CEO Morning Brief

Indonesia’s Communication and Information Technology Minister Detained as Part of Corruption Case

Publish date: Thu, 18 May 2023, 08:36 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

(May 17): Indonesian authorities have detained the Minister of Communication and Information Technology Johnny Gerard Plate, following investigations of alleged corruption that could lead to his resignation.

The Attorney General’s Office said it detained Plate on Wednesday, after he was summoned for questioning on the same day. The AGO probed Plate’s role in alleged corrupt acts involving a 4G wireless base station project meant to fast-track high-speed telecommunication service throughout the country. The project was led by an agency under Plate’s ministry.

The action is intended at showing President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, is sensitive to swings in public opinion and responsive to governance issues as his second term in office ends in 2024. Corruption allegations hounding his administration, however, could further dent public trust and reignite criticisms of Indonesia’s inability to stem graft that has plagued it for decades.

A US$20 billion tax scandal that was recently brought to public attention is already casting a shadow on Jokowi’s anti—corruption campaign. This is also not the first time for a member of Jokowi’s cabinet to be implicated in corruption. The president had to replace his social affairs minister and the fisheries minister who were involved in separate graft probes in the last two years.

The country ranked 110 out of 180 nations in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index for 2022, dropping from 96th in 2021.

Maintaining public support is crucial for Jokowi who wants to push through major infrastructure projects related to the new capital city in Kalimantan before he steps down in the third quarter of 2024.

Source: TheEdge - 18 May 2023

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