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More Doubts Shroud Indonesia in Light of Top Justice’s Arrest

Akil Mochtar
A shocking news surprised me when I woke up in the morning today. Akil Mohtar, the Constitutional Court’s Chief Justice, was arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in a raid early on Thursday morning.

Akil, who was elected as Chief Justice in August 2013, allegedly received briberies to settle election dispute in Gunung Mas regency.  Former Golkar Party politician Akil was arrested along with Golkar Party lawmaker Chairun Nisa and businessman CHN at the chief’s official house in South Jakarta. Shortly, Gunung Mas regent Hambit Bintih and another businessman DH was apprehended in a hotel in Central Jakarta.

The anti-graft body’s investigators confiscated money worthy of SGD 324,000 (IDR 3 billion) from Akil’s house.

The Constitutional Court, so far, has always been considered as the cleanest body in the judicial branch in Indonesia. This highest court deals with constitutional disputes and those about regional, local or national election disputes.

In my opinion, the arrest has delivered a very fatal blow to Indonesia’s judicial system and Indonesian governmental system in general. Former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mahfud MD has been known for building up the image of his former office as a clean body. Now, his successor has just shattered the image to pieces.

“Now we don’t know who we can trust,” said one of my colleagues at the office when we discussed the arrest.

My friend is right. Corruption has invaded nearly all aspects of Indonesian government. Be it police, lawyers, lawmakers, justices, ministers and now even a Constitutional Court Chief Justice, they do not seem to be able to turn their faces away from corrupt practices. We don’t know who we can trust now.

Most often we do not want to be involved with police because for many Indonesians, dealing with police means you have to own a mass amount of money. If you don’t have money, then no one will stand by you. That is the prevailing norm and belief in Indonesian society. The lack of clean governmental system has made Indonesian citizens doubt that they will never get justice. Justice is something you can buy in this country.

Now the question remains. Is there anything we cannot do now? Now that is a question that you and I need to find the answers … For a cleaner and better Indonesia, we should start implementing ‘clean and healthy’ lifestyle to ourselves.


  1. shit man! i mean, Indonesia looks like a damned Gotham city now. Corruption, police won't stand by our side, firing everywhere.
    yeah, now we don't know who we can trust. haha
    oh anyway, at least i still have so many friends here.


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