Fri, 03 Mar 2000

Damura prize money to be reduced

JAKARTA (JP): PT Mutiara Mandala Mahardhika (3M) will reduce the percentage of prize money in its fund raising program called Damura (the People's Fund for Sports) and instead contribute more toward sports development.

PT 3M's general manager, Mutia Farida, told reporters on Thursday after a meeting with officials of sports organizations that due to the input of many organizations she had reconsidered reducing the amount of prize money by 50 percent of total revenues to 40 percent.

"The 10 percent difference will go to the National Sports Council (KONI) to help develop sports in the country. KONI will receive 16.5 percent instead of 6.5 percent as we approved earlier," she said.

Mutia said she could not narrow the range of prize money between Rp 5,000 (70 US cents) and Rp 25 million because the winner ratio would only be 1:20.

"Actually we considered increasing the lowest prize money to Rp 50,000 but the number of winners would be very limited. Our consultant, Scientific Games International (SGI), would be hands up on the loss should we stick to the plan."

Mutia said PT 3M would also print warnings on the coupons saying only those over 17 years of age and above could buy the them.

However, her explanation did not satisfy officials of sports organizations.

The Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) official in charge of promotion and public relations, Rainier Daulay, said PT 3M and KONI still needed an edict from the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) to decide if Damura would encourage gambling.

"I think 90 percent of Indonesian people will disagree with Damura because they have seen how various sports raise funds. But the fund-raising operators are getting richer while sports communities remain penniless."

"There are so many examples, including the government-banned lottery, SDSB, and the embezzlement of the reforestation fund by the 1997 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games underwriting consortium. If that money was deposited long-term, sports organizations could send athletes to many tournaments."

Rainier also said that should PT 3M want to launch Damura, with improvements, they must promote the program continuously to the public.

"I prefer fund-raising programs from the people instead of installing state officials as chairpersons of sports organizations."


The Indonesian Swimming Federation (PRSI) official in charge of media and promotion, Made Ayu Sadrini, said PT 3M should ask for guarantees from distributors if they failed to fulfill their obligation to sell the coupons.

"Based on my experience in the SEA Games consortium, distributors can claim they suffer from deficits. If they do, what would PT 3M do? Would they punish the distributors? I think KONI should ask PT 3M to give the 6.5 percent, which equals Rp 3.25 billion, in advanced," she said.

Made also questioned the distribution of the fund to sports organizations.

"KONI is only the mediator to send athletes for multi-sports events but the organizations groom them since the beginning. The organizations deserve to get the fund," she said.

KONI official in charge of media and promotion, Enny Hardjanto, emphasized that the fund would be used by KONI to send athletes abroad to compete in multi-sports events.

She also said that if sports organizations did not throw their weight behind the program, Indonesia might skip the 2001 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur due to lack of funds.

The Indonesian Consumers Agency (YLKI) said in its release signed by chairwoman Indah Suksmaningsih that Damura should not be launched.

YLKI said the people's negative reaction to Damura empirically made sense as they had been traumatized by the government-banned lottery. "There was some domestic violence because husbands forced their wives to give them money to buy lottery tickets."

YLKI also said that Damura could encourage the people not to work as they would hope for the highest prize money of Rp 25 million.

The agency also urged state minister of social affairs, Anak Agung Gde Agung, to cancel the ministerial decree on Damura.

Anak Agung has asked PT 3M to cancel its plan to launch Damura in April. (yan)