Minggu, September 07, 2008

UN to review implementation of its Counter-Terrorism Strategy

Suara Indonesia News - the United Nations General Assembly will review the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which it adopted two years ago. The Assembly is expected to reaffirm the Strategy and call on all Member States and other international actors to step up efforts for its full implementation.

"The Global Strategy is a unique instrument," says Jean-Paul Laborde, Chief of UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch. "When it was adopted in 2006 it was the first time Member States agreed to a common strategic approach to fight terrorism, sending a clear message that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is unacceptable."

The Strategy consists of four pillars. These address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; preventing and combating terrorism; building States' capacity to prevent and combat terrorism; and ensuring the respect for human rights and the rule of law as the fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism.

While the onus lies with Member States, different UN agencies contribute to the Strategy's implementation in line with their respective mandates. For its part, UNODC was requested to step up activities relating to State capacity-building.The Office's activities have included providing support to 158 countries to ratify and implement legal instruments against terrorism. As a result, 54 countries now have new or revised counter-terrorism legislation in different stages of adoption. The Office has also trained national criminal justice officials on the legal regime against terrorism and developed various technical assistance tools. UNODC underscores the need for a rule of law-based approach in all its technical assistance and related capacity-building activities.

UNODC also promotes the Strategy in other ways. In 2007, the Office co-organized a symposium on Advancing the Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy with the Government of Austria attended by over 350 participants, representing 107 Member States as well as different international, regional and sub-regional organizations.

In opening the symposium the Austrian Minister of Justice, H.E. Ms. Maria Berger, noted: "We know that the value of the comprehensive Strategy will prove itself only in its implementation. Hence, it is now an immediate challenge for the international community to promote the necessary awareness and political commitment for its implementation."

A Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, established by the UN Secretary-General in July 2005, has an important role in ensuring coordinated efforts across the UN system. UNODC is an active member of the Task Force. Specifically, the Office is leading the development of an online counter-terrorism information exchange system to enhance cooperation among the various UN-system entities providing assistance to Member States for the implementation of the Strategy. UNODC is also working with the IMF and the World Bank to address the financing of terrorism.

Netherlands Antilles Justice Minister pledges enhanced use of INTERPOL tools to protect borders

LYON, France, Suara Indonesia News – Law enforcement officers at border points across the Netherlands Antilles are to be given access to INTERPOL’s global database on Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) to enhance national and regional security.

During a visit to the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters, Minister of Justice for the Netherlands Antilles, Mr David A. Dick announced that by early 2009, all visitors entering the country would have their travel documents checked against INTERPOL’s database of nearly 16 million entries from 137 countries.“Giving our immigration, customs and police agencies direct access to the INTERPOL database through our Border Management System infrastructure will provide another significant layer of security not just for the citizens of the Netherlands Antilles, but for the million and half visitors who come each year,” said Minister Dick.

“The connection of the Netherlands Antilles border control points to the INTERPOL database follows the successes seen by Caribbean region since they linked to the system for the Cricket World Cup, and I shall be speaking with my counterparts in the ministries in Aruba and Surinam to promote the system and encourage their participation in the near future.”

The system devised and implemented by INTERPOL means that border control officers carrying out standard checks are instantly alerted if a person is travelling on a document recorded as lost or stolen internationally, without the need to conduct a separate search.

“The value of providing direct access to INTERPOL’s database to officers on the ground has been proven time and time again and I am pleased that law enforcement in the Netherlands Antilles will also soon be able to take advantage of this vital policing tool,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

Currently 33 INTERPOL member countries provide direct access to the SLTD database to national law enforcement officers. So far in 2008 nearly 50 million searches have been conducted worldwide resulting in more than 9,000 people being identified as travelling on stolen or lost passports.

Korean delegation updated on INTERPOL activities during official visit

Suara Indonesia News - Director General of the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) of the Korean National Police Agency, Senior Superintendent General Kang Ho Song (second from right) is briefed on a range of INTERPOL activities during a visit to the General Secretariat in Lyon, France.Accompanied by senior officers from the CIB’s Scientific Investigation Center, the Drug Investigation Department and the Cyber Terror Response Center, Mr Song was updated on the activities of INTERPOL’s Financial and High Tech Crime and Drugs and Criminal Organizations units, and was briefed on various tools and support services provided by the world’s largest police organization, including its global databases of suspected terrorists, fingerprints and DNA.

The Korean National Police Agency and INTERPOL will co-host an international symposium on cybercrime in November in Seoul.

Sabtu, September 06, 2008

Media invitation for INTERPOL’s 77th General Assembly in Russia

LYON, France, Suara Indonesia News – Developing national law enforcement capacity to enhance international policing will be the focus of INTERPOL’s 77th General Assembly to take place in St Petersburg, Russia from 7 – 10 October, 2008.

Senior law enforcement officials and security experts from around the world will gather to discuss topics ranging from security at major global events such as this year’s Olympic Games in Beijing, to increased use of INTERPOL’s notices system to locate fugitives and prison escapees and to alert member countries’ to potentially dangerous individuals travelling abroad.The opening ceremony and speeches by senior Russian and INTERPOL officials will take place at 10.30am on Tuesday 7 October and will be open to the media. This will be followed at 11.30am by a press conference at which simultaneous translation into the organization’s four official languages, Arabic, English, French and Spanish, as well as Russian, will be available.

Although the main conference proceedings are closed to the press, there will be media briefings on a range of subjects on Wednesday and Thursday 8-9 October. Interviews with police officials and international delegates may also be arranged upon request.

The General Assembly will take place at the Park Inn Pribaltiyskaya Hotel, 14 Korablestroiteley Street, St. Petersburg 199226 Russia.

Journalists wishing to cover this event should apply for accreditation no later than Wednesday 10 September. Applications must include the following;

* Family name and forenames of the journalist attending and position held
* Nationality and date of birth
* Passport number
* Address, contact telephone numbers and email address
* Full official contact details for the media organization represented

Applications should be made on official headed paper of the media organization they represent and faxed to +7 495 667 0841 and should be clearly marked ‘Accreditation request for INTERPOL 77th General Assembly.’ Please note that journalists requiring a visa will have to apply for this through the usual channels.

Journalists without accreditation will not be granted access, and all accredited media representatives will be expected to present their press credentials and national identification documents at the media registration desk upon arrival.

Kamis, September 04, 2008

Business at Snail's Pace

Indonesia News Suara - THE Lenteng Agung Branch post office in South Jakarta appeared
deserted. Out of the three counters available on Thursday last
week, only two were open. Three post office officials could be
seen absorbed in conversation. "It only gets busy when people
pick up their pensions or pay electricity bills," said Marlin,
the office security guard.

The atmosphere was similar at the Pasar Minggu Branch post
office in South Jakarta. Only three people could be seen taking
care of consignments in the service area. The row of seats in
the waiting room was empty and bare. "Nowadays less and less
people use the postal service," said Sihabudin, the head of the
post office. The last time the office was busy was some time ago
when it was used as a place for the disbursement of direct cash
assistance—a government program for the poor.

The post office's reputation is indeed not as "fragrant" as it
used to be. In the past, it was this office that was the center
for the public to post letters, money or send urgent news—by
telegram—if the area where it was to be sent did not have any
means of communication. Post offices existed in all corners of
the country.

The development of increasing fast communication technology
however has resulted in it being as if they no longer have a
use. Communication by letter has been replaced by cellphone
conversations. Telegrams have been replaced by short message
services. To send a money order, now it's enough to press a few
buttons on an automatic teller machine. It's not surprising then
that by the mid-1990s the number of letters sent by post has
plummeted by 70 percent.

In order to confront this situation, the state-owned postal
company PT Pos Indonesia has been carrying out reforms. They
have also broken into the financial and logistics business. But
since 2005, post offices have never made a profit. Moreover in
2004, PT Pos Indonesia, which has 3,500 branch offices,
registered a record loss of Rp160 billion. A bright spot only
appeared on the horizon in 2006. According to PT Pos
spokesperson Joesman Kartaprawira, in the lead-up to the year's
close, the company made Rp5 billion profit.

