Tue, 22 Aug 2000

Sutiyoso makes some progress: Councillors

JAKARTA (JP): With the evaluation of Governor Sutiyoso's revised accountability speech to be announced next month, city councillors from four major parties noted on Monday improvements in his governorship in the 30 days since they rejected his first speech.

The councillors were speaking on the sidelines of a plenary session hearing the governor's revised accountability speech.

The councillors were from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), the United Development Party (PPP), the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the Golkar Party.

"We see the governor has a strong will to make improvements in three areas: public order, public services and the management of city-owned companies," Djafar Badjeber of the PPP faction said.

However, Sutiyoso was failing to eradicate the rampant corruption, collusion and nepotism (known locally as KKN) within his administration, he said.

"It would be better if he included the eradication of KKN in his (revised) accountability speech," he said.

Djafar, one of the deputies to the council speaker, praised Sutiyoso's initiative to invite councillors to help monitor conditions in the capital.

"And I consider the invitation as part of his efforts toward transparency," he said.

Maringan Pangaribuan of PDI Perjuangan faction said the governor had taken positive steps in simplifying dealings with public services, such as applying for building permits and renewing identity cards.

Maringan, who is also deputy chairman of PDI Perjuangan faction, commended Sutiyoso for completing his revised speech.

"However, we will examine whether his speech is in line with real conditions in the city," he said.

Tadjus Sobirin, chairman of the Golkar Party faction, said:

"I can only say that the governor's accountability speech is acceptable and he has made a lot of tangible improvements over the past 30 days," he said.

However, he said his faction's final say on the governor's speech would be discussed in an internal meeting.


PAN faction chairman Siti Wasilah Sutrisno said improvements in the capital might help Sutiyoso retain his post.

"Hopefully, with his achievements, the governor can remain in his position until his governorship is over," she said.

City councillors rejected Sutiyoso's first accountability speech on July 20 for its failure to provide satisfactory explanations of irregularities in city spending and programs. Of the 84 councillors in attendance, 68 voted against the speech and 16 accepted it.

On Monday, Sutiyoso read 33 pages of general answers and provided 538 pages of explanations to questions aired by the council's 11 factions.

He blamed the economic crisis for the decline in city revenue from its various companies and the public's growing disregard of the law for his difficulties in restoring public order.

He said he had no objections to councillors' demands to dismiss the city administration's Reform Implementation and Control Team (TP2R) due to its failure to follow up on the findings of corruption investigations.

Sutiyoso stressed the administration's commitment to continue programs to restore public order; to improve public services, especially simplifying procedures to issue identity cards and building permits; to improve public health centers and funeral services; and to improve the management of city-owned companies.

As the councillors were listening to Sutiyoso's revised speech, several groups of protesters rallied outside the plenary hall.

The groups, who were from the Jakarta Residents Forum (FAKTA), a coalition of street vendors and a forum representing the 124 victims of the July 27, 1996 attack on the PDI headquarters, demanded councillors reject Sutiyoso's speech. (lup)