Fri, 14 Oct 1994

Minister disturbed by sports center news

JAKARTA (JP): Minister/State Secretary Moerdiono yesterday said he was disturbed by new reports suggesting that the government was going to build a new sports complex in Ciledug and Pondok Aren districts on the outskirts of Jakarta.

Recently, a Jakarta-based private developer was reported to have requested the Tangerang administration to help clear nearly 1,000 hectares of land in the two districts to construct GOR II, the Indonesian abbreviation for Second Sports Arena.

The first, in Senayan, in Central Jakarta, is managed by an agency Moerdiono chairs.

"In my capacity as head of the GOR Senayan management, I can categorically say that there is no plan from the board or the government to build GOR II," Moerdiono told reporters yesterday.

"I truly don't understand how someone could use the name GOR Senayan," he said. "Of course I will take action to put this in order."

He also appealed to the press to pass the word to residents in the two districts to remain calm and not be affected by the reports.

The residents of Ciledug and Pondok Aren have been worried by recurring reports of the plan to build the sports complex in recent years.

Earlier it was suggested that the government was looking for a site to build a new sports complex to help Indonesia's bid to host the Asian Games in the year 2002. Indonesia, however, appears not to be pushing very hard to win the right to host the sports gala. The regional sports officials, currently gathered in Hiroshima, Japan, for the 12th Asian Games, are deciding who will host the games right now.

Moerdiono said he plans to summon the errant owners of the private developer because they have upset the residents.

"If the company is not bona fide, it probably doesn't know what it was doing. But if it is bona fide, I have strong objections," he stressed.

Moerdiono added that he plans to call on the Tangerang regent and the district chiefs to tell them not to deal with the developer.

The Pos Kota daily identified the developer as PT Pembina Mas Utama, but the company is not listed in the phone directory. The company reportedly wrote to the two district offices, saying that it had the support of the National Sports Council.

Copies of the letters, complete with maps of the areas to be procured, have been circulating among residents of the two districts, which have been rapidly developed into housing complexes in recent years.

The application, if it really exists, apparently has only reached the district offices of Ciledug and Pondok Aren. The West Java provincial government, which oversees Tangerang, said it is not aware of the planned project. While it would welcome such a project in its territory, the provincial government stressed that it could never be at the expense of residential areas.

The two district chiefs, Ruchiyat and Tasdik, earlier confirmed that representatives from the developer asked for their help to procure the land on which the company planned to build the sports complex.

"Of course we rejected them because we don't have the authority to issue such a recommendation," Ruchiyat said. "I sent them to the Tangerang mayoralty office." (emb)