Sat, 25 Mar 2000

Damura given ultimatum to improve program soon

JAKARTA (JP): State Minister for Social Affairs and chairman of the National Social Welfare Agency (BKSN) Anak Agung Gde Agung has given an ultimatum to PT Mutiara Mandala Mahardhika (3M) to improve its fund raising scheme Damura (People's Fund for Sports) in two-weeks time starting from March 24.

Speaking at a media conference on Friday, Anak Agung said PT 3M must be able to fulfill 12 conditions as formulated by his office.

The 12 conditions are:

1. Damura coupons and insurance policies be sealed by officials from BKSN 10 days before being printed, validated by a public notary and witnessed by police and officials from related departments.

2. Damura coupons and insurance policies be printed by the state- owned money printing company PT Peruri.

3. The maximum prize money be Rp 1.5 billion (US$202,700) for each period of three months or a total of Rp 6 billion for four periods in a year.

4. PT 3M must follow the schedule issued by the (former) minister of social affairs. Should there be an opportunity, PT 3M must request permission from the office of the state minister for social affairs.

5. Damura coupons must also function as tickets to watch sporting events.

6. These sporting events be scheduled in advance, before the coupons are sold to the public.

7. The coupons only be sold close to sporting events in the capital of Jakarta, provincial capitals and centers of big cities.

8. The prize money offered to the public be not too great, hence encouraging people to buy coupons just to win prizes and forget the main goal.

9. PT 3M must avoid ways which encourage gambling in deciding prize winners.

10. Damura operators be observed by the people, including the House of Representatives, the Indonesian Consumers Agency (YLKI) and nongovernmental organizations.

11. National sport's development must get a larger share of the money raised through Damura.

12. Insurance claim facilities must be available in Jakarta, provincial capitals and big cities nationwide.


Anak Agung said two weeks was a fair amount of time for PT 3M to fulfill the 12 conditions.

"They have prepared the program for three years. They should have read all the requirements issued last week. I think they still have time in two weeks to consult with their American partner. They can calculate if their business will be profitable by following our conditions," he said.

"If they fail to fulfill these conditions, which I doubt they are able to do, we will deny them permission."

Damura has sparked controversy since it was announced early last February. Many sports officials consider the program an ineffective way to raise funds for sports development because only 6.5 percent of its total income has been earmarked for sports.

While other people have said that Damura would encourage gambling. The Rp 5,000 coupons are slated to offer a 1 in 7 chance of winning a prize, with the highest prize of Rp 25 million.

The coupons, which will be printed by American company Scientific Games International, will also offer life insurance of Rp 2.5 million that expires in one month.

Anak Agung said PT 3M had not followed the original ministerial decree issued last year.

"Damura organizers had approved a yearly highest prize of Rp 6 billion. But later on, they increased the prize money to Rp 166 billion, which is about 30 times higher. It will stimulate people to buy Damura coupons because they want to win prizes instead of contributing their money to sports."

"I'm afraid it will also create disharmony among the people, especially the working classes, who spend at the most Rp 750,000 a month. I fear they will use their money to buy the coupons instead of using it for more important things, including feeding their children or paying school fees."


Anak Agung urged PT 3M to raise the price of the coupons and target them toward wealthier people, who spend at least Rp 1 million each month.

"There are about 20 million people or 10 percent of Indonesian citizens who spend at least Rp 1 million each month. They should be the market for Damura coupons."

Anak Agung said he did not fear that PT 3M, which is chaired by Mutia Farida, would take him to court.

"The government didn't make the new regulations. It is they who break the regulations. They must prove that they will not burden the public. We are only following what was stated in the ministerial decree issued last year," he said. (yan)