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Indonesian MPs seek lessons from India's anti-graft movement

Thursday December 22, 2011 11:33:10 AM, IANS

New Delhi: India's anti-corruption movement and its evolving institutions to combat graft have attracted the attention of Indonesian MPs here on a visit.

A four-member delegation from the Indonesian House of Representatives got curious about Anna Hazare's call for a strong anti-graft mechanism at an interaction with former Indian diplomats at the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA) at Sapru House here Wednesday evening. The interaction was chaired by ICWA director general Sudhir T. Devare.

"Indonesia scores low in corruption index. We do not have a vigilance commission. Corruption adversely impacts our economic growth. How do you handle corruption in India?" was the query of the Indonesian delegation's head Andi Anzhar Chakra Wijaya.

Indonesia stood at 100 out of 183 nations in Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2011 released by Transparency International earlier this month with a score of 3, where 10 indicates a corruption-free society. India stood at 95 with a score of 3.1.

In response to his query, former Indian ambassador to Indonesia S. Bhutani told the delegation that corruption is "a sensitive" issue in India at present. He suggested Indonesia should evolve its own mechanism to deal with their problem suitable to its domestic needs, but what was required was a strong public sentiment against corruption, free media to mobilise public opinion against corruption and institutions to combat it.

Another MP, Dr. M. Gamari Sutrisno, said his country had all of these three pre-requisites, yet corruption has not been weeded out.

Other members of the delegation, Sonny Waplau and I. Gusti Ketur Adhiputra, favoured strong economic ties between India and Indonesia, the second and third largest Asian economies. This view was favoured by another former Indian ambassador to Indonesia, Navrekha Sharma, who called for greater investment from Jakarta in India.

The two nations currently enjoy annual bilateral trade of about $14 billion that it has in fact tripled in the last decade.

Former foreign secretary Shyam Sharan called for greater strategic partnership in geopolitics, security and climate change, apart from protecting the sea lanes of communication in the Indian Ocean, and cooperation in international fora such as G20, East Asia Summit, Non Aligned Movement and Asean Plus Defence Ministers Meet.

Lt. Gen. Andi M. Ghalib, ambassador of Indonesia to India, said India is a "big brother" to whom his nation looks up to. He called for India to lead the world at the time of the current economic crisis.

Devare said the onset of democracy in Indonesia and the strengthening of its democratic institutions augured well for not only Indonesians but also to other nations in Asia and around the world.



 


 

 

 

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