Posted by: mel | December 28, 2009

Comments: ‘Anticorruption and prejudice trap’

Jakarta Post | Reader’s Forum | 28 December 2009 | 17 December p.7

Tucked in between the multi-front and high-spirited antigraft movement is a tiny flare of unwavering prejudice. As the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) saga unfolded with the detention of Bibit S. Rianto and Chandra M. Hamzah, and later exploded with the airing of the conversations wiretapped by the KPK, high-profile cases involving figures like Anggoro, Anggodo and Yuliana Ong became catalysts for the emergence of age-old sentiments, the framing of Chinese Indonesians as the usual corrupt suspects.   (By Gatot Goei and Christine Susanna Tjhin, Jakarta).

Your comments:

There should be a dividing line between corruption and racketeering. A businessmen doing illegal business practice is not corruption, it is racketeering. Corruption is a public official making illegitimate private gains. Therefore there is no prejudice toward certain ethnicities who have saved the Indonesian economy with their business effort. Corruption is done by public officials, of which only a small number of Chinese work as.

There is no smoke without fire, Gatot and Christine. The Chinese are successful because they are single minded in pursuing their business goals. So single minded, in fact, that they sometimes they forget about larger moral issues.

To provide an effective counter balance, reasonable Indonesians should engage in more, not less, public debate about those business practices that have a negative effect on Indonesian social morals or the environment.

Some topics to start with, could include the large number of Chinese owned entertainment outlets in Jakarta that exploit Indonesian women, the pulp and paper industry in Sumatra that removes native forest without adequate replanting, the collusion between importers (read smugglers) and
corrupt customs officials, the poor fire safety in too many of Jakarta public buildings, and the large
trade imbalances between Pribumi Indonesia and (mostly Chinese) Singapore.

Kevin James
Batam, Riau Island


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