Activists hold a mock funeral for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Photo by Maulana Surya for Antara.


Indonesia’s once-feted Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) established itself as one of the most trusted institutions in the country, through its prosecutions of ministers, heads of state agencies, political party figures and legislators from across the political spectrum, as well as judicial and law enforcement officers.

But the KPK’s many opponents struck a decisive blow in 2019, as a newly re-elected President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo lent his support to amendments to the KPK’s founding statute. The revision of the KPK Law severely undercut the Commission’s autonomy, and was one of the triggers of the #ReformasiDikorupsi protests, the largest wave of student protests in Indonesia since Soeharto’s fall in 1998. Two years on, how have the new amendments affected the KPK’s ability to investigate corruption cases? How has the new set of commissioners performed, having been appointed soon after these amendments were passed? What lies ahead for anti-corruption efforts in Indonesia?

In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dave McRae discusses these issues with anti-corruption expert Dr Ahmad Khoirul Umam. Dr Umam is Managing Director of the Paramadina Public Policy Institute in Jakarta. He wrote his PhD at the University of Queensland on the politics of anti-corruption in Indonesia.

The Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Annisa Beta from the University of Melbourne’s School of Culture and Communication, and Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the Singapore Management University.

Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight.  Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via Apple Podcasts or listen via your favourite podcasting app.

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