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Politic-Economic-Society-Tech

PKB turns indifferent to Akbar inquiry

Kurniawan Hari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Public expectation for a transparent inquiry into a graft scandal in which House of Representatives Speaker Akbar Tandjung has been implicated is likely to be disappointed, with the faction that spearheaded calls for an inquiry apparently running out of steam.

The National Awakening Party's (PKB) has become frustrated by the indecisive stance of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), the most influential faction in the House.

An outspoken member of PKB, Effendi Choirie, acknowledged that the constant delay had diminished his faction's determination.

"The prolonged delay has made us indifferent. Which is human," Choirie told the media here on Friday.

Friday saw the PKB, the fourth largest faction in the House, without vigor, a complete reversal to last October when it was full of enthusiasm to fight for the establishment of an inquiry team.

Akbar is being tried for the misuse of Rp 40 billion belonging to the State Logistics Agency (Bulog).

The latest delay in the setting up of a team was announced on Thursday by House deputy speaker Tosari Widjaja of the United Development Party (PPP) faction following a meeting of the steering committee (Bamus).

A plenary meeting to decide on the establishment of an inquiry committee was scheduled to take place on June 11, but has been delayed until July 1.

The delay was at the request of the National Mandate Party (PAN), whose legislative members will convene in Batam, Riau, from June 10 to June 12 for a national congress.

Imam Addaruqutni of PAN reiterated that his faction would back either a legal process or a political process in the House of the alleged involvement of Akbar. "But we will not campaign for that to take place," he told The Jakarta Post.

Speculation is rife that PKB was compensated for its change of heart.

PKB's Muslim cleric Cholil Bisri was sworn in on Wednesday as deputy speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), culminating a long rivalry with an opposing PKB camp led by Matori Abdul Djalil.

Choirie will reportedly take over the position of deputy chairman of House Commission I from Astrid Susanto, who has shifted alliances to the Indonesian Nationhood (KKI) faction.

Choirie has denied that the swearing in of PKB figures to two positions were compensation.

Meanwhile, Golkar's Yasril Ananta Baharuddin said the delay was simply a technical matter and would not affect his party. Akbar is the Golkar leader.

He said his party maintained its earlier stance in supporting the legal process and rejecting the proposal for an inquiry team.

The proposal to form an inquiry team was first submitted by legislators under the initiative of PKB in October last year. The 76-strong steering committee (Bamus) assigned to arrange the schedule has played a major role in the frequent delays. The Golkar faction insists that an inquiry team is not needed because the legal process is ongoing.

Now, nine months after, the proposal remains on the shelf. A similar inquiry into then president Abdurrahman Wahid's role in graft took less than a month.


 

source: thejakartapost.com,8 Jun 2002
 


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