Again according to Joesman, the biggest single source of income
for PT Pos is now derived from postal service fees for big
companies. This is not surprising. With branches everywhere and
"troops of Pak Pos" postal officials that are acquainted with
every part of their region, this is the competitive advantage of
PT Pos Indonesia that remains unopposed by goods dispatch
service companies anywhere. So telephone operator companies,
credit card companies and insurance companies for example, still
entrust the postage of letters to customers and clients through
PT Pos.

Although PT Pos is now business-orientated, according to
Joesman, they have still not been able to abandon their basic
"service" function to the public. This is what makes it
impossible for PT Pos for example, to arbitrarily close their
branches in remote areas, even though they are clearly suffering
a financial loss every year. "This is one of the consequences of
being a state company," he said.(RED)

Corruption At The Post Office: Mail Fraud? [+Business at Snail's Pace; Op-Ed]

Suara Indonesia News - The AGO arrests the Executive Director of PT Pos Indonesia and a
number of post office heads on suspicions of graft.

HANA SURYANA could not hide his disappointment. On Monday last
week, after being questioned at the Attorney General's Office at
the Bundar Building, he never suspected that he would
immediately be taken into detention. "I was shocked," said the
Executive Director of PT Pos Indonesia. When visited at the AGO
detention facility on Wednesday last week, he appeared dejected.
The 51-year-old man is now facing serious corruption charges
over the embezzlement of PT Pos Indonesia commission fees for
the dispatch of PT Pos customer letters.

The AGO suspects that Hana became involved in the dirty practice
when he held the post of the Region IV Postmaster, which covers
Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi in 2003-2006. The
AGO has a number of pieces of evidence in its possession
including, among others, a written order from Hana on charging a
6 percent commission, which exceeds the stipulated 5 percent

According to Deputy Attorney General for Special Crimes Marwan
Effendy, Hana's detention represents a development arising out
of an investigation into a similar case at the Fatahillah Post
Office in Central Jakarta earlier in March. The Fatahillah case
is suspected of causing financial losses to the state amounting
to Rp14 billion. "It appears that these practices are also
occurring at other post offices," said Marwan. According to
Marwan, based on a written complaint sent by an "inside person"
at PT Pos, state financial losses are as much as Rp45 billion.
It was from here that the investigation then led to Hana and his

Prior to Hana's arrest, the AGO had detained a number of other
PT Pos officials. They include, among others, head of the
Central Jakarta Post Office, Herbon Optalno, head of the Jakarta
Mampang II Post Office, Rudi Atas Perbatas, the former head of
the Central Jakarta Post Office, Her Chaeruddin, head of the
South Jakarta Post Office, Yosef Taufik Hidayat, and the head of
the West Jakarta Post Office, Erinaldi.

The "slowly developing" case of alleged corruption in the
state-owned postal company began five years ago when a PT Pos
Director of Operations Circular came to light. The written
circular regulated matters related to price deductions,
incentives and commissions for outside parties that used PT Pos
services. The Region IV Post Office has "big shot" customers
from at least 20 companies, including among others PT Telkomsel,
PT Exelcomindo Pratama (XL), PT Bank Negara Indonesia and the
Sequis Life insurance company. During the AGO's investigation,
it turned out that these commissions also went into the pockets
of "Pak Pos" senior post office officials. "There was a receipt
signed by a PT Pos official. Whereas the commission should have
been received by the customer," said Marwan.

The value of the commissions, said Marwan, also appears to have
been inflated. When Hana held the post of Region IV Postmaster
for example, he once authorized the head of the Fatahillah Post
Office, Fahrurozy, to increase commissions to 6 percent. Whereas
according to the regulations that were cited in the circular,
the size of a commission should have only been 3-5 percent of
the value of the transaction. "The money does not appear to have
been received by the customers," said Marwan.

The AGO also questioned a number of PT Pos' business customers.
One particular prosecutor related how one witness stated that
they had never received a commission. "There was a witness that
was asked to sign a receipt for Rp2 million, but was only
treated to a meal," said the prosecutor. According to a number
of other witnesses, they refused to sign receipts because it was
not possible for funds that had already been spent on postal
fees to be returned to the company. They were also unaware of
the existence of the stipulation on commissions issued by PT
Pos. "I didn't know there was a regulation on the matter," said
a witness who was questioned at the AGO. The AGO has already
conducted two raids on the Region IV Post Office. But despite
having turned the offices located in the area of Banteng Square
upside down, the original receipts for the commissions that were
to be used as material evidence were not found.

It was these raids that later provoked a protest from Stefanus
Gunawan, the lawyer representing PT Pos. Stefanus plans to
launch a pretrial hearing because prosecutors raided the offices
without a court order. But Marwan is not worried. According to
Marwan the search warrant can be requested later. "The raid on
the PT Pos office was urgent," he said.

Hana however asserts that he did not embezzle or inflate
commissions as he has been accused. According to Hana, even if
the AGO cites the inflation of commissions, this was actually
done after reducing the discount percentage or initiative, the
total of which is less then 13 percent. Hana said that this is
not a violation of the regulations because there was another
stipulation in the circular that referred to maximum 30 percent
limits on fees for pre-posting, including discounts, commissions
and incentives. Now, on the matter of this 30 percent limit,
again there was a degree of flexibility. The thing is, in the
circular it stated that regional postmasters are entitled to
change or review the amount of money or percentage in order to
obtain discounts, commissions and incentives.

PT Pos spokesperson Joesman Kartaprawira also asserts that what
Hana did was to simply pass on the contents of a PT Pos Director
of Operation Circular to regional post offices under his
jurisdiction. "The commissions were aimed at maintaining
customer loyalty," he said. According to Joesman, the issue of
the signatures by PT Pos officials on the commission receipts
also cannot be said to violate the law. "The circular stated
that if a recipient refuses to sign a receipt, it is enough for
the recipient signature column to be signed by the official who
hands over the commission or is appointed," he said.

Because all of the suspects are citing the circular as their
alibi, the AGO is currently investigating how and when it was
issued. According to Marwan, the document clearly conflicts with
a 2000 Ministerial Regulation on State-Owned Enterprises,
because according to the regulation, government-owned companies
are not allowed to accept commissions. "Meanwhile the majority
of PT Pos' customers are government-owned companies." It does
indeed appear that more "Pak Pos" are likely to be dragged into
the case.

Recommendations of the Anti Corruption Public Forum to the Second United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Conference of State Parties

Suara Indonesia News - the Partnership for Governance Reform, in cooperation with TI Indonesia, ICW, and the Coalition for Judicial Monitoring (KPP) held a public forum called “Combating corruption in transitional democracies”. This event was organized in response to the UNCAC conference of state parties being held from 28 January to 1 February 2008.

The Anti Corruption public forum aimed to address the unique problems facing countries undergoing a political transition towards democracy, including Indonesia, Nigeria, Peru, Thailand, South Africa and many of the newer countries in Eastern Europe. They experience unique and complex socio-political challenges in their efforts to combat corruption.

Because of these challenges, the Anti-Corruption Public Forum recommended that more contextual anti corruption strategies are needed – approaches which address the particular socio-political dynamics of countries undergoing a political transition.

The following recommendations will be submitted, both to the governments from state parties to UNCAC, societies and private sector from these countries.

All stakeholders should understand that the democratic transition is a political process that is full of constraints, especially where the prior corrupt and authoritarian regime retains control of state institutions. In these countries, civil society often remains weak, making power relations between the state and civil society lopsided and creating an environment where abuse of power can flourish.

In the context of Indonesia, the public forum believes that the pre-reformasi socio-political powers maintain control – and they have a direct interest in sustaining corrupt governance, at both central and regional level. Therefore, despite ten years of governance reform, progress remains disappointing. Judicial corruption is still common practice, and state commissions, born post 1998, are being stripped of their power by the very political powers who claim to be reformers. Similar incidents also occur at regional level - the shift of authority from central government to the regions has been more broadly dispersed abuse of power practices.

