Membongkar Gurita Cikeas triggers controversy
For those regularly monitoring Indonesian politics at play, George Aditjondro's book, Membongkar Gurita Cikeas (literally means: Uncover Cikeas Octopus), is a compilation of scattered reports about various foundations closely linked to Cikeas (President SBY, The First Lady, and the broader inner circle (including Demokrat Party). What makes it special is actually the inner circle's strong reaction to the book, most likely because of the connection to ongoing investigation on Century scandal.
George opened the book with the popular transcript of a wiretapped conversation between Anggodo Widjojo and Ong Yuliana where Yuliana claimed SBY's support for Ritonga (former deputy attorney general) on a plot (i.e. criminalization of KPK leaders).
George discussed about Sampoerna Group's "assistance" to Jurnal Nasional, a newspaper closely affiliated to Demokrat Party and SBY; utilization of public service obligation (PSO) funds for Bravo Media Center, one of campaign arms of SBY-Boediono; SBY-affiliated foundations (Puri Cikeas, SBY Nurussalam, Kesetiakawanan & Kepedulian, etc); First Lady-related foundations (Batik Foundation, Sulam Foundation, etc); Business connection of Cikeas Family, etc.
Yosefardi.com published various articles in the period of 2007-2008 about these issues under the following titles: Puri Cikeas Foundation, SBY's dzikir foundation, cabinet ministers wives' club, Tempo Scan Group & SBY, Tjokrosaputro & The First Family, Mr President & The Joker, etc.
The book has disappeared from bookstores. TBG reportedly withdrew the book. But Naluri Imayanti, duty manager of Gramedia Matraman (Jakarta) outlet, denied the withdrawal. "That's not true. The book has yet to entered the bookstore," Naluri said.
The publisher printed 4,000 copies for US$4/copy. Bookstores withdrawn the book, reportedly due to "pressures", just when the inner circle of the ruling elite seriously discussing the book. The President's spokesperson has expressed SBY's "concern" about the book's content. Demokrat Party executives mainly call the book a "defamation" and as a result, the writer shall be brought to justice (legal process).
House Speaker Marzuki Ali (from Demokrat) said the book is full of baseless allegations and defamations toward SBY.
Denial also came from Antara News Agency, which according to George, channeled public service obligation funds to Bravo Media Center (member of SBY-Boediono campaign team). Suratto Siswodihardjo, chairman of Puri Cikeas Foundation, asked George to drop the conclusion that the foundation he established is part of the Cikeas Octopus. "I simply can't accept that conclusion," Suratto, known as a friend of SBY and chairman of Pro SBY Movement/commissioner of state-owned company PT Angkasa Pura II said in a dialogue at TVOne. But George rejected straightforwardly. "I will not drop that," George said in the dialogue.
All of these would only popularize the book. What a "blessing in disguise" for the publisher. Members of the DPR's inquiry team on Century have reportedly ordered the book directly to the publisher in Yogyakarta (Galang Press). Some universities have also ordered substantial copies.
While SBY's supporters see SBY as a regular victim of defamation, others expressed their concern about the return of authoritarianism if the book is banned from distribution. Interestingly, Amir Syamsuddin, secretary general of Demokrat Party, who is also a lawyer, said the book shall not be withdrawn from distribution. "The book is rubbish, no relation between its title and the content," Amir commented.
President's spokesperson Julian Aldrin Pasha dismissed speculations that government has banned the distribution of the controversial book.
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(2) Indonesia Pintar