Suspect Test Used to Boot Indonesian Graftbusters

Critically important employees to be removed

By: Ainur Rohmah

Opponents of Indonesia’s once-powerful Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) have used a provision of the law governing the agency, arguably Southeast Asia’s most effective government watchdog, to engineer the removal of 75 employees including senior investigator Novel Baswedan (above), a heroic operative who was blinded in his left eye in 2017 when hydrochloric acid was thrown in his face by assailants later identified as police officers.

The 75 were among 1,351 employees who were required to take the test on the basis of a provision requiring employees to change their status to civil service. The controversial test, administered by the National Civil Service Agency, included what critics said was a dubious interview called the National Insight Test (TWK). Eleven of those who didn’t pass were senior investigators.

Novel called the firing of the 75 a systematic effort to get rid of people who work professionally for the country. "This is a danger, so our attitude is clear: we will fight," he said. He and the other employees who did not qualify are now discussing what steps they will take in an effort to be reinstated…

The text above is just an excerpt from this subscriber-only story. To read the whole thing and get full access to Asia Sentinel's reporting and archives, subscribe now for US$100/year.