Sat, 06 Dec 2003

More legislators skip KPI screening

Kurniawan Hari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

More members of the House of Representatives (DPR)'s Commission I for communications and information skipped Friday's hearing to select members of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI), raising concerns over the quality of the selection process.

Of the 55 members of the commission, only 14 showed up in the morning, that number decreased to 12 in the afternoon.

On the first day of the hearing on Thursday, only 19 commission members were in attendance.

"Of course, the absence of many legislators from the selection process will reduce the quality of the process. I will ask them to appear at the next hearing," commission deputy chairman Effendy Choirie said after the hearing.

The selection process will continue until Dec. 11. On Dec. 12 the nine eligible candidates, of the 27 candidates President Megawati Soekarnoputri submitted earlier, will be announced.

The names of the nine candidates will then be handed to the President for inauguration.

Effendy of the National Awakening Party (PKB) said that the selection of KPI members was an important issue, therefore the legislators should make attendance a priority.

Commission member Paulus Widiyanto of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) claimed that many members were in Surabaya, East Java, attending a military celebration.

Six candidates presented their vision and mission on Friday to the legislators.

They were Amelia Hezkasari (a housewife), Henri Subiakto (a lecturer at Airlangga University in Surabaya), S. Sinansari Ecip (a lecturer at Hasanuddin University), Ade Armando (a lecturer at the University of Indonesia), Anton A. Nangoy (an activist with a television association), and Wolly Baktiono (an employee of a radio station in Surabaya).

Five candidates were grilled on Thursday.

After examining 11 candidates, both Effendy and Paulus said, that according to their evaluation, there were four eligible candidates.

Meanwhile, media analyst Hinca Panjaitan, who monitored the selection process, said that at least two candidates were eligible to be members of KPI.

He added that his group would monitor the whole selection process and rate the quality of both the candidates and the selection process.

The establishment of KPI is stipulated by the law No.31/2002 on broadcasting. Several candidates are figures who strongly oppose the broadcasting law.

Legislators questioned the integrity of those candidates and said that they would give those candidates last priority.