The moratorium of remissions, a breakthrough or political imagery

It was amazing when the ministry of law and human right issued a new policy that has temporarily halted the granting of remissions to graft convicts. I said amazing, since Indonesia needs a breakthrough in combating corruption practices.

As we have seen from the media, no less than 21 corruptors walked free after being granted sentence reductions on Independence Day in August and another 235 corruptors received remissions. Eight were actually released from prisons on Idul Fitri in September, because they had demonstrated good behavior during their prison terms (Jakarta Post editorial, 9 November 2011). Some inmates who have been proven in corruption has filed application for reduced sentence remissions.  It is also suspected that the granting of remission is an attempt to get out of prison early by paying off certain authorized officials.

Although remissions are not prohibited by law and are considered by some legal experts as human right, but it would be nice if the granting of remission of punishment has clear parameters and references.

It doesn’t matter when some people or legal experts said that the action was destructive to the law of Indonesia, as far as the action follows the public aspires.

Some legal experts consider a moratorium as of a termination, while Denny, the deputy justice and human rights minister, considers a moratorium as a tightening, not termination (, 4 November 2011).  When we refer to Black’s law Dictionary, a moratorium means 1. An authorized postponement; 2. The period of this delay; 3. The suspension of a specific activity.

Even though such action (the moratorium) is just an attempt in tightening and intention to tidy up the legal order, the legal expert may argue that it is a repressive measures against legal and human rights.

Perhaps the aforementioned legal experts forget that the principle of law is dynamic, evolving the implementation of the rule of law, whereas the rule of law must adapt to the development of public society (or perhaps some legal experts have specific political interest). The public society desires to fight corruption, and this is a priority agenda in our law enforcement. Overriding an interest in the course of establishing a priority is not necessarily an act of repression.

I am among those who agree with the steps taken by the Department of Justice and Human Rights by tightening the remission procedures. The tightening is a strategy of the executive This is not political imagery, but as a breakthrough in the fight against corruption.  In my opinion, the moratorium in this case is a surefire steps to maintain the authority of the law on the downstream side. This shows the seriousness of the executives in fighting the corruption and also can provide more lesson for convicted of corruption.

Is very funny when we as a nation has seriously declared war on corruption, but in reality many convicted of corruption cases who gets relief and even many of the alleged of corruption cases has escaped from the law. How Indonesia can be trusted by the international community if the statements and facts have occurred differently. What the world will say?

Hopefully the fight against corruption is not limited only to the words and only the spirit of bottles of lemonade, which is only felt in the beginning, but also bland in the end. Hopefully also the legal and administrative officials have good moral and faith devoted to their country, because after all, a good legal system must be supported by good morals.

However, we must support the spirit of fighting against corruption by taking legal action without having to follow the interests of a particular group or political party.


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