Monday, December 28, 2009

Sekoci Indoratu, giant "NGO" or "shadow political party"?

Sekoci Indoratu (Sekoci = Lifeboat) classified itself a non-government organization (NGO). But the NGO also calls itself "partner" of President SBY's Demokrat Party in the elections (legislative and president). As "NGO", we have to admit Sekoci Indoratu might be the biggest and most powerful NGO in Indonesia. 
Sekoci Indoratu has nationwide branches at provincial level and regency level, equipped with organization structure similar to political parties. Take a look at the structure of NGO Sekoci Indoratu in Kubu Raya, Kalimantan. Interestingly, in some areas, the leaders are either former executives in political parties or government/military officers. In some areas, the local branches also got "financial assistance" from local administration's budget. In Pelalawan Regency, according to an audit by Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), found "donation" of Rp40 million from local budget.
This NGO is very active in local politics. During the governor election in East Java last year, for example, Sekoci Indoratu, claimed its 500,000 members in the province of supporting Soekarwo (candidate from Demokrat Party). Head of the NGO in East Java is Major General (ret) Djoko Subroto. In North Sulawesi, the chairman is Colonel (ret) Frans Mongdong. At the national level, its chairman is Major General (ret) Soeprapto, who is also commissioner at PT Indosat Tbk.
How they finance the organization? Who provided funds for its operations?
According to Tempo, Sekoci was formed in the run-up to the 2004 legislative election for Yudhoyono’s political interests. Almost 90 percent of thepersonnel on this team were retired military men. Among them were T.B. Silalahi, Soeprapto, Amir Sembiring, Irvan Edison, and Max Tamaela. "Not surprisingly, their activities employed a military pattern, among other things, by conducting intelligence, territorial and sociopolitical activities," Tempo wrote in October 2008 (Revving Up the Old Engines).
In addition to retired soldiers, Tempo reported, the team also consisted of a number of businessmen and business operators, among them Teddy Tohir (founder of Astra) and his son, Boy Garibaldi Tohir (Adaro), Robbyanto Budiman (Wahana Makmur Sejati), Patrick Waluyo (Northstar Pasifik), and Frans Kansil (Unilever). There were also politicians, such as Yahya Ombara (formerly of the Indonesian United & National Unity Party).

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