Ahok: Last man standing and Indonesia’s best hope for change?

Living in Indonesia these days feels as if someone has pulled the plug, and all the common sense and integrity that we expect even of our most revered political hopes are draining quickly out of the country. The Outsider Jokowi, whom many of us had hoped would be a catalyst for change against a corrupted and ossified […]

The difference between the court of law and court of public opinion

In a court of law Democrat Party Chief Anas Urbaningrum’s argument that he should be presumed innocent until found guilty of corruption allegations makes sense. As he says he’s not even been indicted and as such there is no need for him to step down from helping the Democrats. Then there is the court of […]

Water lilies, Joko Wi and Indonesian corruption

What Unspun loves about living in Indonesia is that every once in a while, amid all the muck, detritus of corruption, indecision and self interest there will emerge something wonderful, like a water lily flower blooming resplendent even though it emerged from the mud. Last night was such an occasion. It was Pecha Kucha Night, […]

Susno: comeback king or a wounded bull in a china shop?

I’ve said my piece in the Jakarta Globe article below. What do you think? Susno Duadji. (JG Photo/Afriadi Hikmal) NGO Testing Susno’s Food for Poison Susno Duadji says he has taken steps to ensure his safety after making corruption allegations against fellow officers in the National Police.“I’m not a little boy anymore. I calculated the risks […]

Why we all should support Susno for KPK chief

It is, of course, complete nonsense that disgraced-police-top-brass-turned -whistle-blower Susno Duadji should even be considered as a candidate to lead the Corruption Eradication Commission. The preposterous suggestion comes from Golkar, a party with a huge axe to grind, especially after they failed to oust Boediono and Sri Mulyani in the recent furore over the Bank […]

A tale of the most corrupt told in two news stories

Two stories in the front pages of most Indonesian newspapers today tell a very interesting story about Indonesia and corruption. The first is a report by the Hong Kong-based Political & Economic Risk Consultancy and tells us how corrupt Indonesia is, at least in terms of perception. The verdict: Indonesia is perceived as the most […]

Zero Rupiah note for the oknum in Indonesia?

Came across an interesting story in The Economist about how an NGO called 5th Pillar is distributing Zero Rupee cupons in India as part of the fight against corruption and bribery. It is of no commercial value but comes in valuable when officials ask you for a bribe. That’s when you pay them the Zero […]

Ayin and Aling and the ding-a-ling Justice Minister

This is hilarious. When the Task Force on the Eradication of the Legal Mafia paid a surprise visit to the prison in Pondok Bambu, East Jakarta, yesterday, what did they find? Must have been a rather red-faced Artalyta Suryani, convicted of bribing prosecutors in a high profile case, who was in the middle of — wait […]

Remembered with fondness and respect: Hoegeng

This is the second time in two weeks that Unspun’s heard of the legendary Hoegeng, the chief of police who was so much of a straight shooter that he was removed from office by Suharto. The first time Unspun heard of Hoegeng was from an old-time Jakarta resident. Speaking of corruption he told me about how […]