Because of this, we need to develop more contextual criteria for these countries to comply with the obligations stipulated by the UNCAC. This is important if we want to make compliance to the convention more than just a technical and procedural effort. Maintaining and promoting the development of democratic political systems in countries that are undergoing political transition is equally important to realizing clean and accountable governance. We believe that democratic political systems provide more opportunities to eradicate corruption effectively.

We invite civil societies in various countries to consolidate into a political force with the capacity to control the performance of their respective governments and start to develop global cooperation in corruption eradication.

Issues which are going to be discussed in the UNCAC conference of state parties, such as Asset Recovery also need to be understood in their contextual setting. For the public and government in countries in democratic transition, recovering assets from corruption cases involving past government officials is very political. In the case of Indonesia for instance, efforts to recover assets belonging to Soeharto depends on more than legal and procedural issues, but political factors as well.

Law enforcement agencies, such as the police, prosecutor’s office, courts - even the Anti Corruption Commission (KPK) – suffer a lack of internal and external oversight and commitment (especially judicial corruption and political corruption). The leadership of law enforcement agencies and institutions is still seen as compromised, especially when the selection process is influenced by political interests. The eradication of the judicial mafia cannot be achieved by law enforcement agencies alone, but the public should be able to report judicial mafia practices to the institutions which have the authority to tackle this.

Countries in political transition need to seriously develop political recruitment systems that select competent government officials of high integrity. Government, civil society and politicians with integrity need to push for the enactment of laws which ensure the transparency and accountability of political parties.

The private sector should develop and promote codes of ethics and anti corrupt behavior. Private sector associations can ensure their members comply with their codes of ethics. Corrupt activity by the private sector should be categorized as criminal under national laws. Civil society, whether in the national or international context, should strengthen networks to monitor the behaviour of the private sector.

In countries where the level of corruption is high, women are more vulnerable, economically, politically, socially and culturally. This group does not have enough access to determine policy direction at the national level. State Parties to UNCAC need to take effective steps to provide access and open forums for women to participate in corruption eradication and monitor its implementation. Women’s groups need to strengthen their political and enhance their capacity to control the direction of the government/administration.

Countries in democratic transition need to have effective control of military institutions, particularly weapons procurement. Weapons procurement should be controlled by civil authorities, from the planning process through to procurement, management and usage. The government and the parliament should have the commitment and courage to conduct due oversight. International cooperation, is needed to ensure prevention and investigation of corrupt practices in weapons procurement.

Donor institutions which support corruption eradication at the national level are called upon to review the effectiveness of their aid. It is time to evaluate whether enough has been achieved – given the levels of support. There is a need to consider increasing direct support to the community - both as the main victims of corruption and to enhance their capacity to control how governments administrate/manage the country. An empowered community is both the best way to prevent corruption and the best way to ensure effective investigation of and action on corruption cases.

Mudflow Victims Urge Govt to Complete Payment

Jakarta, Suara Indonesia News - Victims of the Sidoarjo mudflow disaster urged the government to
speed up compensation payments to them, following a new
agreement between them and government representatives last week.

Tuesday, the victims' lawyer, Paring Waluyo Utomo, said they
were demanding concrete actions to realize the agreement,
despite government assurances that the disbursement would be

Some 25 representatives from 10 villages in Sidoarjo, East Java,
came to Jakarta on Friday to seek certainty about the
compensation, which has yet to be completed two years after the
disaster struck.

The representatives are staying at the National Commission of
Human Rights (Komnas HAM) headquarters in Menteng, Central

On Friday, they met with Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto
and representatives from the Social Services Ministry, National
Land Agency, PT Lapindo Brantas and PT Minarak Lapindo Jaya, in
which the parties drew up a new agreement.

One of the main points in the agreement obliges Lapindo to
immediately complete the payment of 20 percent of the required
compensation to the victims, whose lands were engulfed by the

It also stipulated the remaining 80 percent should be paid
before the end of a two-year house leasing arrangement.

"The victims are not satisfied with the promises in the
agreement. They want it to be truly realized. Many victims have
not received the 20 percent installment, let alone the 80
percent," Paring said after a press conference at Komnas HAM

"We are seeking more support to force the government and Lapindo
to finalize this, including from Komnas HAM and the House of

He said the victims no longer wanted to deal with PT Lapindo
Brantas and PT Minarak Lapindo Jaya and would leave the
government to deal with them.

"We can't force Lapindo (to pay), so we will leave it to the
government, which has the power," he said.

He said the victims would monitor the implementation of the
agreement at the site.

"We will sue if they fail to comply with it," Paring said.

The agreement also stipulates the government will provide a
clean water facility and build drainage for villagers whose
lands were not included in the map of affected zones.

Paring said the villagers also demanded the government
immediately issue a revised 2007 presidential instruction that
includes all victims in the map, thus entitling them to

Mahmuda, a victim from Renokenongo village, said the
representatives would stay in Jakarta until they had secured the
government's promise to undertake its responsibility toward them.

She also said they wished to meet with President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono to demand their rights be upheld.

"We don't know how long we will stay here, but we really expect
to meet the President. He is our only hope because he is the one
who issued the policy," she said.

"We want to know how much attention he pays in ensuring our
rights are upheld."

LNG: Chasing Tangguh All the Way to China

Chasing Tangguh All the Way to China

Jakarta, Suara Indonesia News - The Tangguh gas contract has created losses so Indonesia will
renegotiate it with China, perhaps offering a price of US$7 per
mmbtu. But this has now become a political issue.

THERE was something unusual about the cabinet meeting in the
presidential office on Thursday last week. Usually, only
photographers and cameramen are allowed to take pictures of the
President and ministers. This only lasts for five minutes, then
they are asked to leave. However, on this occasion, President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono allowed electronic and print media
reporters to enter the meeting room and submit their questions.

For so many times, Vice President Jusuf Kalla questioned the
sales contract of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Tangguh
field, Papua, to Fujian Province in China. "Pardon me, but this
formula is the worst in the history of the oil industry," said
Kalla. The contract is loss-making, especially when the price of
oil is high.

On this occasion, the President appointed Coordinating Minister
for the Economy, Sri Mulyani Indrawati to lead the Tangguh
contract renegotiation team. Its tasks are to formulate a
holistic price target and to aim for another contract. Half
jokingly, Kala also included a message for the renegotiation
team. "Let there be no doubt. Strategic interests remain in my
hands because it is the President who is responsible."

For almost a week now, the weaknesses of the Tangguh gas sales
contract have been a matter of public discussion. It was Vice
President Jusuf Kalla who triggered this when he visited Beijing
last week. After attending the closing ceremony of the Beijing
Olympics, Kalla met with China's President Hu Jintau and Vice
President Xi Jinping. The renegotiation of the contract for gas
sales from Tangguh to Fujian Province in China, was the main
item on the agenda.

Indonesia wants the Tangguh gas sales contract to be revised
because it is making causing losses. This contract was signed in
2002, when President Megawati was in power. Speaking in Bandung,
West Java, on Friday last week, Kalla said that if the contract
was not renegotiated then Indonesia would loss US$75 billion.
The House of Representatives (DPR), according to him, must
review this contract. Several DPR members have responded to
Kalla's wish. The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) has even taken the
initiative of planning to audit the Tangguh contract this month.

The Tangguh gas sales contract to Fujian was obtained
"unintentionally." The Tangguh field, which has gas reserves of
14.4 trillion cubic feet, was prepared for a sales tender to the
Province of Guangdong. However, Indonesia lost out in this
tender. The lobbying even included a six-minute dance between
Megawati and Zhiang Zemin, the President of China at that time.
But this was not enough to stop Australia from winning the
tender. The efforts made by Taufik Kiemas, Megawati's husband,
who had previously visited Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, turned out
fruitless. However, China was exceptionally generous, offering
Indonesia the chance to supply gas to Fujian without a tender.

Ever since it was signed in 2002, the sales to Fujian have
created a controversy. Observers, experts and also politicians
have been raising a variety of questions. The issue in question
is the formula for the gas sales price. In the contract with the
Government of China, the gas sales price was set at US$2.4 per
million cubic feet (mmBtu) for 25 years. This sales price was in
fact not that bad. As a comparison, in the same year, Qatar won
a tender to supply gas to Taiwan at a price of US$1.8 per mmBtu.

