Fri, 26 Sep 2003

Laksamana rebuked for Pertamina post

JAKARTA: Transparency International (TI) criticized on Thursday State Minister of State Enterprises Laksamana Sukardi for appointing himself as the new chief of the board commissioners of state oil and gas firm Pertamina, saying such a practice was prone to abuse of power and corruption.

Jeremy Pope, director of TI Center for Research and Innovation, said it was wrong for a country to have a system that allowed a minister to do so.

He also said that a minister should know about the ethics of not holding dual positions in a firm.

"I am astonished about the news. Such a minister should be sacked," he said at a seminar on corruption jointly held by TI and the Partnership for Governance Reform.

Pope said that it would become a bad precedent for junior civil servants as they would think that such a practice was legal.

Meanwhile, Emmy Hafidz of the Indonesian office of TI said Laksamana, who has a good reputation, was wrong to appoint himself as the new Pertamina chief commissioner because it could create a conflict of interest.

Pertamina is one of the largest local oil and gas companies, while Laksamana is also a top official in the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan). -- JP