Saturday, December 26, 2009

Major bookstore withdraws controversial book on SBY

Major bookstore identified as TBG has reportedly withdrawn the distribution of Membongkar Gurita Cikeas: Di Balik Skandal Bank Century (picture, courtesy of, a book written by George Junus Aditjondro, upon instruction from "boss". The book, basically about foundations surrounding President SBY, has reportedly been discussed seriously by SBY's inner circle in SBY's private residence in Cikeas, West Java. reported that TBG, most likely linked to Kompas Gramedia Group, withdrew the distribution of the book today, just few hours after the bookstore network received the delivery from its publisher (Galang Press).
The publisher, Julius Felicianus, claimed TBG owner got "hate calls" from unidentified person who asked the withdrawal. quoted Julius saying Gramedia bookstore in Yogyakarta had withdrawn the book after "security officers" paid a visit. 
George launched the book in Yogyakarta on Wednesday, Dec 23 and immediately became a best seller. "The President is very concerned with the book release, because what disclosed in the book is not the fact," Julian Aldrin Pasha, the president's spokesperson said.
What's in the book? Well, actually nothing really new. George wrote about foundations like Puri Cikeas, Mutu Manikam, Kesetiakawanan, SBY Nurussalam, etc. George pointed relationships between First Lady Ani Yudhoyono and Artalyta Suryani (jailed in bribery case of prosecutor Urip Tri Gunawan) in Mutu Manikam Foundation where Artalyta was the treasurer, while the First Lady is the patron leader.
George also wrote about Kesetiakawanan Foundation which linked Djoko Suyanto (coordinating minister for politic, security, law & human rights) and Djoko Tjandra (for a US$1 million donation through PT Mulia Graha Tatalestari), etc.
The book is controversial for the link between SBY and the ongoing investigation on Century. Demokrat faction chairman Anas Urbaningrum expects the book is not part of a negative propaganda saying "SBY is not involved in the Century issue." 
But the publisher dismissed such allegation arguing George submitted the manuscript in June 2009 before the Century case emerged in political arena.
Andi Arief, one of SBY-Boediono's team member in the presidential campaign, considered George's new book a "defamation". He pointed to page 30 and 31 of the book, where, according to Andi, George mentioned about transfer of money from state-owned news agency LKBN Antara of Rp40.6 billion to Bravo Media Center, one of SBY-Boediono's key organizations.
George rebuffed Andi saying "the amount is not an issue. The most important thing is whether there were money transfer from Antara. Do they deny this? Because I have internal sources at Antara who could verify that."
The bottom line, George reminded, is the importance of auditing on foundations related to people in power and campaign teams. We can't agree more!  

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