The problem is that the formula for the Tangguh gas sales price
was set based on the Japan crude cocktail (JCC) price of US$25
per barrel. This meant that the sales price of gas could only be
raised to an oil price of US$25. Indonesia does not receive any
additional revenue if the price of oil exceeds this figure.

This formula is by no means ordinary. Normally, the formula for
the sale price of Indonesian gas is always linked to
fluctuations in the price of oil without the consideration of
the highest oil price limitation. This standard formula was used
by the state oil and gas company Pertamina when it signed gas
sales contracts with Japan for both the Arun field, Nanggroe
Aceh Darussalam, and the Badak field in Bontang, East Kalimantan.

The Tangguh gas sale price became more and more of a problem
after the price of oil crept up to above US$50 per barrel. In
2006, Jakarta eventually requested that the sales contract be
renegotiated. The Government of China agreed that the gas sales
price be increased to US$3.35 per mmBtu. But, once again the
sales price formula was still set with a limitation on the price
of oil. The difference this time was that the set price of oil
to a maximum of US$38 per barrel.

Now the price of oil is way above this figure. In less than a
year, the price of oil has continued increasing to a level of
US$150 per barrel. The price has, in fact, dropped back
somewhat, but it is still high, at a level of US$115.59 per
barrel at the end of last week. Not surprisingly, there is now
increasing pressure on the Government to renegotiate the Tangguh
gas sale contract. The climax occurred after Kalla visited

According to energy observer Kurtubi, the renegotiation of the
Tangguh contract is an indication that the Government has
already acknowledged that the natural gas price formula is
creating losses to this republic. This is because the sales
price of gas is tied to an oil price of US$38 per barrel. For 25
years, the sale price of Tangguh gas to Fujian will never
increase much above the level of US$3.35 per mmBtu, not even if
the price of oil skyrockets. "This is a mistake of the
Government," he said.

Now that the price of oil stands at US$115 per barrel, the price
of gas on the international market is approaching US$20 per
mmBtu. The difference between the sales price to Fujian and the
international price is like the difference between the earth and
the sky. There is also a great difference when compared with the
Badak sale price. Currently, the Badak gas sales price has
reached US$17 per mmBtu. "If the old Tangguh formula is
maintained, then Indonesia will end up losing US$3 billion (Rp30
trillion) per year," said Kurtubi.

A graduate of the Colorado School of Mines, USA in energy
economics, Kurtui is amazed at how the Tangguh gas negotiation
team accepted the formula presented by China. In 2002, the price
of oil and gas were both on the decline. However, this was a
temporary phenomenon as the oil and gas prices rose again.

Based on data from the primary energy price index, according to
him, the price of oil, gas and coal all have positive
correlations. When the price of oil goes up, the price of gas
will also go up. And the reverse is also true. So, he said, the
members of the negotiation team broke a natural law when they
accepted a limited oil price of US$38 per barrel. "This assumed
the price of gas would not rise for 25 years in a row," he said.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, who
was Energy Minister during the Megawati era, used a deception,
saying that the price of gas to Fujian was the result of the
tender in Guangdong. The formula that determined the price of
oil was in fact included within the invitation to bid.

The less than optimum price also had a great deal to do with the
low price of LNG on the international market at that time.
"There were many people selling and there were also many gas
producers," he said after attending an exchange of opinion
meeting with the DPR Energy Commission last week. In fact,
according to him, previously Indonesia had also lost tenders in
Taiwan and Korea.

Aware that the Tangguh contract was loss-making, the Government
promised to renegotiate. "This is a way to change other gas
contracts," said Purnomo. Evita Legowo, the Director General of
Oil Gas, added that the Department of Energy was currently in
the process of trying to create a new formula for the Tangguh
gas sales price, one that is linked to the global price of oil
and without any limitation. If there were to be any limitation,
he said, this would certainly be increased to above US$38 per

According to Kalla, the Beijing government is prepared to change
the contract agreement. There are already such indications, one
of which is the proposal to change the price to US$3.6 per mmBtu
from the current US$3.35 per mmBtu. Kalla himself was not
prepared to state what price Indonesia was actually hoping for.
However, based on Kalla's calculations when he talked about
losses, it seems that Indonesia will be positioning itself at a
price level of US$7 per mmBtu.

However, a Tempo source in the Government has a different story.
In order to try and revise the Tangguh contract, according to
this source, the Government has already held meetings on several
occasions with the Chinese Government. But changing the contract
for a second time is apparently not that easy. "There were very
many negotiations. They even sent letters of rejection," the
source told Tempo in Jakarta.

This attitude of Beijing supported Vice President Kalla to meet
with Hu Jintau on August 25 this year. Previously, according to
him, "The meeting was to be followed up on September 8, but this
has been delayed because all of a sudden President Yudhoyono set
up a new team." Xie Yonghui, a press officer at the Chinese
Embassy in Indonesia, was not prepared to make an official
statement regarding this matter.

Kurtubi cautioned that there was no certainty this renegotiation
between Indonesia and China would yet obtain optimum results.
This is because the China National Offshore Oil Corporation
(CNOOC) has a conflict of interests as regards the
sales-purchase of Tangguh LNG. This company, which is owned by
the Government of China, is both a purchaser of gas as well as a
seller of gas. This Chinese oil giant has controlled a 17
percent working interest in the Tangguh blocks, ever since it
acquired this from BP Plc. in 2003. "In any event, China wants
cheaper prices," he said.

In addition, Kurtubi has also requested that if the sales price
for gas from Tangguh ends up using the old system, then the
Government should cancel the contract. "Just switch it over to
Japan because they really do need gas."

According to him, there is a real possibility that the contract
will be cancelled because this eventuality is in fact already
covered within the agreement. Of course there are risks
involved. However, these are not in fact that great when
compared to the losses that will have to be borne by the nation.
Specifically for the Fujian contract, said Kurtubi, Indonesia
will only face a maximum penalty of US$300 million (around Rp2.8
trillion) if it does not supply the gas there. However, if the
contract is cancelled, then Indonesia will be able to obtain
additional revenues of at least US$3 billion per year.

China, said Kurtubi, could of course take Indonesia to
international arbitration. However, he said he was convinced
that it would not have the courage to do this. "The people of
Indonesia are too important as a market for Chinese products,"
added Kurtubi.

l l l

THE current commotion over the Tannguh contract is after all not
just related to economic concerns. The ramifications of this
problem have already extended to the political sphere. According
to a Tempo source, who accompanied Vice President Jusuf Kalla on
his trip to Beijing, the Tangguh contract will end up becoming
ammunition if the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle
(PDI-P) makes use of its enquiry rights as far as fuel is

This is because the DPR plenary session on June 24 this year in
fact made the decision to permit enquiry rights as regards the
Government's policy to raise fuel prices. Together with several
other political parties, PDI-P is one party that strongly
supports the DPR investigating into this matter. In addition to
the fuel increase policy, another matter that has been
highlighted is the suspicion that some sort of mafia
organization is involved in oil imports.

Alvin Lie, a DPR member from the National Mandate Party (PAN)
faction, acknowledged that the Tangguh issue could also be a
political issue for Kalla, who is also chairman of the Golkar
Party, to use to shoot at Megawati. "It could certainly be an
effective bargaining position." Predictably, PDI-P politicians
are becoming worried about Kalla's statement.

Kebagusan—the PDI-P headquarters—certainly rejects the
politicization of the Tangguh contract. Taufik Kiemas, who met
with Tempo at Mega Dzikir in Jakarta last week, pointed out that
the Tangguh contract agreement is the Government's not an
individual's responsibility. "There is no way this can be linked
to one particular party (PDI-P)," he said.

Similarly, PDI-P Secretary General Pramono Anung has also
emphasized that the Tangguh contract cannot be linked to one
party. The signing of this business contract was the
responsibility of the Government, rather than the private
responsibility of Megawati. If this were to be questioned, he
said, Yudhoyono and Kalla were in fact also involved because
they were assisting the President at that time. This graduate in
Mining Technology from the Bandung Institute of Technology also
called on Yudhoyono and Kalla not to seek the blame on the
mistakes of previous governments.

