Monday, December 28, 2009

Membongkar Gurita Cikeas & Conflict of Interests

Challenged to prove his theory of money flow from state-owned news agency Antara to President SBY's Bravo Media Center, one of key organizations within SBY-Boediono campaign team, George J. Aditjondro, the writer of controversial book Membongkar Gurita Cikeas: Di Balik Skandal Bank Century, said "I got information from internal source." He raised the issue of conflict of interest and violation of election law.
George said the fact is that one of Antara News Agency's executives was also a member of Demokrat Party's success team. He is Rully C. Iswahyudi, deputy director for commercial and IT at Antara. "Even if my allegation will later on proven to be false, it is a violation of law to have the Antara executive in the success team," George argued.
Antara CEO, Akhmad Mukhlis Yusuf, previously asked George to drop the allegation about money flow from Antara's public service obligation (PSO) pool of fund to Bravo Media Center.
Public have raised concern about conflict of interests in the participation of some commissioners of state-owned enterprises in the campaign teams of SBY-Boediono and Kalla-Wiranto. Some decided to resign from SOEs, like in the case of Raden Pardede, but others stay because they claimed they're not part of the formal structure of the success team.
George also raised the conflict of interests issue in his TV debate with Suratto Siswodihardjo last night. Suratto complained about the inclusion of Puri Cikeas Foundation as part of the George's term of Cikeas Octopus. "While I built this foundation with my own money, and that it grows from our businesses. What's wrong with that," Suratto argued.
But George challenged Suratto with the following question, "when will you talk about the chairman of Puri Cikeas foundation and as a chairman of Pro-SBY Movement?"
Suratto, according to our database, is also listed as commissioner of state-owned airport management company PT Angkasa Pura II. Suratto is SBY's neighbor in Puri Cikeas, now an upper class residential area, reportedly purchased at "cheap price" from local farmers.
Puri Cikeas is a heavyweight foundation where CEO of two major banks (BRI and Bukopin) are key officers. State-owned bank BRI and Bukopin both donated to the foundation. The foundation had meetings on government-sponsored programs like biofuel, etc.
Amien Rais, former People's Consultative Assembly speaker, said the main weakness in George's book is secondary source he used, and then added with his own research. But Amien believes in the accuracy of the secondary data.
Interestingly, DPR's Special Committee to investigate Century bailout plans to summon some people mentioned by George in the book. While George didn't make a connection between Century bailout and efforts to recover Boedi Sampoerna's over US$200 million funds in Century, the book contained information about Sampoerna's over Rp150 billion "capital injection" into Jurnal Nasional, a newspaper affiliated with Demokrat Party and SBY. 
About the conflict of interest, we managed to develop a list of cabinet members and commissioners in state-owned enterprises that openly play politics but no punishment weighed upon them. Why the country doesn't want to change? Why the current administration repeats the behavior of previous administrations when it comes to abuse of power and State assets?
Some love the phrase...laws established only to be violated. That seems perfectly correct when you see the list. You can expand the list with hundreds of other names in somewhat similar positions. Not to mention tens of the so-called economists and political observers hired as commissioners in the state-owned companies and government offices. 

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