CORRUPTION, BETWEEN CULTURE AND ETHICS
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Anti Corruption movement is actively conducted. Many attempts are taken by people s elements and government institutions to reduce this rooting problem. Arrest of officers indicated corruption as often seen in printed or electronic media, is intended to give impact for others not to corrupt. Other than taking repressive way, some people or NGOs initiatively take a more positive way by dedicating awards to ones considered doing a step forward in putting end to corruption.

One of the awards given to anti-corruption people is Bung Hatta Anti Corruption Award. This award is given out by an NGO “Perkumpulan Bung Hatta Anti-Corruption Award” to someone who is clean from corruptive practices, never misuses his or her power or authorities, and never commits bribery. Other criteria that have to be met by winners of this award are participating actively in providing inspiration for corruption eradication. The biannual award in 2008 goes to DR. Sri Mulyani, Amien Sunariyadi, and M. Busyro Muqoddas.

Speaking in his capacity as a keynote speaker, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Prof. DR. Moh. Mahfud MD appreciated highly the initiative of giving such award. Even though there had been a rise in the rank of most corruptive countries in the world, corruption was still a problem that was difficult to be anticipated. “Even we seem to be lack of our surprise, news (about corruption) is there everyday, and they are printed in bold,” explained Mahfud, Tuesday (11/11), in Jakarta.

According to Professor in Legal Politics, there were several causes why corruption still existed in Indonesia. First, reform movement that happened in Indonesia only cut until political hegemony and never touched nor cleaned bureaucracy. Working Mechanism for Bureaucracy was still the same as before the reformation. This caused that if there is an effort to put end to corruption, there would be a resistance and blockage from the bureaucracy itself. “Even though so, every political contestant in campaign always said to clear up the bureaucracy, still until now there is no positive result,” he said.

Mahfud admitted that the Judicial Commission itself was not clean from corruption. One of its members was even arrested after convicted of committing corruption. However Mahfud considered the choice for Head of the Judicial Commission as the award winner was appropriate. “When knowing that (his member) was arrested, he directly facilitated to arrest the person. He was not resistant. When knowing his subordinate was wrong, he lent a hand,” he said. Mahfud also committed similarly if one employee of the Constitutional Court committed corruption.

Besides that, Mahfud did not believe the stigma that corruption was a culture passed on hereditarily or trans-generation and took hundreds of years to change. According to Mahfud, If we only accepted corruption as a culture then there would not be efforts to put end to it. In fact, looking at Indonesian history, not all time it was filled with corruption. “There has been a moment in time, when we were clean,” explained Mahfud.

Professor from UII said that, according to the research he conducted, the starting point of corruption existence in Indonesia was in 1974. In 1973 or earlier, Indonesian government could be categorized as clean from corruption. After Malari incident, former President Soeharto as the holder of executive power began to interfere with the judicial world by implementing militaristic hierarchy system. Starting from that time, corruption infected judicial institutions. “(When) a judge wanted to be a High (court) Judge, (he must) pay to the superintendent. A High (court) judge (if he) wanted to be A Supreme Judge, (he must) pay to the superintendent,” explained Mahfud.

Mahfud also talked about ethics. Many officers at the moment did not have ethics or shame. “Even though in people justice sense and common sense, what Mr. X, a minister, has done is indicated corruption, just because it can not be proven formally because he knows how to deal with it then he does not feel guilty,” he exclaimed. 

Quoting what former General Attorney Abdurrahman Saleh said about the cause of corruption, Mahfud said the root of the problem was feudalism. This feudalism made people wanted to be served. “The lower level wants to bribe his superintendent just to be considered as a good servant, the upper level feels arrogant and wants to be served,” he explained. (Yogi Djatnika)

Foto: Dok. Humas MK/Yogi Dj


Tuesday, November 11, 2008 | 15:12 WIB 404