Not wanting to be left out, Mukhlis Hasyim, a member of the Vice
President's special staff, also said he was convinced that there
was no political motive behind Kalla's request to renegotiate
the Tangguh gas contract. "His motives are only the economic
consideration and the interests of the nation, because the total
value of the Tangguh field is huge," Mukhlis told Tempo.

It is likely that this problem could snowball in the future. In
addition to the struggle over inquiry rights, the general
election is not that far away. This problem might end up
becoming ammunition for the Golkar or the Democrat parties to
attack the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). And
eventually this could also end up becoming a factor in the
presidential race between Yudhoyono and Megawati.

Padjar Iswara, Bunga Manggiasih, Amandra Mustika Megarani, Ninin
Damayanti and Anton Aprianto

Tangguh LNG field:

Buyers Contract Length Price*

Fujian (China) 25 years 3.35

SK Power (Korea) 20 years 3.5

SK Posco (Korea) 20 years 3.36

West Coast (USA) 20 years 5.94

Arun LNG:

Japan 40 years 16

Badak LNG:

Japan 20 years 17

From China, To China

Vice President Jusuf Kalla seems bent on criticizing the Tangguh
project. This year alone, Kalla has said in public that the sale
of natural gas (LNG) from the fields in Papua's Bintuni region
to China's Fujian province do not benefit the nation. Kalla
feels the price of US$3.3 per mmBtu is far below what it should
be. "This contract is really loss-making," he said, after he met
with China's Vice President Xi Jinping in Beijing, last week.

End of 2001

Indonesia, though BP Marketing Ltd. (BP Indonesia) and supported
by Pertamina, offered LNG to Guangdong province in China.

August 2002

Australia, through the North West Shelf, beat Indonesia in the
Guangdong tender, which was worth US$25 billion. The Australian
contractor is a joint venture between Woodside, the Royal
Dutch/Shell Group, ChevronTexaco Corp., BHP Billiton, BP and
Japan Australia LNG.

August 8, 2002

China's Foreign Minister Zhu Rongji appoints Indonesia directly
as the supplier of LNG to Fujian province, amounting to 2.6
million tons per year for 25 years.

September 24, 2002

Pertamina signs a sales contract with CNOOC to send gas to
Fujian. There were rumors that the sale price was only US$2.4
per mmBtu.

September 27, 2002

CNOOC agrees to purchase BP Plc's 12.5 percent share BP Plc in
the Tangguh gas field, worth US$275 million. This was a
follow-up to the gas sale to Fujian. The first shipment was
scheduled for 2007.

September 30, 2002

Energy Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro denies the sale price of gas
from Tangguh to Fujian was lower than Australia's sales price of
gas to Guangdong.

October 24, 2002

BP Migas acknowledges that the sale price of liquefied natural
gas to Fujian was US$2.4 per mmBtu. This price was considered to
be higher compared to the tender in Guangdong by using the Japan
crude cocktail (JCC) price formula amounting to US$20 per barrel.

August 9, 2004

The Tangguh Project Special Review Team sumits three options on
the purchasers' request that the Government pay compensation
amounting to a maximum of US$300 million. This was if there were
breakdowns in the supply chain as a result of new government
policies, also referred to as a government act.

First, the government act clause does not need to be regulated
in the principles of agreement. This is not unusual in terms of
being included in an upstream oil and gas enterprise contract.
Second, the government act clause was included in the agreement,
but limited to emergency conditions or force majeure. Third, the

government act clause included in the agreement states that the
government or BP Migas would be fully responsible—with certain
limits—over obligations arising as a result of new policies.

March 2005

After a long consideration, the government agrees to pay
penalties if LNG

shipments are disrupted as a result of government policy. Claims
would be handled first by the contractor.

December 9, 2005

BP Indonesia renegotiates with the government of Fujian
regarding contract materials. There were no significant results.
January 20, 2006

BP Migas carries out renegotiations because the price of US$2.4
per mmBtu was too low. CNOOC is prepared to increase the gas
sales price, but BP Migas has not yet accepted the figure

End of 2006

The sale price of gas from Tangguh to Fujian is revised to
US$3.3 per mmBtu.

March 6, 2008

Vice President Jusuf Kalla requests that the sale price of
Tangguh gas be revised in order to be in line with fluctuations
in global gas prices. The current contract is not considered to
benefit the nation because it is so low and is in the form of a
fixed price. This request was made when he met with the UK
Special Envoy for Trade and Investment, Prince Andrew.

August 24, 2008

Jusuf Kalla visits China. During his meeting with the Chinese
Vice President Xi Jinping, Kalla asks that China be prepared to
re-discuss the Tangguh gas sales-purchase contract. The sales
price of gas from the fields in Papua is considered to be lower
than that of both the Arun and Bontang fields. (RED)


Jakarta, SuaraIndonesia News - Ketua DPR RI, HR Agung Laksono dalam sambutannya pada acara Sumpah Anggota DPR RI Pangganti Antar Waktu (PAW) di Jakarta, menyatakan Dewan memberi fokus utama kepada alokasi anggaran pendidikan sebesar 20 persen dari APBN Tahun 2009 dalam masa persidangan pertama ke depan. “Anggaran pendidikan yang besar dalam APBN 2009 dapat kita jadikan momentum kebangkitan bangsa Indonesia melalui komitmen yang sangat kuat bahwa bangsa Indonesia ingin maju dan tidak ingin tertinggal dari bangsa lain,” tegasnya.Sumpah Anggota DPR RI Pengganti Antar Waktu (PAW) tersebut dilakukan dari Fraksi Bintang Pelopor Demokrasi (F-BPD) unsur Partai Bulan Bintang (PBB), Hamdan Ainie, yang menggantikan Darus Agap.

Pada acara yang turut disaksikan Wakil Ketua DPR RI, Muhaimin Iskandar dan Wakil Ketua Komisi I DPR RI, Yusron Ihza Mahendra, ia menambahkan, aggaran pendidikan sebesar 20 persen pada tahun 2009 merupakan wujud dari upaya bersama untuk mencerdaskan kehidupan bangsa. Anggaran sebesar itu, menurutya, baru pertama kali terdapat di APBN, karenya tentu harus mendapat pengawasan. “Karena itu, kami mengajak seluruh masyarakat untuk mengawasi penggunaan anggaran yang besar tersebut,” ajaknya.

Ini penting, demikian Agung Laksono, agar jangan sampai terjadi salah urus dan menjadi sumber korupsi, demi tercapainya komitmen kita mencerdaskan kehidupan bangsa. (RED)


Surabaya, Suara Indonesia News - Keluarga Imam Hambali alias Kemat mengaku diperas jaksa,Kejaksaan Negeri (Kejari) Jombang panik.Tim khusus dibentuk untuk mengusut kasus itu. Kepala Kejari Jombang Sumardi mengaku, ia berancang- ancang membentuk tim khusus yang akan menyelidiki dugaan pemerasan –yang diduga dilakukan Jaksa Endang Dwi Rahayu.Tim khusus dipimpin langsung Kasi Intel Kejari Jombang Sugimin.

”Yang jelas kami akan buktikan. Apakah pengakuan keluarga Kemat itu benar, atau sebaliknya,”ujar Sumardi. Dia mengaku, secepatnya tim akan dibentuk dan langsung melakukan penyidikan, baik terhadap jaksa yang bersangkutan maupun keluarga Kemat.Menurut Sumardi Langkah cepat itu perlu dilakukan agar segera ada kepastian atas tuduhan keluarga Kemat. Jika dari penyelidikan tim khusus itu didapati hasil memang ada pemerasan oleh jaksa, pihaknya akan menyerahkan hasil penyelidikan tersebut kepada Lembaga Pengawas Fungsional. Dia sendiri enggan menyebut sanksi yang akan diberikan kepada anak buahnya.

