Sat, 05 Feb 2000

Telkom rejects call to hold shareholders meet

JAKARTA (JP): PT Telkom turned down on Friday the call made by State Minister of Investment and State Enterprises Laksamana Sukardi to hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting to appoint a new president and commissioner.

President of the publicly listed company, A.A. Nasution, said Telkom could not hold the meeting because Laksamana failed to give clear and significant reasons for the management reshuffle.

"We are not going to hold any extraordinary meeting if there is no clear and significant reason or order given by all shareholders, not only the government, to do so," he said.

He said Laksamana, whose office represented Indonesian government as the majority shareholder with approximately 66 percent, had apparently not informed the other investors of Telkom about his demand for a reshuffle.

Nasution warned that before their terms expired, members of the board of directors and commissioners, could only be replaced when he or she personally tendered a resignation, violated the law or regulations or died.

"If (Laksamana) states in the letter that shareholders want Telkom to immediately hold an extraordinary meeting to sack Nasution because the latter has failed and caused the company to suffer losses, then we are certainly will arrange for the meeting," he said.

Telkom's chief commissioner Anwar Supriadi supported Nasution's stance and demanded Laksamana to clarify the matter.

Nasution declined to comment whether Laksamana's instruction for reshuffle was a follow up of a recent announcement made by President Abdurrahman Wahid on the government's plan to replace the president of seven state-owned companies.

Nasution, whose tenure will end in the next couple of months, said Laksamana's request for the extraordinary meeting and management reshuffle arrived early this week.

"This is the third time the office of State Enterprises Development Ministry has sent such a letter. The two previous letters were sent by the previous minister Tanri Abeng," he said, adding that the previous letters were also rejected by Telkom for the same reasons it gave to Laksamana.

Telkom, which listed its shares on the Jakarta, New York and London Stock Exchanges, is scheduled to hold a general meeting for its shareholders in April.

Separately, a source in the telecommunications industry said that Laksamana had also ordered the board of directors of another state-owned company, the publicly listed international direct dial operator PT Indosat, to hold an extraordinary meeting to appoint a new president and commissioner.

Indosat's president Indra Setiawan, who has only been in the position for just over four months, said the company had not received Laksamana's letter and declined to comment on the plan for reshuffle.

The source said the government had apparently prepared several candidates as Indra's replacement, including a former director of the computer company IBM Indonesia.

According to the source, several candidates have also been prepared for Telkom's top management seat. The strong candidates include Telkom's former director Wisnu Marantika.

Indosat reported early this week it had booked a 21.5 percent increase in its net income last year to reach Rp 1.39 trillion (US$195.77 million). Telkom is scheduled to announce its 1999 result next week. (cst)