Antigraft group reports Indonesia's anti-corruption chief for questionable ethics

Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission chairman Firli Bahuri reportedly engaged in a "hedonistic lifestyle" by flying in a private helicopter on a personal trip last week. PHOTO: JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Indonesia's anti-corruption chief has been accused of ethics violation by an activist group, which filed a report against him to the agency's supervisory board on Wednesday (June 24).

The Indonesian Anti-Corruption Community (Maki) said it has reported Corruption Eradication Commission chairman Firli Bahuri for engaging in a "hedonistic lifestyle" by flying in a private helicopter on a personal trip from Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra, to the city of Baturaja in the same province last week.

"KPK leaders are banned from adopting a luxurious lifestyle," Maki coordinator Boyamin Saiman said on Wednesday. He said this was required out of "empathy for the public", as stipulated in the KPK code of conduct.

KPK is the Indonesia initials of the agency.

Mr Boyamin said the report, which contained photos of Mr Firli riding the helicopter taxi, sometimes called a helimousine, was submitted to the supervisory board by e-mail.

Helimousines are reported to cost up to US$1,400 (S$1,948) for an hour of use.

Maki also reported Mr Firli's alleged negligence in complying with ongoing coronavirus protocols by not wearing a face mask during his visit to Baturaja.

Mr Firli was sworn in as KPK's chief last December despite a public outcry over unresolved allegations of ethnical misconduct against him.

When he was an investigator at the KPK, he was said to have met the governor of West Nusa Tenggara twice when the governor was under investigation for corruption.

During Mr Firli's tenure as South Sumatra's police chief, he was accused to have received 600 free tickets to a concert there last year.

His appointment, which came amid controversial amendments to the country's anti-corruption law, has been criticised by observers and activists as an effort to defang one of the country's most respected agencies and limit its independence.

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