”Ada sendiri yang menangani nanti, jika memang ada pemerasan yang dilakukan anak buah saya,” kelit Sumardi. Kendati tim ini belum bekerja, ia yakin tuduhan yang dilayangkan keluarga Kemat itu tidak benar. Ia membantah anak buahnya memeras keluarga Kemat hingga mencapai angka Rp30 juta.Menurut dia, bukti-bukti persidangan melemahkan tuduhan ”jaksa nakal” itu.

”Apa yang dilakukan JPU sudah bersih dan tanpa ada suap seperti yang dituduhkan,”kata Sumardi. Keyakinan itu berdasar hasil persidangan yang memutuskan hukuman penjara 17 tahun bagi Kemat, 12 tahun bagi Devid Eko Prianto dan proses hukum yang sedang berjalan terhadap satu terdakwa lainnya,Maman Sugianto alias Sugik.

Menurut dia, dengan dipenjarakannya para terpidana pembunuhan Asrori versi kebun tebu itu,itu membuktikan JPU bersih dalamkasus ini.”JPU telah memberi tuntutan 17 tahun penjara bagi Kemat dan 10 tahun bagi Devid. Kalau jaksa saya disuap, nggakmungkin tuntutannya sebesar itu,” ujarnya membela. Sepanjang hari kemarin jaksa Endang Dwi Rahayu tak terlihat di kantor Kejari Jombang. Beberapa staf Kejari yang ditanya mengaku, Endang sedang mengikuti sidang di Pengadilan Negeri (PN) Jombang. Namun saat dicari ke tempat itu, Endang tidak ada.

Sementara itu, dugaan salah tangkap dalam kasus pembunuhan Asrori kebun tebu ini juga menjadi perhatian sejumlah kalangan. Perhatian juga diberikan Advokat senior, Otto Cornelis (OC) Kaligis. Kemarin dua utusan OC Kaligis mendatangi LP Jombang untuk menjenguk Imam Hambali alias Kemat, Devid Eko Prianto,dan Maman Sugianto alias Sugik.Dua terpidana dan satu terdakwa kasus pembunuhan Asrori pada 2007.

Slamet Yuwono,salah satu wakil OC Kaligis mengungkapkan, ia dan rekannya,Aldila, telah bertemu dengan tiga orang dalam LP itu. Dalam pertemuan yang berlangsung sekitar setengah jam itu, ia mendapat tanda tangan persetujuan dari ketiganya —untuk mengalihkan kuasa hukum kepada OC Kaligis. ”Ketiganya telah setuju. Kami akan mem-back up penuh untuk mencari keadilan terhadap mereka,”tegas Slamet. Pengacara itu datang menggunakan taksi warna biru dari Bandara Juanda Surabaya sekitar pukul 14.00 WIB siang kemarin. Menurut dia, untuk memback up Kemat dkk, ia telah mengkoordinir 13 advokat. Tanpa berharap materi,ke-13 advokat itu akan mengawal kasus ini hingga tuntas.

”Yang jelas kami akan mengajukan peninjauan kembali (PK). Dan juga rehabilitasi ketiganya,”ujar Slamet. Menurut analisanya, dugaan salah tangkap dalam kasus pembunuhan Asrori kebun tebu itu sangat kuat. Selain dari pengakuan terpidana dan terdakwa, hasil temuan yang dirilis kepolisian menguatkan indikasi salah penanganan kasus ini. Hanya saja, ia enggan membeber bukti-bukti dugaan itu. ”Kami banyak mendapat informasi dari ketiganya di LP tadi (kemarin). Intinya, kami yakin ada salah tangkap dalam kasus ini,”katanya. Untuk memulai pendampingan terhadap Kemat dkk, dia berencana mengikuti sidang lanjutan Maman Sugianto yang digelar hari ini.

Menurut dia, 13 orang yang tergabung dalam timnya akan langsung melakukan pendampingan terhadap terdakwa. ”Kami langsung bergerak besok (hari ini). Kami akan ikuti sidang lanjutan dengan terdakwa Sugik.Sembari melangkah untuk proses PK,” ujar Slamet, anggota tim OC Kaligis. (RED)


Jakarta, Suara Indonesia News - Anggaran pendidikan yang dialokasikan dari APBN pada tahun 2009 mencapai ratusan triliun sehingga diharapkan mampu meningkatkan kualitas pendidikan secara signifikan. Untuk itu, Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono meminta agar lonjakan kenaikan anggaran pendidikan dalam RAPBN 2009 dimanfaatkan sebaik-baiknya untuk meningkatkan mutu pendidikan.

Pada acara silaturahmi dengan para teladan nasional di Hall D Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran, Jakarta, Senin malam, Presiden berharap agar tak ada pemborosan, inefisiensi atau penyelewengan dalam penggunaan anggaran tersebut.

“Saya ajak seluruhnya agar kenaikan tajam anggaran pendidikan 20 persen ini digunakan sebaik-baiknya. Jangan sampai ada salah sasaran,” tuturnya.Di hadapan para teladan nasional, termasuk para guru teladan terpilih dari 33 provinsi dan guru berdedikasi dari daerah terpencil, Presiden mengatakan, kenaikan anggaran dalam RAPBN 2009 itu diharapkan menaikkan kesejahteraan guru.

Kenaikan anggaran itu, diharapkan juga dapat memperbaiki kualitas dunia pendidikan sehingga hasil didiknya lebih maju dan siap berkarya.

Mematuhi putusan Mahkamah Konstitusi (MK), pemerintah pada RAPBN 2009 mengalokasikan anggaran 20 persen untuk pendidikan sehingga mencapai angka Rp46,1 trilriun. (RED)

Senin, September 01, 2008

Ikuti Jejak Samsul Hadi, Bupati Ratna Tersangka Korupsi

Jakarta, Suara Indonesia News - Bupati Banyuwangi Ratna Ani Lestari akhirnya ditetapkan sebagai tersangka kasus dugaan korupsi pembebasan tanah untuk lapangan terbang Blimbingsari. Ia menjadi tersangka kedelapan dalam kasus yang merugikan negara Rp 40 miliar ini. "Iya, Bupati Ratna yang sekarang, sudah ditetapkan (sebagai tersangka) kemarin. Perannya sama dengan (mantan Bupati) Samsul Hadi," kata Jaksa Agung Muda Pidana Khusus Marwan Effendy di Kejagung, JakartaMenurut dia, Ratna melanjutkan kebijakan Samsul Hadi dalam pembebasan tanah untuk lapangan terbang Blimbingsari. Padahal, diduga kuat ada mark up harga dalam proyek pembebasan tanah itu.

"Perannya sama dengan Samsul Hadi sehingga keluar uang lagi Rp 19 miliar. Sebelumnya, Rp 21,23 miliar yang dikeluarkan Samsul Hadi, ditambah saat Ratna (berkuasa) Rp 19,76 miliar. Jadi, totalnya Rp 40 miliar," tambah Marwan.

Samsul Hadi menjabat tahun 2002-2005 dan kini dibui setelah divonis enam tahun penjara karena korupsi pengadaan dok kapal yang merugikan negara Rp 25,5 miliar.

Tersangka lain kasus Blimbingsari adalah mantan Sekda Banyuwangi yang kini menjabat Asisten Pemerintah, Sugiyarto, mantan Kepala Desa Blimbing Effendy, Camat Gambiran Sugeng Siswango, Kepala Bagian Umum dan Perlengkapan Sugiarto, Plt Kepala Kantor BPN Banyuwangi Soeharno dan mantan Kepala Kantor BPN Banyuwangi Nawolo Prasetyo.

