By: Dr. Rizal Ramli is former Indonesian Coordinating Minister for the Economy (2000-2001) and former Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs (2015-2016)
KNews.id-Ever since the advent of the Suharto regime in the mid-1960s, corruption has been a major problem for Indonesia – and it is unlikely to get better any time soon.
After the resignation of Suharto and the collapse of his New Order regime during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998, we believed that a democratic and less corrupt Indonesia was on the horizon. Restrictions on mass media were removed, democratic reforms were put in place, and with greater transparency in the body politic and the creation of the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, there were ostensibly good reasons to believe that the demons of the Suharto era has been exorcised for good.
Starting with the Abdurrahman Wahid administration in 1999, which I served under as an economics minister, and then during Megawati Sukarnoputri’s term in office ending in 2004, it seemed the optimists would be proven right. According to Transparency International, a global civil society organization, Indonesia experienced a dramatic decrease in corruption during these years.