11/09/2016, 14.25
INDONESIA
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Indonesian Bishops: We must educate a new political class to fight corruption

by Mathias Hariyadi

Three "study days" to explore one of the principal emergencies in Indonesian society. Ignatius Jonan, Energy Minister, a Catholic and "an example of good administration” among the speakers. Analysts: "Compared to the past, corruption is widespread at all levels."

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Fighting corruption by taking a lead from the good politicians who operate within the law. This is the appeal that comes from the encounter recently organized by the Indonesian bishops, attended by several members of the government and the organizations fighting lawlessness. Each year, before the annual assembly, the Bishops' Conference (KWI) devotes three "study days" to the most important issues affecting life of the country. This year's theme is corruption, which is still a plague in Indonesia.

The first to intervene was Ignatius Jonan, former transport minister and now head the department of Energy. The Catholic politician is considered a rising star and a great example of how to restore the public administration. He is credited with having revived the fortunes of the national railway company (Pt Kai) and to have ensured a functional performance, with clean and punctual trains. He is now doing the same in the one of the nation’s most strategic ministries, as Indonesia is very rich mineral deposits, such as gold and oil.

Jonan stated that "corruption that stems from need, which is a result of social injustice, and the corruption that comes from greed. This is in close relation with the low quality of the person ". The best solution to reduce the first type of corruption, said the politician, is "to improve the conditions of society providing a system that works and with a transparent administration."

Other speakers were drawn from among the Anti-Corruption Commission (Kpk) and other observers. Everyone gave their full support to Bhumiksara Foundation, created by the Episcopal Conference in order to educate new leaders among Catholics who can lead society and prevent corruption.

According to the Kpk judge, Alexander Marwata, "compared to the period of Suharto's presidency (1967-1998), where most of the corruption was concentrated in Central Jakarta, now it has spread everywhere and there are many who behave improperly without hesitation". Other analysts have pointed out that while in the past corruption was recorded in political circles, now even the government officials are not alone in committing abuses.

The three days was attended 36 bishops. Earlier this year they had criticized the plan of anti-corruption reform, which "is manipulated for political interests" and provides for a reduction of the Kpk powers.

According to data from Transparency International, updated to 2015, the Indonesian public perceives the public sector as highly corrupt, ranking the country 88th place out of 168. In addition, politics appears to be often used for personal purposes and in this ranking Jakarta totalizes -0.7 points, on a scale from -2.5 to +2.5.

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