Fri, 04 May 2001

City officials, police squabble over hoodlum fund

JAKARTA (JP): While the operation against hoodlums has not yet been accomplished, amid doubts by experts over its effectiveness, the city administration and the police have now been involved in an argument over the disbursement of the allocated Rp 4.07 billion fund.

City spokesman Muhayat said on Thursday that the city administration had handed over Rp 1.05 billion (US$95,454) to the Jakarta Police on April 23 to finance their operations against hoodlums over the following three months.

The money is part of a total Rp 4.7 billion fund that would be spent on the year-long operation against hoodlums.

"Of course, we did not disburse all the Rp 4.7 billion at once, as we needed to wait for the yielding of the city's income," Muhayat told reporters.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Anton Bahrul Alam complained on Wednesday that the police only received Rp 1 billion instead of Rp 4.7 billion.

Earlier, many police officers who conducted raids against hoodlums also grumbled, saying they had not received any money at all.

Muhayat said Rp 675 million of the Rp 1.05 billion was allocated for the city's five police precincts while the remaining Rp 375 million was for Jakarta Police headquarters.

Police officers involved in the operations would receive Rp 15,000 daily in addition to their monthly salary, he said.

The operation against hoodlums has been held since April and will last for a further nine months. This is part of a bigger operation against "troubled" people including prostitutes and panhandlers, conducted from last January through till the end of this year. The whole operation will cost approximately Rp 30 billion.

Experts, however, doubt the effectiveness of the operation, especially because it takes a repressive approach, saying that the activities do not touch the core of the problem, which is poverty.

City officials also reprimanded the police for frequently complaining about "money".

"They only think about money. They should not be able to talk about that," an official, who requested anonymity, told reporters.

He said that the Rp 1.05 billion is probably kept by certain high-ranking officials of the Jakarta Police for a certain period of time so that their subordinates remained unaware of the fund and did not question it.

Muhayat said on Tuesday that the city administration would finance the operation using the 2001 City Budget.

He said that since the operation was declared by Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso on April 16, as many as 161 hoodlums had been arrested by the police for committing crimes such as extorting money and carrying sharp weapons.

City Police Chief Insp. Gen. Mulyono Sulaiman had promised to deploy 800 police officers to help city public order officers fight the hoodlums. (jun)