Mon, 12 May 2003

Governor said to conceal more wealth

Yuliansyah, The Jakarta Post, Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan

The State Officials' Wealth Audit Commission (KPKPN) came to the conclusion that South Kalimantan Governor Sjachriel Darham had concealed his wealth and should, therefore, be dismissed.

In a meeting with local councillors over the weekend, KPKPN Chairman Jusuf Syakir said that the governor was not honest in reporting his assets.

"KPKPN found out that some of his assets were not mentioned in the report," councillor Farid Wajedi from the United Development Party (PPP) said after the meeting.

However, he refused to disclose which assets were missing from his report.

The KPKPN investigation followed reports from a group of non- governmental organizations which said Sjachriel possessed five luxurious houses in Jakarta, Malang and Banjarmasin and several luxury cars that he failed to report to the wealth audit commission following his inauguration as governor in 2001.

KPKPN has also written Minister of Home Affairs Hari Sabarno, suggesting that he dismiss Sjachriel.

The provincial legislature also submitted a similar letter to the home minister last year, following its no-confidence vote against the governor. The central government has simply refused to respond and still considers Sjachriel the legitimate governor.

However, the recommendation from the KPKPN has sparked a rift among the councillors, with some members of PPP faction vowing to defend Sjachriel. The governor was nominated by the Muslim-based party during an election in 2001.

The provincial legislature's deputy speaker Syamsuri Darham of PPP said the demand for Sjachriel's dismissal was unfair as several other officials in the province had not even submitted the wealth reports yet to KPKPN.

He insisted that the governor be given a chance to complete his wealth report as there was the possibility that Sjachriel had forgotten how many houses and cars he owns.

"Besides, many other officials even failed to submit their wealth report. So why does KPKPN target Sjachriel?" Syamsuri, who is the governor's brother in-law, wondered.

He further suggested that the council wait for the results of the ongoing legal process in Sjachriel's case before deciding the political status of the governor.

Syamsuri's statement was immediately refuted by the legislature's speaker Mansyah, who said the council would take action to follow up on the KPKPN recommendation.

"We will establish a special investigation commission and gather more information regarding the allegations," Mansyah of Golkar Party remarked.

Bachruddin Syarkawie, another deputy speaker representing the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), said that the KPKPN had solid data to support its findings.

He said he would support the establishment of a special committee to investigate the governor, saying it was entirely consistent with the Law No. 28/1999 on clean government.