Corruption and Organized Crime
Learning from countries that have been successful in eradicating corruption, there are three powerful generic recipes for suppressing this rampant crime against humanity.
The three generic recipes are: handing down severe punishment to the perpetrators of corruption, ensuring the proper functioning of stringent controls within law enforcement institutions, and eradicating the source of organized crime.
These three conditions in the context of Indonesia require a radical overhaul of legal reform, making sure that no institution escapes monitoring and prosecution, and dissemination of corruption as a crime against humanity that is cruel and harmful for the future of our children and grandchildren. The roadmap for that change must be made now, before it is too late and we bear the title of "failed state".
When serving as an adviser to Commission IV (known as the Wilopo Commission) in 1970, Bung Hatta stated that if the legal system was weak and a permissive culture plagued the people, the disease of corruption would manifest as a malignant cancer to destroy national goals. The concern of the proclaimer is now becoming a reality due to the massive structured corruption that has penetrated all sectors.
The United Nations in 2014 strictly stated that corruption undermines democracy and legal supremacy, encourages human rights abuses, distorts the economy, degrades the quality of life, and allows criminal organizations, terrorism, and security threats flourish. The high and long-lasting score of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) continues to place Indonesia in the category of corrupt countries. Corruption in Indonesia is structural because the prevailing institutional system provides higher incentives to carry out corruption than incentives to obey the law (Rimawan Pradiptyo et al, 2015).
Corruption is closely intertwined with and mutually supportive of organized crime. Corruption is commonly practiced by entities that are legal but which engages in many illegal activities, including monopoly/oligopoly, tax evasion, human trafficking (mainly in the prostitution and labor trades), drug trafficking, smuggling, gambling, illegal alcohol trade, extortion, illegal banks/pawnshops, money laundering, illegal fishing, cultural heritage crime, embezzlement of disputed assets, and unofficial security.
Along with globalization, organized crime has also become global and has metamorphosed into transnational organized crime, which is faced by all countries in the world. Hong Kong has published the Anti-Triad Law since 1845 to combat criminal organizations whose activities were widespread. The fight against organized crime in Hong Kong began in 1949 and continued until the enactment of the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance in 1994.
The same step has been taken by Korea (Anti Keondal Law), Japan (Anti-Organized Crime Law), and the US (Organized Crime Strike ForceUnits). Singapore and Malaysia formed an anti-Chinese secret society cooperation with Hong Kong to fight against transnational criminal gangs from former Triad groups. The indicator of success in fighting against organized crime is reflected in the low crime rates in these countries. The low crime rates prove the rules of legislation are adequate, virtuous norms flourish in society, and the state apparatuses highly uphold the authority of the law.
Among its various illegal activities, criminal organizations are accustomed to influencing (bribing or cultivating) law enforcement officials, politicians, regulatory authorities, community leaders and mass organizations to launch and disguise their operations. They use sophisticated schemes and techniques to conduct illegal operations, including collaboration with transnational crime syndicates.
Indonesia is classified as backward in the fight against organized crime and transnational crimes in the form of corruption in the private sector, illicit enrichment, and racketeering. Aside from not having the legislation to counteract the various types of organized crime that have become so sophisticated, the Indonesian legal system is inadequate and incomplete in overcoming various forms of white-collar crimes. According to the chairman of the Association of Indonesian Security Service Enterprises 2007-2012, M Hindarto, an internationally accredited security service industry can prevent the rise of organized crime. Multidisciplinary professionals are required to uphold the rule of law and good corporate governance in national and multinational companies.
The professional security service industry is still in an embryonic stage and not yet supported by all stakeholders. In fact, this service industry has grown worldwide and become an important instrument to prevent organized crime through the spreading of joint responsibility in implementing three major missions: anti-fraud, loss prevention, and asset protection (Hindarto, 2017).
Quality of the nation
Over the last two decades, Indonesia\'s Human Development Index (HDI) rating has remained steadily at 100 and above. This becomes a clear indication that the development of education, health and people\'s welfare is not growing significantly. The 2016 HDI fell to the 113 (UNDP report in April 2017) from 109 in 2015. Indonesia’s economic inequalities between the rich and the poor are in the fourth position after Russia, India and Thailand, namely 1 percent of the wealthy population holds nearly 50 percent of the national wealth. The facts are very clear from the strategic asset controlling data (especially finance and property), and the control of mining and plantation businesses by a handful of domestic corporations.
The 2016 data of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) shows that 3,202 out of the 7,754 mining companies holding mining permits (IUP) registered with the Directorate General of Taxes have no tax identification number (NPWP). Those in the oil palm plantation company group with NPWPs only number about 4,000 companies, or 6 percent, according the KPK’s2016 data.
Publish What You Pay data mentions that the number of IUPs, which was 750 in 2001, jumped to more than 10,000 in 2010. About 35 percent of the IUPs were fake, that the issuance of the permits did conform to the rules. Of the 10,000 IUPs, 40 percent are coal IUPs. The number of coal mining companies has jumped since the era of license issuance under regional autonomy, which is getting increasingly out of control.
Mabel A Elliott (Delinquent Behavior of People, 1949) explains that evil is a constant characteristic of all classes in society. However, as the dominant groups in society rarely get punishment commensurate with their anti-social actions, there is a legal inertia that gradually makes legal and social institutions vulnerable and fragile. The fragile construction of the state and society, which is colored by various inequities, poverty of public values and civilization, the degenerating quality of law, weak law enforcement, and the strengthening of social segregation, is a fertile ground for the rise of crimes and terrorism. This continuing condition makes it difficult to eradicate organized crime.
So many facts show that regimes collapse and states go bankrupt due to mismanagement in overcoming corruption. The socio-political economic slump caused by structural corruption and organized crime is difficult to recover because of the severe damage to natural resource assets and deterioration of the people\'s quality of life.The destruction of ecosystems and biodiversity in Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Papua from the exploitation of natural resources since the New Order era until now is difficult to stem. Besides proving not to provide much added value to the environment and significant changes in industrial structure, the enclave characteristically remains inherent in the large-scale exploitation of natural resources.
The sensitivity and resilience of the state in eradicating corruption is largely determined by high-precision, timely and sustainable polices. Steps in this direction can begin by opening a new chapter of corruption eradication by establishing decisive action: taking an “enough is enough” stance against all criminals who repeatedly trick the law.
Corruption as an extraordinary crime clearly constitutes a structural issue because it is closely linked to the mentality and integrity of state apparatuses. Like a chronic illness, the cure needs a thorough diagnosis, intensive treatment and legal therapy that is appropriate and indiscriminate. In this regard, any attempts to undermine and weaken the KPK as a trustworthy corruption eradication institution that is supported by the people can be considered as a great betrayal of the ideals of reform.
Coordinator of the ”Becoming Indonesia”Forum, One of the Founders of the Inter-University Alumni Anti-Corruption Movement