Fri, 23 Jun 2000

Bulogate criminal category

I observed with interest remarks made by police chief Alex Bambang and Attorney General Marzuki Darusman, that the Rp 35 billion drain is a criminal offense.

I tend to disagree since a law is missing declaring that these extra-budgetary funds that are floating around are governmental funds. There must be some 600 of these surrogate accounts, including the seven odd foundations from former president Soeharto, every provincial governor, every regent and every state-owned company, numbering 200 or so, which have created these Frankenstein sources of evil.

As a citizen uneducated in governmental affairs, I can only conclude that governmentalstate funds are those which flow into the state coffers. Thus, if these sums are accumulated from god- knows-where, into accounts where each minister or high-ranking director (general) or inspector or official of a trustee fund can sign checks, etc., then these are funds belonging to them?

Thus, logic commands that there is no criminal case, just the usage of funds.

I wonder if members of the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI) have this same system of free-floating accounts in their countries?

And if the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) insisted that these practices here should stop at once, abolishing the bad habits of the old Soeharto regime?

And if they did overlook this serious flaw, are they then seriously incompetent, as Jeffrey Winters pointed out some five years ago? Or are they also on the take themselves ?