Monday, October 28, 2013

$8.9 million (Indonesia)

The Akil-gate scandal involving former Constitutional Court justice Akil Mochtar just became an order of magnitude more serious as the Financial Transaction Report and Analysis Center (PPATK) found US $8.9 (Rp. 100 billion) in wire transfers in Akil's account. According to The Jakarta Post, there are now suspicions that Akil was engaged in money laundering and that corruption might have tainted many more elections cases. Meanwhile, Indonesia Corruption Watch is calling for a more exhaustive probe into Akil's wealth.

What's particularly worrying about all of these reservations is that it becomes much harder for the Constitutional Court as a whole to plausibly deny and knowledge of Akil's activities. A single bribe can be hidden quite easily, but it appears that Akil's activities likely generated a completely different lifestyle for the former chief justice. Why did his activities and behavior not raise suspicions earlier? I suspect Indonesians will increasingly be asking themselves those questions.


  1. "Why did his activities and behavior not raise suspicions earlier?" - well, it must have. Someone I know (who apparently knows one of Akil's daughter) said that she (the daughter) just got back from a so called euro trip, not long before the arrest. Now how can a judge afford to fund such extravaganze using his paycheck? But no one realy cares, and sort of fine with the idea, because the father is a "pejabat".

    The problem, I think, is the duality that Indonesians have with respect to public officials - a trait passed down from Soeharto era - that it is somewhat acceptable for a public official to be ridiculously wealthy - as long as that official is not charged with corruption case.

    I was also once invited to a wedding of the children of a senior police officer and a senior staff of kejaksaan, and was in an utter disbelieve at the blatant diaplay of excessive wealth showcased, with unending supply of buffet of extravagant food such as lobster and wagyu beef, celebrity performers and what looked like 5000 invitees. But no one bats an eye and asked the question, how on earth can 2 public officials fund this using their salary? They must've either taken loans from sharks or.... but since none of them have been nabbed by KPK as corruption case suspects, they are fine and we can all enjoy the fruis of their labour without any sense of guilt whatsoever.

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