Kalla Views Corruption Eradication as Hampering the Economy
Wednesday, 06 December, 2006 | 15:00 WIB

Tempo Interactive, Jakarta: Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that corruption eradication which is under the Corruption Eradication Committee (KPK) has created anxiety upon state officials in taking decisions. As a result, it obstructs the economy.

“We support the eradication of corruption, but not to the extent of failing the ,” said Kalla when opening the international seminar of bureaucratic reform at Sari Pan Pacific Hotel, Jakarta, yesterday (12/5). “Strict measures of KPK can also result in uneasiness.”

Among the proof that Kalla said was the many banking funds—around Rp200 trillion—that are saved in Bank Indonesia then disbursed for credit. “Bank leaders consider it is more comfortable that (their funds) are saved in Bank Indonesia because they will acquire 12 percent interest. Credit disbursement, if it is non-performable in the future, may put them into prison,” said Kalla. However, according to Kalla, the money is needed for stimulating Indonesia's economy.

Other instances, said Kalla, was that fear of being suspected of corruption has caused electricity in North Sumatera to go out for two weeks. The electricity generator, said Kalla, broke down by virtue of a delay of spare parts since it must be put to tender. “The tender was four months old. The spare parts only came after six months. In the third month, the electricity had already gone out,” said Kalla. He said that the incident has resulted in losses of billions of rupiah. In addition, it would only cost Rp50 million without the tender.

In response to the issue, the Deputy Head of the Corruption Eradication Committee Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas said that an anti-corruption act has indeed heavy consequences including fear. He acknowledged that there was a decrease in the quality of bureaucracy. However, he added, soon it will be back to normal. “It will take long time,” he said. This once happened in South Korea as well.

Coordinator of Legal and Justice Monitoring Division at the Indonesian Corruption Watch, Emerson Yuntho, said that the anxiety of state officials by virtue of strict measures of the KPK was groundless. “This instead can be pressure for state officials to be careful,” he said yesterday (12/5). According to him, the emerging anxiety was a good mechanism of control. “It is better that the project is delayed, and secures state cash, than it is corrupted.”

He said that there was no correlation between the attempt for eradicating corruption with the degrading investment climate and economic growth. “If the law is bad, it will worsen economic growth.”

SUTARTO | SANDY INDRA PRATAMA | Ninin Damayanti
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