Member of the House of Representatives (DPR) Finance Commission from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Ecky Awal Muharam, has urged the public to file for a judicial review of the Tax Amnesty Law with the Constitutional Court to contest Article 20 of the law, which Ecky said could be used to cover up crime.
Ecky said that the article could be used by people involved in corruption, drug dealing, and terrorism because it prohibits law enforcement agencies from using any tax amnesty information as the basis for a criminal investigation.
"Hopefully, the Constitutional Court will grant the claim in full or in part. At the very least, the law should have no articles that protect criminals, like article 20," he spoke during a discussion at Bumbu Desa, Jakarta, Thursday, 14/7. (Read: Govt Establishes Defence Team for Tax Amnesty Law).
Ecky hopes that others, such as academics and labor unions, will join the NGOs that have already filed for a judicial review. He said that the tax amnesty had bred a sense of injustice among members of the public, especially those who pay their taxes.
Rather than increasing state revenue through tax amnesty, Ecky suggested that the government cut costs and set more realistic tax revenue targets. He added that repatriating funds held overseas would do nothing to increase investment in the absence of legal certainty.
Meanwhile, Sugeng Teguh Santoso, chair the One Justice Foundation, which is one of the plaintiffs, said it was odd that Article 20 stipulated a prison sentence of five years for disclosing data and information about the source of the tax amnesty proceeds. He said that this contradicts other legislation, such as the Law on Corruption. (Read: Govt Discovers Foreign Attempts to Trammel Tax Amnesty).
Sugeng, who is also the Secretary General of the Association of Indonesian Advocates, said that the Tax Amnesty Law could foster money laundering. This is one of the 21 points to be contested in the judicial review. Another claim is that the implementation of the tax amnesty, he said, will not be as effective as in 1964 and 1986. "It reflects how our government is weak in the face of tax evaders," he said. (Read: Business Still Interested in Tax Amnesty despite Threats of Lawsuits).
In response to the request for a judicial review, the government has set up a team of lawyers. The formation of the team was discussed at a closed, inter-ministerial meeting, Thursday (14/7). The meeting was attended by the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security Luhut Pandjaitan, Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Hamonangan Laoly, Minister of Finance Bambang Brodjonegoro, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung.
"This is a coordination to contest the judicial review at the Constitutional Court," Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said after the meeting. (Read: Govt Issues Four Technical Rules on Tax Amnesty).