Corruption in Indonesia: Minister Jero Wacik Named Suspect in Graft Case
Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik has been named a suspect in a corruption case by the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Allegedly, Jero Wacik was involved in the case that led to a seven-year prison sentence for former Head of Indonesia's oil & gas regulator SKKMigas Rudi Rubiandini (for money laundering as well as accepting bribes from Singapore-based Kernel Oil Pte Ltd and Indonesia-based Kaltim Parna Industri in return for awarding a lucrative tender to sell oil).
When investigators were inquiring into the case it turned out that not only the country’s upstream oil and gas regulator SKKMigas was involved but also the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources led by Minister Jero Wacik. Secretary General at the Ministry, Waryono Karno, was arrested after USD $200,000 in cash had been found in his office.
Wacik is also a senior member of incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party (Partai Demokrat, PD). This party has seen several high profile corruption scandals in recent years. This is painful as the party won the 2009 legislative election based on its promise to combat political corruption. Wacik is the third sitting minister in Yudhoyono’s second cabinet that is accused of corruption. Former Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng and former Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali. Andi Mallarangeng was sentenced to four years imprisonment and a fine of IDR 200 million for his role in the Hambalang sports complex-corruption case in Bogor (West Java). Suryadharma Ali stepped down from his post in late May 2014 to focus on his defence after being named a suspect in the hajj pilgrimage fund-corruption case.
Indonesia is characterized by widespread political corruption, particularly in the current era of decentralization (after the fall of the authoritarian Suharto regime) when extensive power has been delegated to the regions, giving rise to powerful and corrupt local oligarchic structures (consisting of local political leaders and business players).
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