Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Corruption: From taboo to jokes

Corruption: From taboo to jokes

Al Makin, Yogyakarta | Sun, 09/04/2011 3:41 PM, opinion The Jakarta Post
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Even without a letter questioning President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s commitment to the fight against corruption (The Jakarta Post, Aug. 20, 2011), the public, and also perhaps the government, have long been aware of the grave danger of corruption.

When asked about corruption, Indonesians will point out how government and non-government institutions are mired in it.

The following is among the better known examples of small-scale corruption. You come to an office. A member of staff welcomes you, explaining the procedure to get something done, but the procedure sounds so complicated. Upon seeing your confusion and despair, a gratuity is suggested.

Alternatively you look for a “middle man” who can perhaps help you. In spite of a big board standing beside the front desk warning “Do not use the service of brokers”, a middle man is always available in the back. This, like so much else in this country, seems paradoxical.

There are many well known forms of large-scale corruption: manipulation, marking up, money laundering, making fake reports, counterfeit factories, etc.

Is it possible to find anywhere free from corruption?

The phantom of corruption haunts streets, offices, soccer fields, forests, seas, rivers, bridges, airports, bus terminals, train stations, schools and universities, even the very air, soil, and water.

Is it possible to imagine a time free from corruption?

Like rats, corruptors never stop; stealing public money from Monday to Sunday, from January to December, including the Independence Day anniversary, Ramadhan, Idul Fitri, Christmas, Nyepi, and other holy days.

Corruption is a public secret! This sounds like an absurd thing to say, but you understand it anyway.



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