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'Asian Nobel Prize' for Indonesia anti-graft agency

Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is a winner of this year's Ramon Magsaysay Award for its 'relentless and successful' campaign against corruption.

The Manila-based Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation confers what's often called the 'Asian Nobel Prize.'

Results were announced Wednesday.

The award is given in honor of 'greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia.'

It's named for Ramon Magsaysay, the third president of the Philippines after World War II. He was known as a remarkable leader --  simple and humble, and committed to a government with integrity.

The Magsaysay Foundation recognized the KPK for 'its fiercely independent and successful campaign against corruption in Indonesia, combining the uncompromising prosecution of erring powerful officials with farsighted reforms in governance systems and the educative promotion of vigilance, honesty, and active citizenship among all Indonesians.'

The Ramon Magsaysay Award was established in April 1957 by the trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in New York City, with cooperation from the Philippine government.

A spokesman for the KPK, Johan Budi, told the Jakarta Globe that credit also goes to 'the hard work of the public, independent antigraft watchdogs, and the media in bringing corruption to light.'

'We will treat this award as motivation to work even harder and never give up in the effort to eradicate corruption,' Budi said, 'no matter how difficult it is or how long it takes.'

Other winners this year were Ernesto Domingo, a health care pioneer from the Philippines, Lahpai Seng Raw, a Myanmar aid worker, Habiba Sarabi, Afghanistan’s only female provincial governor, and Shakti Samuha, an anti-human-trafficking group from Nepal.

The formal award ceremony is in Manila on August 31.


Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.