Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Crimes by Lawmakers

Since the year 2008, our news media have been reporting about the arrests of many members of the Parliament (DPR) for charges of receiving Bribes that caused great financial loss to the state.

According to Okezone , from January 2008 until early March 2009, at least seven lawmakers have been arrested i.e Al Amin Nur Nasution, Sarjan Tahir, Yusuf E. Faishal, Bulyan Royan, Abdul Hadi Jamal, Hamka Yamdu, and Antony Zeidra Abidin. These arrests have caused Sebastian Salang, an NGO activist, to suspect that there is a relationship between the crimes commited by those lawmakers and the preparation for general election next April.

According to The Jakarta Post, Abdul Hadi Djamal was arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) last Monday, carrying with him US$ 90 thousand and Rp 54 million. Beside him, KPK arrested Darmawati Dahore, offical of the Department of Transportation, and Hontjo Kurniawan, businessman. An unnamed source said that Hontjo gave Rp 2 billion to Abdul, and Rp 600 million to Darmawati.
In a press conference last Tuesday, KPK Chairman Antasari Ashar suspected that the money is related to the development of airport and seaport in Eastern Indonesia. He said that the three suspects shall be charged with violating the Anti Corruption Law Articles 5 & 11 regarding Gratuities and Article 12(a) & 12(b) regarding Bribery, with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The series of arrests of those lawmakers brings mixed feelings for me. On the one hand I am very sad that people who are supposed to make law have violated those laws instead, but on the other hand I am glad because they will face legal proceedings thus pay for their crimes. I hope that the general elections on 9 April will result a lot much better lawmakers for our country.

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