Sat, 03 Apr 2004

Lists of more crooked politicians released

Oyos Saroso H.N. and Hasrul, The Jakarta Post, Bandarlampung/Kendari

Non-governmental organizations made public on Friday the names of crooked politicians in Lampung and Southeast Sulawesi provinces and urged people not to vote for them in the legislative election on Monday.

An alliance of 38 student, academic and journalist groups said there are at least 190 unscrupulous politicians in Lampung, who were currently contesting the election.

They comprise 75 members of the Lampung Provincial Legislative Council, 45 councillors in Tenggamus regency, 45 in Bandarlampung regency and 25 others in Kota Metro regency, as listed by the NGOs grouped under the Movement Not to Vote for Rotten Politicians (GJPPB).

GJPPB spokesman Saad Sobari said they were included in the list for their alleged role in corruption, offending the people's sense of propriety and lacking empathy for the poor.

The movement distributed brochures urging locals not to vote for them in the election and instead give their support for honest and clean candidates and those not involved in human rights violations or drugs abuse.

"The greatest achievement of the councillors is their passion for corruption. They take cuts from the budgets. The corruption has been camouflaged by their role in drafting the budgets," he said.

Saad said the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) topped the list.

In Southeast Sulawesi, prodemocracy groups also released the list of 45 names of unscrupulous legislative candidates, most of them from the Golkar Party.

They said at least 26 of the names were from Golkar, nine from PDI-P and four from the United Development Party (PPP).

Hidayatullah, spokesman of the groups campaigning against the unscrupulous politicians, said they were implicated in cases of corruption, human rights violations, sexual harassment, public deception and conspiracy with blacklisted investors.

The list came out as the result of verification and data collected through the media and other sources, he added.

Hidayatullah said the criteria used to judge the crooked politicians included whether they abused their power by neglecting their duty as state officials, hampered efforts to fight corruption or used state facilities for personal interests.

Also, the vast wealth of the politicians on the list was also questioned as it was not consistent with their official salaries, he said.

He said it was the prodemocracy movement's commitment to make the list public, so people would be cautious and would not elect representatives who were not credible in the upcoming election.

Hino Biohanis, a senior Golkar executive who is the Southeast Sulawesi Legislative Council speaker, threatened to sue the activists for mentioning his name.

"What they are accusing me of is not true. It's libel. All this time as a councillor, I've never been involved in corruption or bribery," he said emotionally.

Similarly, another Golkar legislative Umar Saranani also planned to file a lawsuit against the activists, but added that he would meet them beforehand for clarification.

"If they cannot reveal the evidence, I'll take legal action," he said.