chapter  4
Government policies and civil society initiatives against corruption
BySOFIE ARJON SCHÜTTE
Pages 21

When in spring 1998 the people rallied on the streets of Jakarta and eventually succeeded in forcing President Suharto to resign, the acronym ‘KKN’ could be read on many banners. KKN stands for ‘Corruption, Collusion and Nepotism’, and ultimately symbolized what the protesters wanted to put an end to. Since then democratic general elections have been held twice, new legislation to combat corruption has been enacted, and new institutions have been established and abolished. The latest institution, and the one with the most powerful mandate, is the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), whose commissioners were appointed in late 2003. One year later it submitted its first case – the Governor of Aceh being the main suspect – to the equally new Special Court for Corruption Cases, which was constituted as a chamber of the Central Jakarta District Court. After two years, 24 cases had been brought to the anti-corruption court by the KPK. Together with President Susilo’s declared commitment to make the fight against corruption a priority of his first 100 days in office, this gave hope for further momentum for reform, the movement of 1998 having lost its way due to the half-hearted commitment and policies of previous governments.