Re­gent, cus­toms of­fi­cial awarded for their in­tegrity

The Jakarta Post - - HEADLINES -

A South Su­lawesi re­gent and a se­nior Fi­nance Min­istry of­fi­cial have been awarded the pres­ti­gious Bung Hatta Anti-Cor­rup­tion Award (BHACA) for their in­tegrity and in­no­va­tions in the fight against graft.

The award’s board of judges, in­clud­ing Betti Alis­jah­bana and Biv­itri Su­santi, an­nounced on Thurs­day that Nur­din Ab­dul­lah, the re­gent of Ban­taeng, South Su­lawesi and Heru Pam­budi, the Fi­nance Min­istry’s cus­toms and ex­cise di­rec­tor general, had shown their com­mit­ment to pro­mot­ing good gov­er­nance in their re­spec­tive fields. They were the best choices among five other top can­di­dates, Betti said.

“Can­di­dates must be proven to be free of any in­volve­ment in graft cases and have cre­ated an im­pact­ful sys­tem to pro­mote an anti­graft en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

Nur­din, now in his sec­ond term af­ter first be­ing elected in 2008, was deemed to have suc­ceeded in im­prov­ing the re­gency’s pub­lic ser­vices and eco­nomic growth.

He has brought a num­ber of in­no­va­tions to the ad­min­is­tra­tion. For in­stance, he in­sti­tuted a bid­ding sys­tem for of­fi­cial po­si­tions and im­ple­mented a ro­ta­tion pe­riod of ev­ery three or six months to avoid “a com­fort zone for cor­rup­tion.” He has also not hes­i­tated to dis­miss of­fi­cials proven to have at­tempted to com­mit cor­rup­tion.

Un­der Nur­din’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, Ban­taeng’s econ­omy has ex­pe­ri­enced in­cred­i­ble growth.

In­vestors have brought tril­lions of ru­piah into the re­gion with­out il­le­gal charges, thanks to the “one-day ser­vice” pro­gram, which see per­mits granted in just one day, an­other of his strate­gies to com­bat graft prac­tices.

Heru, mean­while, has de­mon- strated com­mit­ment to pro­mot­ing good gov­er­nance within the Di­rec­torate General of Cus­toms and Ex­cise, which has long been widely per­ceived to be plagued by ram­pant bribery. Ap­pointed in 2015, Heru has made sev­eral in­no­va­tions to the work­ings of his of­fice.

He co­op­er­ated with var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions to con­trol high-risk im­ports, a move ap­plauded by, among many, the Cor­rup­tion Eradication Com­mis­sion (KPK).

“Ef­forts to erad­i­cate cor­rup­tion still have long ways to go,” BHACA board mem­ber Clara Joe­wono said, “but what these two awardees have done gives hope for a cor­rup­tion-free en­vi­ron­ment.”

In­done­sia is still strug­gling to com­bat graft, with many of­fi­cials and re­gional heads re­cently be­ing nabbed on cor­rup­tion charges. Ef­forts to com­bat graft had faced many ob­sta­cles, but the award was an at­tempt to pro­mote an an­ti­cor­rup­tion spirit, said Biv­itri.

“We need to place the of­fi­cials who are com­mit­ted to fight­ing cor­rup­tion in the spot­light,” she said, “so the pub­lic knows about them and are in­spired by their ef­forts.”

She added that the award aimed to show sup­port for those who had taken ac­tion to build an an­ti­cor­rup­tion en­vi­ron­ment.

The BHACA hon­ors found­ing fa­ther Muham­mad Hatta for his can­dor and in­tegrity in fight­ing cor­rup­tion and has been awarded to 15 in­di­vid­u­als since its es­tab­lish­ment in 2003.

JP/dhoni se­ti­awan

Heru Pam­budi

JP/Wen­dra Ajisty­atama

Nur­din Ab­dul­lah

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