Wed, 15 Mar 2000

House commission wants special hearing on Damura

JAKARTA (JP): The House of Representatives Commission VI for human resources and religious affairs wants to hold a special hearing soon on the fund raising program, Damura (the People's Fund for Sports), with the National Sports Council (KONI) and Damura operator PT Mutiara Mandala Mahardhika (3M), before deciding if the program can proceed.

The commission's deputy chairman Paturungi Parawansa of the Golkar Party faction said at the conclusion of a hearing with KONI on Tuesday that another hearing was needed just to discuss Damura, especially with its impact on the public.

"We realize that KONI has found it difficult to raise funds for sports development. The commission supports KONI's efforts to raise funds under three conditions. First, that it doesn't encourage gambling. Second, that it sticks to regulations. And third, that it won't be a bad influence on society," he said.

"The commission will evaluate if this program will have a negative impact on society after Damura is launched."

Ferdiansyah, the commission's member of the Golkar Party faction, said the commission could cooperate with members of Commission VII for population and welfare to discuss the permit issued by the then ministry of social services.

"The ministry (of social services) was dismissed and the authority to issue the permit is with the state minister for social affairs. We can give a recommendation to Commission VII, which will pass it on to the minister," he said.

"If necessary, we can set up a coordination team comprising members of commissions VI and VII to study Damura."

Ferdiansyah said it was not enough to launch Damura based on an edict from the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) only.

"MUI studies the program from the religious side but what about my accountability as a member of the House? How can I be responsible to my voters if I remain silent on the matter," he said.

"We need to study Damura together with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which are concerned with consumers and religious organizations, including MUI, the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) and others."

KONI official in charge of media and promotion Enny Hardjanto said the council would not mind if there was another hearing on Damura.

"The House only wants to have time for Damura to give an explanation. They will decide the time. But KONI will not force itself to launch Damura in April," she said. "Our toughest job is to familiarize Damura and its details with the public until everyone really understands it."

Enny insisted that PT 3M earned permits from the then ministry of social services, a recommendation from Commission VI and an edict from MUI.

KONI has planned to launch a Rp 5,000 (70 US cents) Damura coupon to sell in April. Each coupon consists of two parts. The first is a scratch and win, which offers a chance to win between Rp 5,000 and Rp 25 million if the holder scratches three symbols that match. The second part is a one-month life insurance policy which the holder or his or her estate can claim Rp 2.5 million should he or she suffer a permanent disability or dies.

State Minister of Social Affairs Anak Agung Gde Agung has urged KONI and PT 3M to delay the launch until they can submit PT 3M's final report on the program, an edict is issued by Indonesia Ulemas Council (MUI) on whether Damura encourages gambling and the House of Representatives make a decision on the program. (yan)