Sat, 02 Dec 2000

Stern measures to be taken against officials

JAKARTA (JP): Governor Sutiyoso vowed on Friday to impose stern measures against officials proven to have received Rp 4 billion (US$425,500) from the Ancol leisure complex developer, and then used to finance overseas trips for six councillors and 11 city officials.

"If the investigation proves these officials are guilty, I will not keep them anymore (as city officials)," Sutiyoso said.

"Once I know who is guilty there will be action taken against them."

The governor said he would urge the city inspectorate to proceed with an investigation into the case, and guaranteed that he would not leave the case unsolved.

PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol, the developer of Ancol, reportedly financed the overseas trips of six councillors from Commission D on development affairs last month, although the city budget had already allocated some Rp 13 billion for such official trips made by the councillors.

The case has made newspaper headlines in the past few weeks, forcing both Governor Sutiyoso and City Council Speaker Edy Waluyo to summon PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol's board of directors for clarification of the situation.

The Jakarta Prosecutor's Office has established a team to investigate the case, while the city inspectorate has audited the company's accounts. The investigation is due to be completed in the next 30 days.

The company had reportedly admitted earlier to having financed the overseas trips of 45 people, including 14 councillors, to Australia, Japan and South Africa to study city waterfront projects. The company is considering the construction of a similar project in the Ancol area of North Jakarta within the next five to 10 years.

However, the company's president director, Rushadi, said later that the expenditure was only $240,000 and the cost would be shared with PT Pelindo II, which manages the Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta.

PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol is part of the PT Pembangunan Jaya group, with more than 80 percent of the latter company's shares owned by the city administration. Business tycoon Ciputra owns the rest of the company's shares.

Sutiyoso is the chief commissioner of PT Pembangunan Jaya.

Besides six councillors, the City Development Planning Board chief, Bambang Sungkono, is also allegedly involved in the case apparently having joined the trip and received some $10,000 from PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol.

"As soon as the investigation is completed, we will decide what to do for those involved.

"If any of my officials were involved, I guarantee that there will be some stern action taken against them," the governor said. (dja)