Saturday, February 23, 2013

View Point: Viva Anas and other corruptors

View Point: Viva Anas and other corruptors
Kornelius Purba, The Jakarta Post | Sun, 02/24/2013 11:32 AM | Opinion

When he announced his resignation as the Democratic Party chairman on Saturday, Anas Urbaningrum's expression was a combination of an elegant statesman and a victim of a satanic conspiracy. It was as if Anas had voluntarily decided to quit the country's largest political party as proof of his greatest sacrifice to the nation, and not because he felt guilty for (reportedly) robbing people's money to enrich himself and illicitly finance his party.
TV audiences did not see him show remorse or shame for (allegedly) participating in the massive looting of state coffers by people who apparently believe they have the privilege to steal as much as they want at minimum risk.
Using "sophisticated" phrases, Anas did not forget to spread "terror" among other party leaders, including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, by stating that what had just happened with him was only the beginning, page one of a long story, with people having the chance to read "many more pages".
Anas is an elegant, intelligent and (suspected) corrupt individual! Many people were impressed with his dignified — again as a corruption suspect — performance when he announced his exit. It happened a day after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named him a suspect in a sports facility construction scandal, in which former youth and sports minister Andi Mallarangeng has also been declared a suspect.
The President himself is very correct in his stance on Anas. Many non-Javanese Indonesians — probably even Javanese — were impatient with the slowness and cautiousness of Yudhoyono in removing Anas from the party's chief post despite massive pressure from within and outside the party. We were upset because it was evident that the retired four-star Army general preferred a "time buying" tactic by continuing to delay Anas' dismissal, even though he held the full authority to show Anas the door.
Some might suspect the motives of the founder of the party in protecting Anas, because the public perception was very clear on Anas' alleged involvement in the corruption that has severely tarnished the party. But we also need to remember Yudhoyono is often dubbed "Mr. Doubtful" because of his hesitation in taking unpopular decisions.
Yudhoyono waited until the KPK declared Anas a suspect on Saturday and Anas announced his own resignation a day after. But many questions on the scandal still linger. Did Anas appear confident of his political survival until the last minute because he possessed abundant evidence on those very close to Yudhoyono that were also guilty of corruption?
TV stations love to broadcast — often live — the press conferences of corruption suspects at the KPK headquarters in Kuningan, South Jakarta. Many of the crooks speak tearfully and a suspect in a Koran procurement graft showed no remorse at all. They appeared like celebrities.
Former Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chairman Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq gave an innocent expression and smiled to journalists when he talked to them at the KPK office. Lutfi had been named a suspect in a corruption case centering on the importation of beef, but he looked like a highly respected preacher who was about to deliver a sermon to his faithful followers. It is true that he should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but knowing the track record of the KPK there is very little chance of Luthfi being acquitted by the court.
Many people laughed when a member of the PKS elite said Zionists were behind the meat import scandal and when the party leaders claimed there were concerted efforts by other parties to humiliate them. They are reluctant to apologize to their followers, who believe the PKS to be the only party that has the ability to deliver on its campaign promises, especially to free the nation from corruption and vice.
Do you still remember Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo? The KPK detained the police general for his alleged role in a driving simulator graft case. He always smiles to reporters, even in the face of more and more reports that he possesses more than 10 luxury houses in prime locations in Jakarta and other places. He also married a former Surakarta (Solo) beauty queen, who is probably no older than his own child, as a second wife.
He feels totally confident of his innocence, although his corruption is so blatant that even the most corrupt judge and prosecutor will feel too ashamed not to give him a hefty sentence.
Have the National Police expressed any regret because one of their best generals has acted like a bandit? Many of the police generals are too busy hiding their dirty acts or the wealth they have accumulated. They have acted against their own oaths to the nation. They are also afraid that the focus on Djoko could lead to them serving a period behind bars.
Business tycoon and chairperson of the Indonesian Buddhist Council (Walubi) Siti Hartati Murdaya should have quit her position in the religious body after the court recently sentenced her to 32 months in jail in a bribery case. She probably thinks her status as a convict has nothing to do with religion.
Why do corrupt individuals not appear to feel shy or guilty? The answer is simple: There are 1001 ways to legally leave prison. They can do it by simply distributing a small portion of the money they stole to a state official. Or they can just escape from the prison with the full help of law enforcers.
Society is very reluctant to impose social sanctions on these bandits.

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