Tue, 04 Jan 2000

Bimantoro tipped to take National Police's top post

JAKARTA (JP): Maj. Gen. Bimantoro, operational affairs assistant to the National Police chief, is likely to be appointed the new National Police chief, a senior officer said on Monday.

A date for the transfer of duty has not as yet been set.

"I have not received new plans from President Abdurrahman Wahid yet. The new chief should be appointed some time after the Lebaran (Idul Fitri) holiday," National Police chief Gen. Roesmanhadi told a media briefing on 1999 criminal activities at the National Central Bureau secretariat of the National Police.

"Let us wait. Just like you (journalists), I have heard that the new chief will be Maj. Gen. Bimantoro. That's just it. We have only heard it.

"Once I have the definite plan in my hands, I'll let all of you know. I have no reason to hide it from you."

Bimantoro is a 1970 graduate of the National Police Academy, while Roesmanhadi, 53, is a 1967 graduate of the same academy. There is no information available on Roesmanhadi's next position, but he is still two years away from the mandatory retirement age of 55.

A source at the National Police Headquarters said Bimantoro was the only candidate for the position.

"Pak Bimantoro is a visionary. His knowledge about the world of the Indonesian Police is very deep. He's well liked by all ... to my knowledge, he has no enemies here," the source said.

Roesmanhadi added that whoever the new police chief might be, he would face very tough challenges this year due to budgetary problems.

"We can't ask for too much, since the national treasury can't afford to give too much anyway," Roesmanhadi said.

National Police chief's planning assistant Maj. Gen. Adang Daradjatun said on Monday that for this year, the National Police were proposing Rp 4.9 trillion (US$700 million) for routine expenditure and Rp 376 billion for development.

"We'll only know how much we'll get this April. About 67 percent of the Rp 4.9 trillion will go on salaries, bonuses and other welfare purposes for our officers. Another 15 percent will go on operational costs," Adang said.

Adang added that of the budget for development, Rp 207 billion would be used on the education of both non-commissioned and commissioned officers, while the rest would be spent on equipment and operational costs of police stations nationwide.

In 1999, routine expenditure amounted to Rp 2.9 trillion, while budget for development amounted to Rp 197 billion.


Roesmanhadi said the National Police were planning to establish a new program which would concentrate on the handling of narcotics cases nationwide.

"The program will be known as the Coordinating Body for Nationwide Narcotics (BKNN)," Roesmanhadi said.

He said the budget for the program, which was not listed on the proposal for this year's national police budget, would be discussed with the Ministry of Finance.

"We have asked the Minister of Defense to propose the budget to the Ministry of Finance," Roesmanhadi said.

He added that last year, of the 2,465 narcotics cases recorded by the National Police, 1,908 cases were solved and went to court.

The cases involved 3,451 people, 116 of which were from South Africa, West Africa, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, the United States, Nepal, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland and Australia.

The remaining were Indonesians. (ylt)