Menurut Marwan, untuk memeriksa Bupati Ratna, Kejagung harus mengajukan izin ke Presiden. Soalnya, Ratna masih aktif sebagai Bupati Banyuwangi. Kabar soal rencana penetapan istri Bupati Jembrana, Bali, I Gede Winasa, sebagai tersangka ini mengemuka sejak dua pekan lalu.
Itu karena Kejaksaan Negeri Banyuwangi mengantongi petunjuk dan bukti kuat soal kesalahan Ratna sebagai ketua panitia pengadaan tanah pada 2006 dan 2007. Semasa Bupati Samsul Hadi, lapangan terbang itu direncanakan seluas 38,4 hektare. Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan (BPK) akhirnya memergoki kerugian negara dalam proyek itu. Rincinya, Rp 21,2 miliar selama 2002-2005 dan Rp 19,7 miliar pada 2006-2007.(RED)

Anggota Dewan Bolos Berjamaah

Blitar, Suara Indonesia News - Wakil rakyat agaknya hanya berfungsi sesaat. Anggota legislatif hanya berpikir bagaimana bisa terpilih lagi. Ini buktinya.

Anggota DPRD Kabupaten Blitar beramai-ramai meninggalkan tugasnya sebagai lembaga pengawasan kinerja eksekutif. Mereka sibuk me nyiapkan diri sebagai calon legislatif (caleg) pada pemilihan anggota legislatif (pilleg) 2009. Sebanyak 45 orang anggota legislatif ini memilih berkonsentrasi memenuhi kuota suara agar bisa kembali duduk di kursi Dewan sambil menikmati berbagai tunjangan dan fasilitas.

Sisa tugas pada 2008 tak begitu penting bagi mereka untuk diselesaikan. Indikasi itu terlihat dari banyaknya anggota legislatif yang datang ke Kantor DPRD hanya untuk mengisi daftar hadir. Selebihnya, mereka lebih banyak mengantor di sekretariat parpol. Koordinator LSM Forum Generasi Peduli Lingkungan Pemerintahan Agus Sucipto menyebutkan, ia beberapa kali menjumpai langsung warga masyarakat yang hendak menyampaikan aspirasi ke Gedung DPRD terpaksa pulang dengan tangan hampa.
Tak seorang pun anggota Dewan bisa ditemui. ”Dan menurut kami,ini sudah tidak benar. Sebab,anggota Dewan dilantik dan ditetapkan untuk menjalankan tugas sesuai periodenya,” ujarnya kepada SINDO kemarin. Dari pengamatan SINDO, situasi ”kosongnya” Kantor Dewan akibat sibuk pencalegan bukan hanya terjadi di Blitar. Di Tulungagung dan Kota Blitar pun, anggota Dewan ”malas” ngantor.

Sejak parpol melaksanakan proses administrasi pencalegan,anggota Dewan lebih mudah dijumpai di Kantor KPUD dan parpol daripada di Kantor DPRD. Anggota Dewan biasanya datang hanya untuk mengisi daftar hadir.Sebab, daftar hadir ini adalah syarat mereka memperoleh berbagai tunjangan dan fasilitas, termasuk uang representatif. Kalaupun ditemui di tengahtengah warga, mereka (Dewan) lebih berkonsentrasi ”menata” suara bagaimana untuk bisa duduk kembali di parlemen.

Anggota Dewan yang tidak mencalonkan lagi berkonsentrasi menyiapkan ”usaha mereka” yang baru. Di Kabupaten Blitar misalnya, seorang anggota Dewan mendirikan usaha konsultan anggaran. Dia bukannya tak ingin kembali menjadi wakil rakyat, tapi sayang, kalah berpolitik di internal partainya. Menurut Agus, ada dua agenda DPRD yakni perhitungan dan perubahan anggaran keuangan (PAK) APBD 2008 yang sampai saat ini belum dilakukan.

Dua agenda ini berkaitan erat dengan pengelolaan uang rakyat.Bila ini terus terjadi, Agus khawatir akan banyak terjadi penyelewengan. ”Selain itu, bisa saja terjadi kemoloran perhitungan dan PAK 2008 ini,”ujarnya. Sekretariat DPRD Kabupaten Blitar Soemardi S dikonfirmasi soal banyaknya anggota DPRD yang meninggalkan tugas demi pencalegan 2009 mengatakan, tudingan itu tidak semuanya benar.Menurut dia, anggota Dewan memang sedang sibuk mengurusi pencalegan 2009, namun mereka tetap menjalankan tugas-tugasnya sebagai anggota legislatif.

”Tidaklah benar semua tudingan itu. Karena yang saya tahu mereka juga tetap melaksanakan tugas sesuai dengan komisi masing-masing. Kalaupun tidak dijumpai di Dewan, mereka berada di lapangan,” ujarnya.(RED)

Gas Elpiji Di Sumenep Tembus Rp110.000

Surabaya, Suara Indonesia News - Kenaikan harga gas elpiji kembali tidak terbendung dan membuat warga terpukul. Di wilayah Kepulauan Kangean, Kabupaten Sumenep,harga gas elpiji melambung tinggi dan sulit untuk didapat oleh warga sekitar.

Informasi yang diperoleh, harga elpiji dengan kapasitas 12 kilogram yang hanya dipatok Rp69.000 oleh PT Pertamina (persero), ternyata di wilayah Kepulauan Kangean harganya bisa tembus sebesar Rp110.000 per tabung.Itu pun pasokan dari Pertamina masih belum bisa memenuhi permintaan pasar. Untuk mendapatkan elpiji, warga kepulauan harus bersabar hingga beberapa hari, menunggu pasokan dari kota.

Akibat kenaikan harga yang tidak normal tersebut, para pengguna elpiji yang ada di kepulauan terpaksa kembali pada cara tradisional, yakni menggunakan kayu bakar.Sementara untuk menggunakan minyak tanah sebagai bahan bakar kompor, warga mengalami banyak kendala. Minyak tanah langka di pasaran. Kalaupun ada, harganya mencapai Rp7.000 per liter di tingkat pengecer.

Salah seorang warga Desa/ Kecamatan Arjasa,Kepulauan Kangean, Kabupaten Sumenep, Homsiyah, 45, mengatakan bahwa harga elpiji sudah tidak terjangkau oleh warga sekitar. Selain harganya melambung, untuk mendapatkan elpiji di tingkat pengecer sangat sulit. Itu terjadi sejak kenaikan harga elpiji diberlakukan oleh Pertamina.”Ya,terpaksa memakai kayu bakar untuk keperluan memasak,”ujarnya.

Dia menyatakan,menggunakan kayu bakar dinilai sangat irit.Harga satu ikat kayu bakar hanya Rp7.000.Kayu ini dapat dipakai dalam kurun waktu hingga 12 hari.”Apalagi mendapatkan kayu bakar di Pulau Kangean ini sangat mudah karena banyak warga yang menjual,”ungkapnya. Hal senada dikatakan Abdul Rahman, 50, warga Desa Kolo-Kolo,KecamatanArjasa, Kepulauan Kangean, Kabupaten Sumenep. Dia mengatakan, saat ini warga desa yang biasanya memakai minyak tanah untuk memasak telah berpindah memakai kayu bakar.

”Kalau di sini (Pulau Kangean) bukan hanya elpiji yang sulit didapat,minyak tanah juga sama,”katanya. Ditemui terpisah, Kabag Perekonomian Pemkab Sumenep Achmad Sadik mengakui jika kebutuhan bahan bakar minyak (BBM), baik itu berupa bensin, solar, dan minyak tanah, serta jenis lainnya, sangat tinggi sejak sebulan terakhir.

Akibatnya bisa ditebak, yakni akan terjadi kekurangan untuk memenuhi permintaan warga. ”Di wilayah kepulauan permintaannya naik tajam,”ujarnya. (RED)

Wartawan Juga 'Makan' Aliran Dana BI

Jakarta, Suara Indonesia News - Mantan Deputi Gubernur Bank Indonesia Hendro Budiyanto mengemukakan, aliran dana Bank Indonesia yang diterimanya sebagai bantuan hukum sebesar Rp10 miliar juga dipergunakan untuk keperluan ’membina hubungan’ dengan wartawan.

Hal tersebut disampaikan Hendro saat menjadi saksi dalam perkara aliran dana BI dengan terdakwa Burhanudin Abdullah di Pengadilan Tindak Pidana Korupsi (Tipikor), Jakarta Selatan, Rabu (13/8).
Uang sebesar Rp10 miliar itu dipakai tidak hanya untuk urusan bantuan atau pendampingan hukum, tapi juga untuk berbagai keperluan. Mulai dari membayar utang, hingga pemberian kepada sejumlah cendekiawan, politisi, dan wartawan.

