Thursday, December 31, 2009

George Junus Aditjondro

George Junus Aditjondro has triggered another controversy with his new book, Membongkar Gurita Cikeas: Di Balik Skandal Bank Century. Other than the alleged physical attack on Demokrat Party politician Ramadhan Pohan, the book has created a war among Facebookers. Who is George?
According to Wikipedia, George is born in Pekalongan, Central Java in May 27, 1946. He was a journalist for Tempo from its inception until 1979. He fled Indonesia in 1995 to escape a political trial for articles he wrote about Soeharto-linked businesses. He is famous for his works on Soeharto Inc.
He lives in Asutralia and is currently a lecturer in Newcastle University, Australia in Sociology of Corruption. He got his PhD from Cornell University, USA in 1993. He was a lecturer at Satya Wacana Christian University in Solo, Central Java along with famous sociologist Arief Budiman.
Very limited information about his personal data. Some people attacked his personal life, others defended saying "that's nothing to do with his works on monitoring corruption and different regimes."
Still, some questioned about his behavior after the launching of his book yesterday. As reported by the Jakarta Post, during the post-launch discussion, George reportedly lost control of his emotions after President SBY's Demokrat Party lawmaker Ramadhan, who was not invited to the event, tried to defend himself regarding an accusation published in the book.
The book accused the Jurnal Nasional newspaper, where Ramadhan is editor-in-chief, received over Rp150 billion financing from Sampoerna through Soenaryo Sampoerna, son of Boedi Sampoerna. Boedi Sampoerna is the biggest depositor at Bank Century, which might have lost over US$200 million if government closed down the bank.
Government defended the bailout on Century (US$700 million), arguing the decision was not designed to help Boedi Sampoerna recover his money. In the words of VP Boediono, the bailout was not about Century, but to save the whole economy.
Ramadhan filed report about the incident to Jakarta Police. He reported George for "misconduct" that carries a maximum sentence of 32 months in jail, or a Rp400,000 in fines.
Well, let them fight in court on this incident. But that shouldn't prevent us from discussing seriously about the content of the book, just like we discussed the foundations linked to Soeharto for a simple reason. We can't afford to have another Soeharto-type of corruption, collusion, and nepotism!

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