Wed, 05 Mar 2003

Riau council attacked over clothing fund

PEKANBARU, Riau: The Riau provincial legislature drew criticism on Tuesday for allocating more than Rp 850 million in clothing allowances to its 55 members.

The money was part of around Rp 58.5 billion in routine funds allotted for the council's operations this year.

Local community figures Tabrani Rab and Abbas Jamil accused the council of trying to corruptly enrich its members by allocating such a huge amount on clothing allowances.

At the same time, Tabrani and Abbas castigated the councillors for failing to show concern over increasing poverty in Riau as the council's budget did not prioritize efforts to improve the welfare of local people.

"What we have in the budget is only superficial projects aimed at benefiting the Riau administration and the council," he added.

Abbas also criticized councillors for their delay in endorsing the province's Rp 1.9 trillion budget, an big increase over last year's Rp 1.7 trillion budget.

The budget should have been approved by the middle of last month. --JP