Friday, January 23, 2009

Don’t blame others for your own sins

The Jakarta Post | Fri, 01/23/2009 8:15 AM | People
Teten Masduki: (JP/Arief Suhardiman)Teten Masduki: (JP/Arief Suhardiman)
JAKARTA: Anti-corruption activist Teten Masduki said the Indonesian Ulema Council’s threat to sue Transparency International Indonesia would be counterproductive in the fight against corruption.

In a survey published Wednesday, the council was cited as one of the country’s most bribery-addled institutions in 2008.

“Transparency’s announcement is an index of people’s perception about these institutions, including the council. People think that way because they experience extortion when dealing with these organizations, or hear or know about it from media,” Teten, a 2005 recipient of the Philippines’ Ramon Magsaysay (“Asian Nobel Prize”) award for public service, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

“It’s a reflection of people’s feelings and is supposed to be used as feedback to be a better organization. So, rather than laying the blame on someone else for the mistakes, they’d better show that they are willing to change.”

Other institutions named in the survey were the National Police, the Customs and Excise Office and the Immigration Office.

The report said that 10 percent of the ulema council’s 177 transactions were settled using bribery.

“The threat to sue Transparency is a fallacy of thinking,” Teten said. “People have the right to pass judgment because they pay their tax to the state.” — JP/Matheos V. Messakh

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