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Thursday 17 Aug 2017 | 03:47 | SYDNEY
Thursday 17 Aug 2017 | 03:47 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Indonesia's anti-corruption drive

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4 November 2008 08:59

In September we published three critiques of a presentation on Indonesia corruption by Gerry van Klinken of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Carribean Studies.  Specifically, Ross McLeod, Stephen Grenville and  Peter McCawley all argued that van Klinken overemphasised foreign pressure on Indonesia to crack down on corruption, saying that President Yudhoyono's anti-corruption drive was actually a home-grown initiative.

Gerry has been busy, but for the record, we wanted to publish his response now:

I may have been guilty of a little exaggeration in my remarks about the extent of foreign pressure on Indonesia to beef up its anti-corruption institutions. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's determination to be strong in this area was indeed driven mainly by Indonesian electoral logic. But it is only right to acknowledge the role of foreign advice and even gentle pressure.

The World Bank and USAID had done preparatory studies on legal development in the 1990s, and their recommendations proved influential in designing many reforms in 1998-99. When Indonesia's Law 31/1999 on the Eradication of Corruption required the establishment of a Corruption Eradication Commission, the Asian Development Bank helped with the planning, and the International Monetary Fund made success one of its conditions for continued assistance. In other words, plenty of foreigners have been looking over Indonesian shoulders on this issue.

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