S. Sulawesi Governor Nurdin Abdullah, known for his antigraft stance, arrested by KPK

South Sulawesi Governor Nurdin Abdullah (center) arrives at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) office in Jakarta on Feb 27. Graft busters arrested Nurdin and five other individuals in an alleged corruption case in South Sulawesi. - Jakarta Post/ANN

JAKARTA, Feb 28 (Jakarta Post/ANN): The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested South Sulawesi Governor Nurdin Abdullah during an operation carried out early on Saturday (Feb 26).

KPK acting spokesperson Ali Fikri said graft busters had apprehended six people, including a regional head, South Sulawesi administration officials and businesspeople, pertaining to a corruption case.

Ali did not reveal further details about the case.

“The investigation is still ongoing. We will release more information about the arrest and the case following an initial 24-hour probe,” the spokesperson told The Jakarta Post.

Nurdin and the other detainees were transferred from the provincial capital of Makassar to Jakarta on Saturday morning.

They arrived at the KPK office in South Jakarta at 9:45 a.m. Upon arriving in Jakarta, Nurdin told journalists before entering the building that he had been sleeping when KPK investigators arrived at his residence and detained him for questioning pertaining to a graft case.

On Friday morning, several hours before the arrest, the governor inaugurated 11 regents and mayors who had been elected in the 2020 regional elections.

During the ceremony, Nurdin told the newly elected regional leaders to do their job well, tribunnews.com reported.

A former academic with a Ph.D. in agriculture, Nurdin was elected in the 2018 South Sulawesi gubernatorial race.

He ran with Andi Sudirman Sulaiman, the brother of former agriculture minister Andi Amran Sulaiman. The ticket was backed by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), National Mandate Party (PAN) and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

The pair secured 1.86 million votes, beating out Nurdin Halid – former Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) chief – and Abdul Aziz Qahhar Mudzakkar, who obtained 1.16 million votes.

Saturday’s arrest will leave a mark on Nurdin’s previously stellar reputation and anticorruption stance.

In 2017, he was awarded the prestigious Bung Hatta Anti-Corruption Award for his commitment to promoting good governance while serving as the regent of Bantaeng.

At that time, the award’s board of judges credited Nurdin for several innovations he brought to the regency, including the implementation of a bidding system for official positions.

The then-regent also introduced a system that would rotate officials every three or six months to avoid “a comfort zone for corruption”.

Nurdin also introduced the “one-day service” programme, which granted permits in just one day.

Under Nurdin’s administration, Bantaeng’s economy experienced growth as investors came and brought trillions of rupiah into the region without illegal charges. - The Jakarta Post/ANN

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