Counting the Perception

 In a few days the Transparency International is going to publish the newest Corruption Perceptions Index. It’s an index which, simply said, measures people’s perceptions about the corruption in the world. It is a survey of surveys, resulting in scores in scale of one to ten. More points is better, it means people think corruption in a country is less exist. (More about the index can be read here.)

Last year, Indonesia only got 2.8, sitting in the 111th rank out of 180. Up 0.2 than the previous year, but not good enough. Indonesia scored even lower than the war-torn Rwanda (3.3, 89th) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (3.0, 99th)!

Our neighbour country Malaysia reached 4.5 (56th), while Thailand sat on the 84th rank (3.4). Singapore as usual stayed in the top list, scoring 9.2 (3rd). Indonesia only scored slightly better than Vietnam (2.7, 120th) and Philippines (2.4, 139th).

How will Indonesia perform in the 2010 index?

In the last year, sadly, we watched corruptors fight back in Indonesia. Two deputies of the Corruption Eradication Commission, Bibit Samad Riyanto and Chandra M Hamzah, were criminalized. Anggodo Widjojo, brother of fugitive graft suspect Anggoro Widjojo, accused the deputies of the anticorruption body had blackmailed Anggoro. Despite mass rejection, huge demonstrations on the streets asking the Attorney General to stop the prosecution, now the case is in process and soon will be trialed in the court.

We sickly read about one former low-level tax official, Gayus Tambunan, who is now a defendant in a tax corruption case. He ‘helped’ companies to evade their taxes, and actively bribed the officials investigating him. He confessed piling Rp 28 billion from his ‘added value services’ to the companies. If found guilty, the maximum sentence waiting for him is 20 years in jail.

And what did the goverment do, beside blaming other people instead of correcting the major flaws in the law enforcement?

Nothing. Well, at least, nothing good enough.

The goverment targeted to achieve 5.0 CPI in 2011. Will it happen?

“No. I estimate it will be stagnant at 2.8 this year, or even lower. So it’ll be really hard to get to 5.0,” said Transparency International Indonesia General Secretary, Teten Masduki, last week.

He rated three main pillars of Indonesia’s law enforcement were inadequate to manage their jobs: not the National Chief Police Bambang Hendarso Danuri, nor the Attorney General Hendarman Supandji, neither the Law Minister Patrialis Akbar. 

If President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is brave enough to turn the table, of course change can be done. But alas, it seems unlikely these days.

As much as I want to be optimistic, this time I’ve got to see the real picture. There’s so much thing to do, and the government doesn’t seem to have the will to do it. 

But I believe by screaming it out loud, reminding them what’s to be done and insisting them (and us) to do it, eventually we can improve Indonesia’s CPI. Although 5.0 in 2011 might be unrealistic, what about 2014?

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pictures copied in accordance to the license from SXC.hu.

first picture is from http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1192803, while the second is from http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1096839

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