An Indonesian politician has asked for corrupt leaders to be warned before the police detain them.
The comments were made by Achmad Husein, an Indonesian politician who is the regent of the Banyumas Regency, which is located in south-western Central Java.
Footage of him making the comments went viral over the weekend, with local media outlet Coconuts reporting him as having said: “We regional heads, we are scared of getting arrested [by the Corruption Eradication Commission or KPK].
“So we plead to KPK, if you find discrepancies, summon us [for clarification] before you make arrests. If [the offender] wants to change, then let them go. But if they don’t want to change, then you can arrest them.”
Novel Baswedan, who is known for fighting corruption and who was recently kicked out of the KPK in what Coconuts reported was most likely a politically-motivated move, tweeted in response: “If they’re notified [of a KPK sting] ahead of time, that is the same as leaking information about the sting.
“Scared of getting caught in a sting? Don’t accept bribes.”
The footage also sparked a backlash with netizens online, causing Husein to attempt to backtrack. He issued a statement reportedly saying: “[My statement] was made in consideration that stings take out regional heads, whereas said regional heads may have the potential and capability to further their regions.
“A sting may not leave the fate of a region for the better. Whereas those caught in a sting for the first time may not be aware [of any wrongdoing] because certain old policies didn’t prove to be problematic in the past.”