Mon, 14 Feb 2000

Fair solution expected to Texmaco's credit scam

SUBANG, West Java (JP): Workers employed in factories belonging to the Texmaco Group called for an immediate and fair solution to the company's loan scandal so they could be more certain of their future.

Agoes S., chairman of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (SPSI) branch at PT Perkasa Engineering, the group's unit producing vehicles, said the Texmaco Group's more than 50,000 workers did not want to be used as an excuse for the Attorney General's Office not to investigate the scandal thoroughly.

At the same time, he urged the government to recognize the group and the workers as a national asset which must be given due attention.

"The Attorney General's Office should go ahead with its investigation into the case and, even, bring it to court, but the government should be wise in safeguarding our future and families," he said during a visit by the FSPSI's central board to the plant here on Saturday.

Marimutu Sinivasan, owner of the giant Texmaco business group, has been named as a suspect in a Rp 9.6 trillion loan scandal at state banks.

Texmaco allegedly obtained loans, mostly in preshipment export facilities, between November 1997 and February 1998 from Bank Indonesia, through Bank Negara Indonesia and Bank Rakyat Indonesia. The loans were allegedly facilitated by the intervention of then president Soeharto.

Texmaco is a publicly listed company with interests in textiles and heavy machinery. Sinivasan is an associate of Soeharto.

FSPSI chairman Jacob Nuwa Wea urged the government on Saturday to give all companies under the group time to continue their operations in order to repay the group's local and foreign debts.

"It will be unwise and unfair if the government decides to freeze the group's operations, because apart from being a national asset, the group employs tens of thousands of workers. This means the fate of hundreds of thousands of people depend on the companies' survival," he said. (rms)