Fri, 22 Aug 2003

Bamus fails to hold first meeting

JAKARTA: The House of Representatives steering committee (Bamus) failed to hold its first meeting on Thursday after most of its members did not show up.

Only 18 of the 76 Bamus members showed up for the meeting, arranged to determine the date on which President Megawati Soekarnoputri was due to explain the loss of Sipadan and Ligitan islands to Malaysia in December last year.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) faction, which controls Bamus, was conspicuously absent, as only four of its 22 representatives turned up.

Most PDI Perjuangan legislators consider the Sipadan-Ligitan issue to be over. PDI Perjuangan is led by Megawati Soekarnoputri, who is also the President.

Deputy House speaker Tosari Widjaja, who was supposed to lead the meeting, declined to speculate on the poor attendance, saying that it was due to lack of discipline among lawmakers. --JP