Stagnant Corruption Perception Index, Evidence of the Dilapidation of Corruption Eradication in Indonesia

President Jokowi’s term of leadership is almost reaching the finish line. However, ironically, the fate of eradicating corruption in Indonesia is becoming increasingly worrying. This was revealed in the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released by Transparency International (TI). Indonesia’s GPA score in 2023 will experience stagnation, meaning there will be no progress compared to the previous year.

Based on data released by TI, this country was only able to achieve a score of 34 and fell from 110th to 115th. If you look back, the current GPA score is the same as when Jokowi first assumed the presidency in 2014. This fact is like a hard slap for Jokowi and his government. Nine years of his leadership did not show any significant contribution to the agenda for eradicating corruption. Instead, the trend is towards decline.

The stagnation and decline of the CPI indicate that efforts to eradicate corruption in the Jokowi era are still far from expectations. Law enforcement is still weak, corruption is still rampant in various sectors, and the eradication of corruption is characterized by various polemics and political interventions.

Some examples, the weakening of the Corruption Eradication Commission (In Indonesia it is known as the KPK) through the revision of the KPK Law, the arrest of anti-corruption activists, and corruption cases involving Jokowi’s ministers, indicate that the government’s commitment to fighting corruption is still in doubt. If Jokowi wants to leave a positive legacy at the end of his term, then he needs to take firm and concrete steps to improve the eradication of corruption in Indonesia.

The Dilapidated Condition of Democracy

If we look at data from TI, Indonesia’s GPA has experienced a downward trend in the last five years. In 2019 with a score of 40 and then plunged to 34 in 2022. TI views that Indonesian democracy is increasingly going backward. TI views that the stagnation of GPA scores in 2023 shows that the response to corrupt practices still tends to be slow. In fact, according to TI, it continues to worsen due to the lack of real support from stakeholders.

The clear correlation between the stagnation of the CPI and the decline in the quality of democracy in Indonesia shows that there is a close connection between eradicating corruption and democratic stability. Weak eradication of corruption provides an opening for rampant corrupt practices, which in turn are destructive foundations of democracy.

Democracy, which should involve active citizen participation, transparency, and government accountability, is threatened by corrupt practices that continue without significant obstacles, aka dilapidated. Political intervention in eradicating corruption, such as weakening the Corruption Eradication Commission through the revision of the Corruption Eradication Commission Law, shows instability in efforts to protect democracy from the threat of corruption.

The lack of support from stakeholders could further worsen the situation in this country. This will certainly create an environment where corruption can flourish and damage democratic structures.

The dilapidated condition of democracy is not only reflected in the CPI score which continues to decline, but also through changes and weakening of institutions that are supposed to maintain integrity and transparency in government. The revision of the Corruption Eradication Committee Law which weakens the power of the Corruption Eradication Commission is a clear example of political intervention that is detrimental to efforts to eradicate corruption.

In addition, press freedom is threatened and intimidation of journalists who reveal corrupt practices also reflects badly on freedom of expression, a key aspect of democracy. When the pillars of democracy such as press freedom and anti-corruption institutions are weakened, democracy itself becomes vulnerable to abuse of power and corruption.

It is important to remember that democracy should not only focus on the election process but also on aspects such as protecting human rights, freedom of expression, and social justice. If eradicating corruption is not prioritized and instead continues to be hampered, then the concept of democracy will only become empty rhetoric without substance.

Regarding the lack of support from stakeholders, including civil society, business, and educational institutions, efforts need to be made to increase awareness of the importance of eradicating corruption in maintaining the health of democracy. Active involvement of all levels of society is the key to improving the dilapidated condition of democracy so that Indonesian democracy can stand strong again and involve equal community participation.

So, firm and concrete steps from the Jokowi government are needed not only to improve the corruption perception index but also to maintain the health of Indonesian democracy, which is increasingly under threat. Eradicating corruption and developing democracy must be a shared priority to create a just, transparent, and responsible society.

Homework for Candidates President Furthermore

We know that President Jokowi’s term of office has only a few months remaining. This year the democratic party, the Presidential Election Celebration, was also held. Of course, this will be homework for the successor to the leadership relay captain of this republic.

Homework for skippers’ then is not only limited to the task of eradicating corruption but also includes efforts to improve the quality of democracy as a whole—which will also have implications for improving Indonesia’s CPI. The prospective leader who will replace President Jokowi needs to have the vision and commitment to overcome mounting challenges, especially in terms of eradicating corruption and strengthening the foundations of democracy.

First of all, prospective leaders must be committed to improving and strengthening anti-corruption institutions, such as the Corruption Eradication Commission, and ensuring their independence from detrimental political interference. The role of law and law enforcement must be strengthened so that corruptors can be tried fairly and firmly. In addition, the new leader needs to provide real support for transparency and accountability in government.

Second, new leaders need to address weaknesses in democratic structures by ensuring continued institutional reform. This includes discussion and re-evaluation of the revision of the Corruption Eradication Committee Law and other efforts that might weaken corruption eradication institutions. A strong leader must be able to ensure that democracy not only functions formally but also provides real benefits for society.

Third, candidates skipper Furthermore, it is necessary to increase active community participation in monitoring and eradicating corruption. Prioritizing the involvement of citizens, civil society organizations and educational institutions will help create a more transparent and accountable atmosphere in overcoming corruption.

Lastly, as part of their homework, prospective leaders must build an open dialogue with all stakeholders, including society, business, and educational institutions. In this way, the incoming government can respond more effectively to the needs and aspirations of the people.

Ultimately, the candidates ‘task skipper’ will not only improve the corruption perception index but also restore public confidence in democracy. By involving all elements of society and taking firm steps, Indonesia can move forward as a strong, transparent, and corruption-free country.

It’s time for Indonesia to improve

The issue of corruption is not just the responsibility of Jokowi, the Corruption Eradication Commission, or the government, but is a common challenge that must be overcome by all elements of society. For this reason, concrete and collaborative steps need to be taken to create significant change.

First, civil society has an important role in monitoring and eradicating corruption. Civil society organizations need to continue to promote transparency, accountability, and active citizen participation. Through education and anti-corruption campaigns, public awareness can be raised, forming a strong basis for change.

Second, the business sector must also contribute to efforts to eradicate corruption. Encouraging clean business practices, upholding the principles of integrity, and rejecting corruption can create a healthier business environment. Business involvement in supporting anti-corruption initiatives can be a pioneer or driver of positive change in the economic structure.

Third, educational institutions also have a key role in forming the anti-corruption character of the younger generation. Learning about ethics, integrity, and social responsibility needs to be strengthened so that these values ​​become an integral part of society’s culture. Through instilling these values, it is hoped that future leaders with integrity will emerge.

Fourth, the mass media as the fourth pillar of democracy has a big responsibility in exposing corrupt practices and maintaining press freedom. Through objective and critical reporting, the media can act as moral guardians and government watchdogs, helping to uncover cases of corruption and increasing public awareness.

Fifth, the government must show real commitment to fighting corruption. Strict legal steps, protection for whistleblowers, and strengthening law enforcement institutions such as the Corruption Eradication Commission are the keys to success. Institutional reform and efforts to eradicate corruption must be carried out without detrimental political intervention.

With cross-sector cooperation and active involvement from all levels of society, Indonesia can overcome its dilapidated corruption eradication system and build a stronger foundation for democracy. It’s time to unite in the spirit of change and ensure that Indonesia becomes a clean, just, and responsible country.

[Countries by Corruption Perceptions Index. Credit: ConnerMiner, via Wikimedia Commons]

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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