April 14, 2023
JAKARTA – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo acknowledged it was very difficult to prevent corruption in major infrastructure projects and pledged he would conduct more monitoring to catch future wrongdoings.
Speaking during a visit to Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, on Thursday, the President pledged he would conduct more spot checks in the future, especially for infrastructure projects, which have become a signature of his administration.
“You can’t expect thousands of projects to be without problems. There’s bound to be one or two problems,” Jokowi told reporters as quoted by Kompas.com on Thursday.
Jokowi also said that the government had conducted regular monitoring on all infrastructure projects to prevent graft.
“We have conducted checks almost on daily basis. We conduct spot checks and even with that we found problems, imagine we don’t do monitoring at all,” the President said.
The President was responding to the recent arrest by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) of suspects in the bribery case centering on the construction of a railway line connecting Makassar and Pare Pare in South Sulawesi.
Jokowi inaugurated the project, billed as the first railway line in Sulawesi only two weeks ago, with a great fanfare.
The KPK found a number of officials at the Transportation Ministry’s Directorate General of Rail Transportation had asked for kickbacks to private vendors in return for a government contract.
The officials were reported to have asked a commission of between 5-10 percent of the contract’s value.
The anti-graft body also revealed similar bribery schemes had been found in other projects involving the opening of new railway lines.