The Indonesian parliament, or DPR, has unanimously voted to approve changes in Indonesia’s anti-graft agency, the KPK.
Earlier, civilians and activists had expressed concerns about the reforms, which they claim would undermine the agency’s power to tackle corruption.
Parliament passed a motion last week to debate amendments to the 2002 law which created the anti-corruption body. On Tuesday 17th September it has finally been decided that the KPK will be supervised by an external board.
Johnny G Plate, a member of the parliament, has maintained that all state agencies will need to be supervised. “We want to establish a supervisory board to make the KPK’s management more prudent and accountable,” Plate explained.
“There is no state institution in the world that does not have supervisory board, without checks and balances,” he added.
However, anti-corruption activists fear that the reforms will weaken the agency. Today, some protesters gathered in front of parliament. Some held banners claiming that it is the KPK’s “funeral”.
In the past, many of the KPK’s investigations have involved members of parliament. A former speaker of the house has been convicted by the agency for graft.
Currently, President Joko Widodo has 30 days to sign the law. He has defended the changes and claimed that he would not compromise the nation’s power to fight corruption and graft. The president insists that it is necessary to have an external supervisory board in the KPK.
Jokowi also stated that he would pick the members of the board himself. The members of the supervisory board will consist of researchers and anti-corruption activists, not politicians and bureaucrats.