Fri, 30 Nov 2001

Buloggate II

The Buloggate II case has placed House Speaker Akbar Tandjung in a difficult situation, because his statement regarding the submission of a check for Rp 40 billion from the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) has always been denied by some witnesses, including Ishadi, the head of PT Yanaprima.

Ishadi said that Bulog's former financial deputy Ahmad Ruskandar had directly submitted the check for Rp 20 billion in a green-colored folder to Akbar Tandjung on March 2, 1999 in the office of the former minister/state secretary. Akbar Tandjung directly received, opened and then placed it on a table before instructing his staff to take the folder (Republika of Nov. 27).

Some newspapers reported on Nov. 28 that a witness, Yusnadi Suwarta, also confirmed previous statements made by other witnesses saying that it was Akbar Tandjung who had personally received the check.

However, the statement of the head of Raudatul Jannah Foundation, Dadang Sukandar, which said that he had received the check directly from Ahmad Ruskandar differed from the statements made by Ahmad Ruskandar, Ishadi and Yusnadi. This clearly shows who Dadang Sukandar really is. Moreover, Dadang, at the time, said that he had forgotten the name of his staff who cashed the check, which is absurd. Both Akbar and Dadang have, on several occasions, given ridiculous answers to questions posed to them.

All of us hope that prosecutors will be able to anticipate any tall stories and eventually disclose the truth of this case by preparing various questions and pieces of evidence to nullify the defense statements given by Akbar and his cronies.

As for the check, it is only a matter of whether Akbar is lying or telling the truth. Whether Bulog's funds were truly used for the social safety net program or for the interests of his own party, Golkar, it is well known that other parties such as the United Development Party (PPP), the Crescent Star Party (PBB) and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), are also commonly thought to have enjoyed the fund, too.

Of course, Golkar will not remain silent and will automatically save its chairman for the sake of the party's survival. If it proves that Golkar has used Bulog's money for its own interests, including for its 1999 general election campaign, the party will surely be finished.