Tema: The Family Entertainments
JOINING FORCES: The chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission,
Antasari Azhar (third left), poses with (left to right) Ivan, Ridho,
Abdee, Bimbim and Kaka from the band Slank. Antasari visited the band
in Gang Potlot, South Jakarta, on Wednesday to show his appreciation
for their anti-corruption campaign. (JP/P.J. Leo)
1. Many even questioned, “Antasari, who?”
But one month after Antasari Azhar was elected as KPK chairman in
December 2007, accompanied by four other unknown personalities who
were appointed as commissioners, the media criticized the anti-graft
body and dismissed it as a mere joke.
Anti-graft activists all over Indonesia slammed members of the House
of Representatives, especially those from major parties, who the
activists said had conspired to pave the way for Antasari to lead the
most powerful law enforcement body. The media and activists joined
forces to undermine the credibility of the commissioners, especially
in underlining Antasari’s questionable track record.
They pointed to allegations of how Antasari, for instance, had failed
to execute 32 West Sumatra councilors who were found guilty by the
Supreme Court when he was the province’s chief prosecutor.
2. Can a rock band help a country fight graft?
Ask Slank and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). KPK
chairman Antasari Azhar visited the band on Wednesday, despite earlier
threats by the House of Representatives to sue Slank for their
allegedly inflammatory lyrics. “The KPK and Slank are like fish and
water, we cannot be separated because our vision and mission are the
same: to combat corruption,” Antasari said at the group’s office
located in Potlot Alley in South Jakarta.
During the meeting, Slank signed and presented Antasari with a poster
showing him hoisting a corruptor by the hair while the man pleads to
be released, saying, “I love Slankers too, peace.” In the background
of the poster, a boy is singing the song that got lawmakers so upset,
“Gossip Jalanan” (Street Gossip), with its lyrics: “Want to know the
mafia in Senayan?/ Who draw up laws?/ Draft bills for bucks.” Antasari
then signed another copy of the poster and presented it to the band.
“The KPK and Slank, we’re true friends. When one of us is down, the
other one is ready to come to the rescue,” Slank’s drummer, Bimbim,
said. Last week the deputy head of the House’s disciplinary committee,
Gayus Lumbuun, threatened to sue Slank for the lyrics to “Gossip
Jalanan”, which he deemed “hurtful” to the institution.
Talk of a lawsuit quickly disappeared when the KPK arrested lawmaker
Al Amin Nasution on April 16 for allegedly accepting a bribe. Antasari
said his visit had no connection to the dispute between Slank and the
House. He said he was there simply to strengthen ties. “We, the KPK,
fight corruption using the law and the methods that we have, while
Slank fights with their moral messages and their art, writing songs
and playing them,” he said. Slank said the threat of a lawsuit would
not silence them.
“As usual, we just take these comments as they come. Besides, in this
era of democracy, they have the right to voice their opinion,” Bimbim
said to the applause of hundreds of Slank fans, or Slankers. Antasari
also presented Slank with a certificate of appreciation for their
efforts in fighting corruption. Slank visited the KPK building last
month, presenting commission officials with a CD titled Slank
Antikorupsi, which is a compilation of corruption-themed songs from
Slank’s earlier albums.
After the presentation of the certificate, Slank played three songs,
including “Gossip Jalanan” and the Slankers’ theme song mixed with
snatches of “Maju Tak Gentar” (Move on without fear), an old patriotic
With accompaniment by Slank, Antasari sang “Juwita Malam” (Evening
Juliet) to the cheers and laughter of Slankers and reporters.
Responding to a comment from a reporter that he had a nice voice,
Antasari said, “I’m training for a post-retirement job.”