Sat, 04 Aug 2001

Sutiyoso confesses to using DLLAJ's Harleys

JAKARTA (JP): Governor Sutiyoso admitted here on Friday that he utilized two Harley Davidson motorbikes belonging to the City Land Transportation Agency (DLLAJ).

However, he denied that he had appropriated them for private use. "As a governor, I deserve to be guarded by DLLAJ officials on their Harleys," the governor said.

Two DLLAJ officials riding Harleys guard Sutiyoso while traveling from his official residence to City Hall and anywhere else he travels in the course of conducting his gubernatorial duties.

The white Harleys are usually parked outside City Hall and, after being used for the governor's protection, are supposed to be returned to the DLLAJ garage. But now, according to a source at City Hall, the Harleys are taken to the governor's official residence.

Sutiyoso reportedly owns at least three Harleys, which he has collected since serving with the army.

Besides Sutiyoso, another senior official who has acquired a Harley motorbike guard is the deputy governor for administrative affairs, Abdul Kahfi.

However, the administration's information division head, Muhayat, confirmed that only the governor is entitled to the privilege of being guarded by the Harleys. "Deputy governors are not entitled to such a privilege," he remarked.

Abdul Kahfi acknowledged that he had used the DLLAJ'S Harleys to guard his car.

Separately, Amarullah Asbah, the head of Commission C for budgetary and financial affairs at the City Council, urged senior City Hall officials to return the Harleys to DLLAJ because they were bought with tax payers' money.

He confirmed that officials can actually own other City Hall assets, such as vehicles and furniture, but the items should be purchased through a bidding process.

"If the senior officials commandeer the Harleys for private use, it means they have manipulated their authority," he said on Friday.

As many as 11 Harley Davidson motorbikes belonging to DLLAJ have been claimed by 10 senior officials of the city administration and former governor Wiyogo Atmodarminto for private use.

The bikes were acquired by the administration in 1992 to guard national leaders attending the Non Aligned Movement Summit.

Unlike the Harleys used by other senior officials, those used by the governor's guards were acquired in 1997.(04)