include members of President Joko Widodo’s ruling party, a minister, the speaker of parliament and opposition party members.
The vast scale of the alleged theft has created sensational headlines, even in a country long used to epic corruption scandals. The fact that it involves corrupt parliament members will be less of a surprise.
In the World Economic Forum’s 2015-16 Global Competitiveness Report, its data indicated efforts to tackle corruption were paying off, with Indonesia “improving on almost all measures related to bribery and ethics”.
Indonesia ranked 90 out of 176 countries in Transparency’s annual Corruption Perceptions index last year, on par with countries such as Liberia and Colombia. Underling the Asian nation has a long way to go still in efforts to overcome corruption in its internal operations.