A story in AsiaOne this month said 37% of all elected regional leaders in Indonesia have been named in corruption cases.
‘As many as 173 regional heads have been implicated in corruption cases stemming from the practices of money politics used to finance their campaigns,’ the story said.
‘Unlike in many other democracies,’ the report said, ‘campaign “donations” in Indonesia are often viewed as loans, which need to be paid back when a candidate is finally installed in office.’
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Indonesia ranks 100 on the corruption perceptions index, tied with Argentina, Mexico, and Madagascar, among others.
It ranks 129 out of 182 on the World Bank’s doing business index, which generally measures red tape and the rule of law. In the category of ‘enforcing contracts,’ it ranks 156.
The country’s 240 million people have a per capita gross national income of just US$2,580, ranking 147 in the world, sandwiched between Vanuatu and Egypt.
Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, with more than 12% of the world’s Muslims.
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If you haven’t visited, it’s a beautiful country. And despite the burden of corruption, the people are warm and generous. And they care about their future.
Earlier this year, a group of popular Indonesian movie stars and directors teamed up with Transparency International and the local Corruption Eradication Commission to make four short films about corruption in everyday life. The series is called Kita Versus Korupsi (Us Versus Corruption). Here’s a trailer.