During the last couple of years of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY)'s second cabinet (2009-2014) there erupted a number of high profile corruption cases that involved several of his ministers as well as leading figures in his Democratic Party (in Indonesian: Partai Demokrat, abbreviated as PD). As a result, the PD party dropped significantly in the 2014 parliamentary election (this loss was also caused by the inability of SBY to find a new charismatic leader for the party, while SBY himself could not participate in the 2014 presidential election as he was finishing his final presidential term).
Two former ministers - under the SBY administration - were in the news in the past couple of days. Firstly, former Indonesian state-owned enterprises minister Dahlan Iskan was sentenced to two years in jail for the flawed sale (between 2002 and 2004) of 33 assets owned by the Province of East Java and managed by regional state-owned property company Panca Wira Usaha. Dahlan served as president director of Panca Wira Usaha between 2000-2009.
The irregular sales of these 33 assets resulted in state losses as they were sold below the taxable value (hence it constitutes illegal sales). A total of IDR 900 billion (approx. USD $68 million) worth of assets (owned by Panca Wira Usaha) were sold, resulting in IDR 11 billion (approx. USD $827,067) of state losses.
The two year prison sentence and a IDR 1 billion fine (or additional two months in prison), decided by the judges at the Surabaya Corruption Court, are lighter compared to the six years imprisonment that was demanded by prosecutors. However, Dahlan's defense team immediately said it will appeal the verdict.
Secondly, former Indonesian sports minister Andi Mallarangeng (also under the SBY administration), who was sentenced to four years in prison in 2014 for receiving IDR 4 billion (approx. USD $275,000) and USD $550,000 in bribes related to the construction of the Hambalang sports complex in Bogor (West Java), enjoyed an early release. He was released from the Sukamiskin prison in Bandung (West Java) on Friday (21/04), three months earlier than scheduled, in an act of leniency.
Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) reacted by urging the Directorate General of Corrections at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights to be less lenient to high-profile corrupters. Being lenient toward such cases may invite more politicians, businessmen, and middlemen to become involved in corruption.
Read more: Corruption in Indonesia