Thu, 03 Apr 2003

PKB wins lawsuit over Matori

JAKARTA: The Jakarta High Court has ruled in favor of the National Awakening Party (PKB)'s chairman Alwi Shihab and advisory chairman Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid against the party's former chairman Matori Abdul Djalil, a lawyer said on Wednesday.

The court ruled that the dismissal of Matori, who is the Minister of Defense, and PKB legislator Abdul Kholiq Ahmad was legitimate.

Matori and Kholiq, who had set up a splinter group, were also prohibited from using the party's flag, symbols and anthem.

The party's lawyer, Suharmono, said he had heard the court's verdict on Tuesday.

Former president Abdurrahman had dismissed Matori and Kholiq due to their support in the Special Session of the People's Consultative Assembly that impeached him two years ago.

The party's congress then installed Alwi, the former minister of foreign affairs, as the party's chairman. -- JP

;JP:IWA; ANPAa..r.. Scene-ADB-grant ADB grants RI $1m for clean water JP/4/scene

ADB grants RI $1m for clean water

JAKARTA: The Asian Development Bank said on Wednesday it had approved a US$1 million technical assistance grant to develop community water services and health projects in Indonesia.

In a statement made available to The Jakarta Post, the Bank said the projects would help the government develop schemes to improve the health and the quality of life of people in poor rural and semi-urban communities.

The projects will be carried out in four to six provinces, which have yet to be selected. The Ministry of Health will choose them based on their levels of poverty, water supply and sanitation coverage, and the prevalence of water-related diseases.

Families, communities and local governments will work together for healthier lifestyles and to improve access to water supplies and sanitation services, it said.

Currently, inadequate clean water supplies and sanitation, combined with poor hygiene, are major causes of diarrhea, intestinal worms and skin diseases -- all of which are major health problems in Indonesia.-JP ;JP;KHS; ANPAr..s.. Scene-paramilitary-reax VP defends paramilitary groups JP/4/SCENE

VP defends paramilitary groups

JAKARTA: Vice President Hamzah Haz said that the paramilitary groups affiliated to the various political parties were necessary, but they needed to change their military-style approach to a moral one.

Hamzah, chairman of the United Development Party (PPP), said on Tuesday that such groups had to avoid violence in achieving their objectives.

He was responding to a statement from Minister of Defense Matori Abdul Djalil that paramilitary groups affiliated to political parties needed to be dissolved.

Hamzah, whose party controls a number of paramilitary groups, including the Ka'bah Youth Movement (GPK), the Ka'bah Youths (AMK), and the Ka'bah Brigade, said that the groups were allowed to wear military-style attire. The Indonesian Military has asked all paramilitary groups not to dress in military outfits for fear of causing abuses.

The Vice President added that the party's paramilitary groups could continue to play a useful role in maintaining security during mass gatherings held outside Islamic boarding schools. -- Antara

;JP;AMD; ANPAa..r.. Scene-party-fusion Tiny party joins PPP JP/4/SCENE

Tiny party joins PPP

JAKARTA: The Umat Sovereign Party (PKU) will merge with the United Development Party (PPP) so as to contest the 2004 general election, an official said on Tuesday.

"We have decided to merge with the PPP," PKU chairman Asnawi Latief said after a meeting with Vice President Hamzah Haz, who chairs the PPP, on Tuesday.

Quoting Hamzah, Asnawi said the fusion was strategic and politically valuable, not only for Muslim-based parties in general but to the two parties in particular.

Asnawi said he would call on the chairman of the Reformed PPP, Zainuddin MZ, to rejoin the PPP.

Under the general election law, a party that failed to gain more than 2 percent of the vote in the 1999 election does not qualify to contest the 2004 election. They can form coalitions with other parties to meet the electoral threshold or merge with parties that are already qualified to contest the election.

In the 1999 election, the PKU won only one seat in the House of Representatives and 30 seats in local legislatures. -- Antara

;JP;DMR; ANPAa..r.. Scene-JI-abduction Muslim hard-liner abducted, son says JP/4/SCENE

Muslim hard-liner abducted, son says

JAKARTA: Abu Jihad alias Tengku Fauzi Hazdi Geudong, dubbed the Southeast Asian leader of the terrorist network al Qaeda, has been abducted, his son said on Tuesday.

"We have identified those who took my father away. We have early indications that some police personnel were involved (in the abduction)," Abu Jihad's son Tengku Lamkaruna Putra told reporters on Tuesday at National Police Headquarters.

Lamkaruna went to the National Police to report his father's disappearance and submit his findings regarding the alleged abduction for further police investigation. It was the second time Lamkaruna had reported the case to the police within a week.

International Crisis Group (ICG) director Sydney Jones has identified Jihad as the region's al-Qaeda leader. He went missing on Feb. 22 after a group of unidentified people took him away, along with two of his colleagues identified as Edi Putra and Ahmad Saridup, from the Hotel Nisma in the Maluku capital of Ambon.

Edi and Ahmad are reportedly activists of a group intending to establish an Islamic state in Indonesia (NII), while Abu Jihad is one of the founders of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).

Despite his alleged activities, no charges have been laid against Jihad.

Accompanying Lamkaruna to National Police Headquarters were his mother Elvi Zakaria and lawyer Muhammad Ali. -- JP