Continued Emergence of Scandals Undermines Trust in Indonesian Politics
Today, most Indonesian newspapers opened with negative headlines concerning the country's political arena. In Indonesian politics, scandals - whether connected to corruption or other issues - are frequently reported and seriously undermine people's (both domestic and foreign) confidence in the nation's governance. In today's newspapers, three cases were center of attention and illustrate the problems within Indonesia's political elite.
First of all, president of the Prosperous Justice Party (abbreviated PKS, Indonesia's fourth-largest political party based on the parliamentary election of 2009) and House of Representatives member, Luthfi Hasan Ishak, was named a suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in a new corruption scandal that involves the issuance of a lucrative contract to import meat; a case that will enter court soon. Allegedly, Jakarta-based company Indoguna Utama bribed the lawmaker. Today, Luthfi resigned from his position in the PKS.
Secondly, a case that has been a hot topic in Indonesian media in recent months, is the Constitutional Court's decision to ignore Aceng Fikri appeal. Fikri, chief of the Garut district in West Java, had appealed against his impeachment after divorcing his second wife - a 17 year old - through a text message. He decided to divorce her after only four days of marriage. Public outrage followed after this story reached the media, in particular because it involved an unregistered - therefore illegal - marriage that was only based on Islamic law. In these marriages, which frequently happen in Indonesia, women have a weak position.
Lastly, New York-based Human Rights Watch stated that the Indonesian government should be more active with regard to responding to religious violence, religious discrimination in the country and halt imprisonment of peaceful Papuan and Moluccan activists.