Indonesia’s gossip columns, and its front pages, have been abuzz with rumours that a top police officer has taken four wives to help him with all his kick-backs. Unfortunately that’s against the law because public servants are only allowed one wife unless they can prove that their sole wife is not performing her wifely duties or is terminally ill. Civil servants are NOT allowed to have more than one wife just because they need help with corruption!
None of the allegations have been proven, but they would not be outside the realms of possibility, given the track record of the country’s police force. The accusations surfaced again this week from a lawyer and relative of Susno Duadji, the former chief detective who turned corruption whistle-blower against his police colleagues after he was sidelined (not sacked or arrested, mind you, just removed from his post) due to his own allegedly corrupt activities. (It gets complicated when everyone in the police force is suspected of corruption.) Anyway, just as Susno was being arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of taking bribes (not, the police said, to shut him up) his lawyer blurted out: “if the police want to enforce fair treatment, please investigate the police general who has more than one wife”.
The Jakarta Post then reported that a high-ranking police source had revealed that several senior officers had more than one wife, including a general at the National Police headquarters who had four. “Some of the wives are case brokers that handle promotion and further education enrollment at the police force,” the source said.
In other words, these little Madame Ngos act on behalf of their beloved general to negotiate bribes from officers and cadets for promotions. Ain’t love grand?
It’s met with great indignation from the police brass, of course. “Please do not accuse high-ranking officers of polygamy. Let’s not mix professional and private matters,” a former lawyer for the police was quoted as saying.
(Photo courtesy of Peter Casey via Creative Commons)