Mon, 10 Apr 2000

Council grills developer over alleged corruption

JAKARTA (JP): The City Council questioned PT Duta Pertiwi on Friday over the development permit for a three-story shopping complex on a pedestrian overpass that connects ITC Shopping Center and Mangga Dua Mall in Mangga Dua, West Jakarta.

In a hearing between executives of the company and members of the council's Commission D for public works, development and environmental affairs, the councillors accused the private developer, which developed and owns the overpass, of bribing city officials in an effort to obtain a permit.

None of the councillors elaborated any further on the allegation.

During the meeting led by commission chairman Sayogo Hendrosubroto, an executive of Duta Pertiwi, Stevanus Hartono, denied the accusation, saying that the money given to the city administration was simply a kind of "contribution".

The money, he said, consisted of a "good will fee" worth Rp 500 million, control and maintenance cost of Rp 450 million, "compensation fund" for the poor worth Rp 144,788 million, and another contribution of Rp 900 million, which would be paid in installments until 2010.

Stevanus did not reveal any names to who received the money.

Separately, the chairman of Commission C for city revenue, Amarullah Asbah, urged the city administration to publicly disclose the case.

"What exactly is 'good-will money'? Which rules stipulate a developer has to pay that much? There are no rules about it," he said.

Amarullah also suggested that City Bylaw No. 7/1991 on building regulations be renewed because it did not regulate buildings which were constructed above street level.

Stevanus said his company obtained the permit issued by the governor on April 30 last year.

Councillor Saud Rahman, who is also the deputy chairman of the commission, asked about the safety of the construction.

"The bridge is simply an overpass. Won't it be dangerous for motorists passing underneath if there are 192 shops built on it?" Saud asked.

Stevanus replied: "The proposal from the beginning was to build an overpass which also has shops on it.

"The construction is safe and will not pose a hazard to motorists," he said. (09)