Public Supports Life Imprisonment for Corruptors

Wednesday, April 28, 2022 – According to Kawula17’s latest survey, 80% of Indonesians think that corruptors should be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Kawula17, a Voting Advice Application that monitors currently debated social and political issues in the media, also surveys Indonesian about issues related to corruption. These issues include the independence and authority of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the life imprisonment penalty for corruptors. Issues related to corruption are considered important by a vast majority of Indonesians (81%). Confirming the results of the Kawula17 surveys, Transparency International Indonesia (TII) also found out that the public thinks there is an urgency to improve the corruption eradication effort in Indonesia.

According to TII’s findings of the corruption perception index in January, Indonesia was ranked 96th out of 180 countries with a total score of 38. Although it is increased by one (1) point compared to 2020, this score is still below the global average (43) and Asia Pacific (45).

To get public perceptions and stances, Kawula17 has conducted two surveys. The first survey was conducted in September 2021 among students and fresh graduates, and the second survey was conducted in March 2022 among Indonesians.

The implementation of a life imprisonment penalty for corruptors, especially in political corruption cases, has become the focus of Indonesians. Generally, 82% of students and fresh graduates (September 2021) and 80% of Indonesian (March 2022) support the implementation of lifetime imprisonment penalties for corruptors. Only a small percentage of Indonesians (5%) think a 4 (four) years of imprisonment is enough for corruptors.

Especially people in Java (84%) are more likely to support the lifetime imprisonment penalty compared to other regions (77%). Those who support the life imprisonment penalty said that “it is the maximum punishment that the government can give to provide a deterrent effect for the corruptors.”

Indonesian believe that the authority of the KPK should be maintained and even be given more authority, especially when it comes to operations to catch corruptors red-handed, (OTT) wiretapping during its investigation process, and particularly in political corruption cases.

Based on the most recent findings from Kawula17, those between the age of 18 to 24 are the largest group to support the improvement of KPK’s authority (80%). With 7 out of 10 people in the 25-35 age group and 36 years and above, there is still strong support for the improvement of KPK’s authority among other age groups as well.

Public and students’ support for the improvement of KPK’s authority is also related to the independence of this anti-corruption agency. Students show the strongest support (73%) to ensure that KPK remains independent and free from any influence. But also, in general, a large majority of Indonesians (55%) remain supportive of KPK’s authority and independence.

“KPK should not be affiliated to police institutions, because the police itself has a lot of internal corruption cases,” said a respondent who supports the improvement of KPK’s authority and independence. “So having an independent body (for KPK) is logical,” he added. However, respondents also emphasized that there has to be a checks and balances mechanism to ensure KPK’s accountability.

The first survey was conducted from September 30 to October 29, 2021, among 291 students or fresh graduates. While the second survey was conducted from March 16 to March 29, 2022, among 531 Indonesians aged 18-44 years, using the CASI (online survey) method with multi-stage quota sampling. The latest survey’s margin of error is 4.3% at a 95% confidence level.

The report of the survey can be found here.

Source: Maria Angelica Christy Aka, researcher at BOI Research and Kawula17.