Wednesday, 19 February 2020

A Baffling End

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  • Former Chief of House of Representative (DPR) Setya Novanto during attend meeting in parliament complex, Jakarta, December 18, 2015. TEMPO/Dhemas Reviyanto

    Former Chief of House of Representative (DPR) Setya Novanto during attend meeting in parliament complex, Jakarta, December 18, 2015. TEMPO/Dhemas Reviyanto

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The decision made by the House of Representatives (DPR) Ethics Council who said that no violation of code of ethics was committed by Setya Novanto is truly baffling.


    The council’s decision will not only make the public think that the council so far is not only a sham, but will also benefit Setya.


    Setya can now bravely claim that he did not commit violations as accused against him.


    On Wednesday, the council announced that the case was closed after it received a resignation letter from Setya.


    The DPR Speaker, who is also a politician from the Golkar Party, sent the letter after previously most of the members of the council said that Setya had committed violation in the "Papa Minta Saham" (Papa Asks For Company’s Shares) scandal of PT Freeport reported by Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Sudirman Said.


    Setya sent the letter – which should have been sent to DPR speakers – when the council was having a hearing to make a decision.


    We lament the decision made by the council who closed the case with the reason that Setya has resigned from his position as the speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR).


    The council should have announced the violations committed by Setya because he has misused the names of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla in this case.


    Thus, it will be clear that Setya is guilty, as he has violated code of ethics.


    The way taken by the council in solving Setya’s case shows that they prefer to do a political acrobatic instead of seriously fixing the image of their institution that has been damaged by Setya’s actions.


    It does not make sense that 17 members of the council who insisted on imposing either severe or medium sanctions to Setya, in fact, clapped when the Chairman of the council closed the hearing by announcing the resignation of Setya.


    The council has lost its momentum to maintain the honor and dignity of its institution.


    In fact, the public is clearly aware that Setya has violated code of ethics.


    Just look at how the public, including through social media, was abuzz with a move to sign a petition to urge Setya to step down.


    Facts presented and recording played in the hearing show that Setya was immoral in misusing his position to ‘extort’ PT Freeport.


    We know that there were several members of the council who since the beginning would save Setya. They, members of the Golkar party, did not only corner Sudirman with questions that blamed him but also came to a press conference of Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, something that is against ethics because Luhut was a witness in this case.


    However, the public is now optimistic that other members will still impose sanctions to Setya.


    Setya has now resigned from his position without being declared guilty by the council.


    The case is now still being investigated by the Supreme Court.


    We hope that the Attorney General Office, who previously said that Setya could be charged with a number of articles in the Criminal Code, will be serious in handling this case.



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