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Corruption is 'part of culture’

August 16, 2011

Corruption in Indonesia is so endemic it has become part of the national culture, according the executive secretary of the Indonesian bishops’ Commission for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs. “Since the New Order regime came to power, corruption has become habitual and part of our culture,” Father Antonius Benny Susetyo told participants at a recent discussion in the hall of the Immaculate Conception Church in Kelayan, Banjarmasin. “New Order” is the term coined by former president Soeharto to describe his regime when he came to power in 1966. He resigned in 1998. He called political parties a hotbed of corruption. “Religions cure this ill. Only the political system can deal with it” he asserted. “What we can do is to press political parties. Those which are corrupt must be punished.”

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