Wed, 22 Nov 2000

Legislator recalled for illegal trips

SURABAYA: The Military faction has recalled one of its members from the East Java provincial legislative for joining 'illegal' trips abroad.

According to the official letter sent by the Brawijaya Military chief Maj. Gen. Sudi Silalahi to the speaker of the provincial legislature, Bisri Abdul Djalil, Col. Muchtar was recalled on Nov. 20, 2000.

"We have received the letter and acknowledge that he has returned to his (military) unit at the Military Command," Bisri said.

Muchtar was one of 18 legislators who had falsified permits for domestic trips to Medan, Batam and Manado, using the domestic permits to make trips to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand last August.

He said he was shocked with the recall, although he had been informed about it long before. "It is the (military) chief's prerogative. What surprises me is that Col. Budo Sadiharso, a Navy officer, who also joined the trip, was not recalled."

Sudi Silalahi could not be reached for confirmation on Tuesday. He said earlier that he had sent a letter to the speaker of the legislative council for the possible recall of two military faction members over the journey. (nur/sur)