Sunday, November 20, 2005

Attorney General on The Hot Seat

Prosperous Justice Pary or Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS) asked Indonesia president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to replace attorney general Abdul Rahman Saleh with PKS cadres. PKS has two candidates for the post.

First, Suripto, a legislator and former secretary general at the forestry ministry sacked by then president Abdurrahman Wahid for alleged involvement in some terrorist campaigns in 2001. Indicted in a heli-chopter scandal, Suripto was detained by Jakarta Police few years ago.

Second, Arif T. Surowidjojo, Chairman of The Supervising Council at Indonesia branch of Transparency International.

PKS criticized fiercely AGO’s performance under Mr Saleh especially the slow pace of corruption case prosecution. “Mr Suripto promised once he lead AGO, he will detain two ministers for corruption,” said Zulkiefli Mansyah, a member of parliament from PKS today as reported by

But PKS Chairman Tifatul Sembiring told few hours ago that the party will make decision on its position in the government next week in a two-day party executive meeting. "PKS wanted the AG position is not a new issue," he said.

Tifatul went on saying the current administration is actually better than the previous one. But that's only in the legal aspect, while the economic team is worse, he admitted. It means that PKS is not solid on its review on AGO.

Mr Saleh, 64, rejected to comment on PKS demand to takeover his post. Saleh gained popularity for his dissenting opinion in the trial of corruption case against Akbar Tanjung (former Golkar Party chairman and house speaker). Akbar was set free. In 1999, Saleh was member of General Election Committee (KPU) representing Crescent Star Party (currently led by MS Kaban, minister for forestry).

In the last few weeks, PKS publicly stated their intention to have four cabinet seats in a reshuffled cabinet scheduled this month. Currently PKS has three members in the cabinet.

In my interview with PKS leader recently, he disclosed that PKS is planning to withdraw three ministers with lesser-important portfolios and demanding four important portfolios.

“We can’t maintain our support for this government unless we involve in more important policy making portfolios, especially the economy team,” he said.

PKS argued that SBY and VP Jusuf Kalla had promised four cabinet seats in the run-off to second leg of presidential election last year. In the first leg, PKS endorsed Amien Rais as the president but Amien lost the race to SBY and Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Other parties are also demanding few more posts. Golkar Party led by Kalla, for example, is asking for eight seats (jump from two). But SBY had made it clear that he would only replace one or two ministers.

Summon Khairiansyah

In a related development, just two weeks after the Berlin-based Transparency International awarded Khairiansyah Salman an Integrity Award 2005, Deputy Attorney General Hendarman Supandji announced today that Salman would be summoned for receiving haj funds.

A former Indonesian religious affairs minister has been named as a suspect in a high-profile corruption case.

Said Agil Munawar, who was minister from 1999-2004, is the second suspect in the scandal involving more than US$70 million in leftover funds from Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca.
Mr Munawar revealed in court recently that Mr Salman was among the receivers of the funds at the amount of US$1,000.

Mr Salman is an auditor at the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) in Indonesia who revealed grand corruption in the procurement activities of the General Election Commission and then exposed the bribery of the Commission’s members. This act angered the head of the BPK and Mr Salman was accused of violating the code of conduct. He was then openly accused in the media of entrapping the Commission member to bribe him. Mr Salman who is protected under the Corruption Eradication Commission’s witness protection scheme (KPK) is now working with the Aceh and Nias Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency (BRR). His cooperation with the KPK has enabled the Commission to uncover a USD 2.1 million scandal in the General Electoral Commission which involved virtually all of its members. Nominated by TI Indonesia, Mr Salman has shown that one whistleblower can tackle corruption. He is a role model for millions of Indonesians.




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November 20, 2005 9:02 PM  

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