Friday, October 28, 2011

Indonesians Say Their Government Is Corrupt

9 Out of 10 Say Indonesian Government Corruptions Rampant
Ulma Haryanto & Anita Rachman | October 28, 2011

A new survey by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center paints a more dire picture of the state of corruption in Indonesia than indicated by previous studies.

Due to be officially released today, the study, “Corruption Continues to Plague Indonesia,” shows that Indonesians’ perception of how widespread corruption is in the country has worsened under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The Gallup survey found that 91 percent of Indonesians believe corruption is widespread throughout the government, as opposed to 84 percent in 2006.

And that negative perception does not stop at the government, with 86 percent of respondents saying corruption is extensive in the business sector, up from 75 percent in 2006.

“Gallup polling that began midway through Yudhoyono’s first term as president shows Indonesians are more likely now than in 2006 to say corruption is widespread throughout business and government,” the study says.

The results of the Gallup survey run counter to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, which saw Indonesia’s score improve from 2.4 in 2006 to 2.8 in 2010.

The Gallup survey also found that Indonesians were more likely than other Southeast Asians to say their government and business sectors were corrupt. “Only in 2009, the year of Yudhoyono’s re-election, were Indonesians less likely than now to day that corruption is widespread throughout the country’s leadership and businesses,” the report said.

The results were obtained from face-to-face interviews in Indonesia with 6,390 adult respondents, between 2006 and 2011. The center is a Gallup research hub based in the capital of the United Arab Emirates and focused on the attitudes and aspirations of Muslims around the world.

Febri Diansyah, from Indonesia Corruption Watch, agreed with the survey results. He added that Transparency International’s CPI did not necessarily reflect improvements in the public’s perception of the country’s most corrupt public sectors.

“Justice reform has been slow, and our corruption eradication is not that effective yet,” he said.

Gallup’s survey also found that only 56 percent of Indonesians say they have confidence in the judicial system, and 53 percent of people still believe in honest elections.

Perhaps surprisingly, it also found that 88 percent of Indonesians trust the police, compared to 56 percent for the judiciary.

It was also found that Indonesians who have completed their secondary education or higher are less likely to profess confidence in the local police and the country’s judicial system, compared to those with only an elementary education or less.

In the group, with less education, 92 percent declared confidence in their police, compared to 82 percent from those with more education. Fifty-two percent of secondary school graduates or higher still have faith in Indonesian courts, compared with 61 percent for people with less education.

Urban dwellers are also more sceptical of law enforcers, with 91 percent of people living in rural areas thinking the police can still be trusted, compared to 83 percent of city residents. A similar distinction was found for perceptions of the judicial system, with 62 percent of people living in rural areas being optimistic about the courts, compared to only 50 percent of urban residents.

Gallup’s main recommendation to the Indonesian government is to reform the judicial system and the police.

The polling center also says agencies such as the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the yet-to-be-established Financial Services Supervisory Authority (OJK) should be kept independent.

“If Yudhoyono and other Indonesian officials want to eradicate corruption in their country, they should consider tougher action,” the report says.

In another recommendation, Gallup also says that a free press can help keep leaders in the government and private sectors accountable and honest

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