Ahmad Khoirul Umam

Publications

1 Democratization, Market Liberalization and the Raise of Vested Interests and Its Impacts on Anti-Corruption Reform in Indonesia

Authors: Ahmad Khoirul Umam

Abstract:

This paper investigates the role of vested interests and its impacts on anti-corruption agenda in Indonesia following the collapse of authoritarian regime in 1998. A pervasive and rampant corruption has been believed as the main cause of the state economy’s fragility. Hence, anti-corruption measures were implemented by applying democratization and market liberalization since the establishment of a consolidated democracy which go hand in hand with a liberal market economy is convinced to be an efficacious prescription for effective anti-corruption. The reform movement has also mandated the establishment of the independent, neutral and professional special anti-corruption agency namely Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to more intensify the fight against the systemic corruption. This paper will examine whether these anti-corruption measures have been effective to combat corruption, and investigate to what extend have the anti-corruption efforts, especially those conducted by KPK, been impeded by the emergence of a nexus of vested interests as the side-effect of democratization and market liberalization. Based on interviews with key stakeholders from KPK, other law enforcement agencies, government, prominent scholars, journalists and NGOs in Indonesia, it is found that since the overthrow of Soeharto, anti-corruption movement in the country have become more active and serious. After gradually winning the hearth of people, KPK successfully touched the untouchable corruption perpetrators who were previously protected by political immunity, legal protection and bureaucratic barriers. However, these changes have not necessarily reduced systemic and structural corruption practices. Ironically, intensive and devastating counterattacks were frequently posed by the alignment of business actors, elites of political parties, government, and also law enforcement agencies by hijacking state’s instruments to make KPK deflated, powerless, and surrender. This paper concludes that attempts of democratization, market liberalization and the establishment of anti-corruption agency may have helped Indonesia to reduce corruption. However, it is still difficult to imply that such anti-corruption measures have fostered the more effective anti-corruption works in the newly democratized and weakly regulated liberal economic system.

Keywords: Leadership, Democratization, Anti-Corruption, vested interests, market liberalization

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Abstracts

2 Understanding the Complexity of Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Indonesia's Mining Industry: Challenges and Opportunities

Authors: Ahmad Khoirul Umam, Iin Mayasari

Abstract:

Indonesia is blessed with rich natural resources and frequently dubbed as the 6th richest country in the world in terms of mining resources, including minerals and coal. Mining can contribute to the socio-economic development by generating state revenue for development, elevating poverty through employment, opening and developing remote areas, putting in basic infrastructure and creating new centres of developments. However, favouritism and rent-seeking behaviour committed by government officials, politicians, and business players in licensing and permit giving in mining and forestry sectors have resisted reforms. Even though Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) successfully targeted untouchable actors, public criticism continues to focus on questions of why corruption apparently remains systemic in mining industry in the country? This paper revealed that structural anomalies, as well as legacies of the Soeharto era’s power inequities, have severely inhibited Indonesia’s bureaucratic arrangements that continue to influence adversely the elements of transparency and accountability in mining industry governance. In the more liberalized and decentralized political system, the deficiencies have gradually assisted vested interest groups to band together, thus creating a coalition that can challenge, resist, and contain anti-graft actions. Therefore, Indonesia needs much more serious anti-corruption actions that would require eliminating the monopoly over power, enhancing competition, limiting discretion, and clarifying the rules of business and political competition in the mining sector in the country.

Keywords: Democratization, Anti-Corruption, mining industry, public integrity, private integrity

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1 Democratization, Market Liberalization and the Raise of Vested Interests and Its Impacts on Anti-Corruption Reform in Indonesia

Authors: Ahmad Khoirul Umam

Abstract:

This paper investigates the role of vested interests and its impacts on anti-corruption agenda in Indonesia following the collapse of authoritarian regime in 1998. A pervasive and rampant corruption has been believed as the main cause of the state economy’s fragility. Hence, anti-corruption measures were implemented by applying democratization and market liberalization since the establishment of a consolidated democracy which go hand in hand with a liberal market economy is convinced to be an efficacious prescription for effective anti-corruption. The reform movement has also mandated the establishment of the independent, neutral and professional special anti-corruption agency namely Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to more intensify the fight against the systemic corruption. This paper will examine whether these anti-corruption measures have been effective to combat corruption, and investigate to what extend have the anti-corruption efforts, especially those conducted by KPK, been impeded by the emergence of a nexus of vested interests as the side-effect of democratization and market liberalization. Based on interviews with key stakeholders from KPK, other law enforcement agencies, government, prominent scholars, journalists and NGOs in Indonesia, it is found that since the overthrow of Soeharto, anti-corruption movement in the country have become more active and serious. After gradually winning the hearth of people, KPK successfully touched the untouchable corruption perpetrators who were previously protected by political immunity, legal protection and bureaucratic barriers. However, these changes have not necessarily reduced systemic and structural corruption practices. Ironically, intensive and devastating counterattacks were frequently posed by the alignment of business actors, elites of political parties, government, and also law enforcement agencies by hijacking state’s instruments to make KPK deflated, powerless, and surrender. This paper concludes that attempts of democratization, market liberalization and the establishment of anti-corruption agency may have helped Indonesia to reduce corruption. However, it is still difficult to imply that such anti-corruption measures have fostered the more effective anti-corruption works in the newly democratized and weakly regulated liberal economic system.

Keywords: Democratization, Anti-Corruption, Indonesia, vested interests, market liberalization

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