Sat, 15 May 2004

Prosecutors will probe alleged graft

TANGERANG: Tangerang prosecutors' office will soon investigate allegations of corruption involving 42 councillors, which, according to reports from some non-governmental organizations (NGOs), has caused an estimated Rp 1 billion (US$114,942) in state losses.

The councillors allegedly received Rp 25 million each as a lump sum payment for the end of their five-year tenure. The money was said to have been taken from the administration's 2004 budget.

Deputy council chairman Burhanuddin claimed the money was a budget surplus, originally allocated to cover council operational expenses.

NGOs and other community groups questioned why the council did not allocate the surplus to finance the renovation of 185 damaged school buildings in the municipality. --JP