''Ada untuk uang transport, honorium. Kalau untuk wartawan, ya untuk undang mereka makan-makan,” kata Hendro.

Hendro mengemukakan, uang Rp 10 miliar tersebut ia terima dari mantan Deputi Gubernur BI Heru Supraptomo. Dalam pengirimannya, Heru menugaskan Arif untuk mengantarkan uang itu ke Hendro.

Atas jasanya mengantarkan uang kas sebesar itu, Hendro memberi imbalan Rp100 juta. Hendro beralasan, pemberian upah sebesar Rp 100 juta pada Arif lantaran risiko besar yang mesti ditanggung orang kepercayaan Heru tersebut. ''Karena dia membawa uang yang besar Rp10 miliar,'' ujar Hendro.

Sementara itu, Paul Sutopo, mantan Deputi Gubernur BI lainnya yang juga menjadi saksi mengatakan, uang Rp10 miliar yang diterimanya digunakan untuk membuat buku, makalah, penelitian, diskusi tentang BLBI, serta terbitan bagi kalangan pasar uang, seminar serta penulisan kolom.

''Dulu kami menjadi tersangka kasus BLBI. Padahal menurut kami kebijakan BLBI benar, tetapi opini publik yag berkembang itu sangat menyudutkan kami,'' ujar Paul beralasan.

Bersama dengan mantan Gubernur BI Sudrajad Djiwandono serta mantan Deputi Gubernur BI Iwan Prawiranata, Paul dan Hendro, diakui sejumlah saksi telah menerima uang yang totalnya mencapai Rp Rp 68,5 miliar pada tahun 2003 sebagai dana bantuan hukum bagi mereka.

Persetujuan pemberian dana bantuan hukum itu didasarkan atas Rapat Dewan Gubernur yang juga dihadiri oleh Aulia Tantowi Pohan Pohan, mantan Deputi Gubernur BI periode kepemimpinan Syahril Sabirin dan Burhanudin Abdullah. (RED)

KPK Periksa Ambulan Gubernur Jabar

Bandung, Suara Indonesia News - Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) memeriksa semua kendaraan bantuan Pemerintah Provinsi Jawa Barat kepada Pemerintah Kota Bandung tahun 2003-2004, terkait kasus dugaan korupsi yang melibatkan mantan Gubernur Danny Setiawan.

Kendaraan yang diperiksa tersebut, diantaranya ambulance 2 buah, kendaraan pemadam kebakaran 2 buah, aerial, stoomwall (2), dumptruck (4), dan kendaraan tangga.
''Jumlah kendaraan Yang diperiksa semua adalah bantuan Pemprov Jabar 2003-2004 totalnya 12 buah kendaraan. Ini hanya pemeriksaan fisik saja,'' ujar Kasubag Perlengkapan Pemkot Bandung Jaja Nurjaman saat ditemui di Bandung, Rabu (13/8).

Untuk memudahkan pengecekan, semua kendaraan tersebut dikumpulkan di Kantor Dinas Pemadam Kebakaran Kota Bandung Jl.Sukabumi. Satu persatu kendaraan dicek secara fisik baik kondisi maupun kelengkapannya. Bahkan, untuk kendaraan pemadam, petugas KPK juga mengukur panjang kendaraan dan volume tangkinya.

Sebanyak tiga orang petugas KPK diturunkan dalam pemeriksaan ini dan dibantu sembilan orang tim teknis dari ITB. Pengecekan kendaraan dilakukan mulai pukul 08.30 pagi. Dengan peralatan alat pengukur, mistar dan kamera para petugas hilir mudik mengecek satu persatu. Pemeriksaan baru tuntas sekitar pukul 13.00 siang.

Sementara itu ditemui di tempat terpisah, Ijudin Budhiyana, Kepala Dinas Pariwisata Pemprov Jabar, akhirnya mau angkat bicara terkait statusnya sebagai saksi kasus dugaan korupsi Danny Setiawan.

Pada saat pemberian bantuan tersebut I. Budhiyana menduduki posisi Kepala Bidang Bina Program dan anggota tim TPAD. Meski hanya berstatus saksi, I.Budhiyana dilarang bepergian keluar negeri atau kena cegah tangkal (cekal).

Menanggapi pencekalan tersebut, I.Budhiyana mengatakan dirinya tidak merasa terganggu. Semua urusan untuk promosi dan menghadiri event kebudayaan di luar negeri bisa diwakili stafnya. ''Saya tidak ada masalah. Event terdekat yang seharusnya saya hadiri yaitu Festival Saragoza bisa diwakili Subdin Promosi,'' ungkapnya.

Ia yakin pengadaan bantuan kendaraan pada 2003 telah sesuai dengan prosedur dan lengkap secara administrasi. Proses pengajuan bantuan kendaraan tersebut ia terima dari Biro Penglengkapan Pemprov Jabar. Sedangkan mengenai peran Danny Setiawan, saat itu menjabat sebagai Sekretaris Daerah Jabar, Budhiyana enggan berkomentar.

''Saya ini bagian dari sistem sehingga harus memberikan informasi apa adanya, apa yang saya lihat dan apa yang saya dengar. Semua saling terkait,'' katanya.

Ia juga menyatakan kesiapannya bila KPK membutuhkan kehadirannya untuk memberikan kesaksian. Namun, hingga saat ini belum ada pemanggilan kembali oleh kepolisian mupun KPK. Budhiyana terakhir diperiksa sebagai saksi oleh Polda Jabar beberapa bulan lalu.(RED)

Penyuap Al Amin Divonis 2,5 Tahun

Jakarta, Suara Indonesia News - Majelis Hakim Pengadilan Tindak Pidana Korupsi menjatuhkan vonis 2,5 tahun dan denda Rp 100 juta kepada Sekretaris Kabupaten Bintan Kepulauan Riau, Azirwan.

''Menyatakan terdakwa Azirwan secara sah dan meyakinkan bersalah,'' kata ketua Majelis Hakim Mansyurdin Chaniago saat membacakan putusan di Pengadilan Tipikor, Jakarta Selatan, Senin (1/9).
Dalam vonisnya, Majelis Hakim menyatakan, Azirwan sah dan terbukti melanggar pasal 5 ayat 1 huruf a Undang-undang No 31 tahun 1999 tentang Pemberantasan Tipikor sebagaimana telah diubah dengan UU 20/2001.

Ia terbukti telah melakukan penyuapan terhadap Al Amin Nur Nasution, suami penyanyi Dangdut Christina, yang anggota Komisi IV DPR RI asal Fraksi Persatuan Pembangunan sebesar SGD 300 ribu dan Rp 250 juta. Hal itu dilakukannya guna mendapatkan rekomendasi izin pelepasan kawasan hutan lindung Pulau Bintan.

Vonis ini 6 bulan lebih ringan ketimbang tuntutan Jaksa Penuntut Umum. Dalam pertimbangannya, Majelis beranggapan Azirwan telah mengakui dan menyesali perbuatannya, kooperatif dalam persidangan, telah menjadi PNS selama 28 tahun dan pernah mendapat penghargaan sekda terbaik.

Saat mengetahui vonis telah diajtuhkan, Azirwan tampak menundukkan kepalanya. Kepada Majelis Hakim ia mengaku belum bisa memutuskan akan naik banding atau tidak. Begitu sidang usai, beberapa anggota keluarganya memeluknya.(RED)

Bandara Banyuwangi Dikorupsi Berjamaah Pejabat Banyuwangi

Jakarta, Suara Indonesia News - Kejaksaan Agung (Kejakgung) Kamis (28/8) akan melakukan upaya paksa atau penahanan terhadap tujuh pejabat daerah Banyuwangi, Jawa Timur, yang menjadi tersangka dalam kasus dugaan korupsi pembebasan tanah pembangunan bandara Blimbingsari di Kabupaten Banyuwangi.

''Pokoknya mulai hari ini kami akan melakukan upaya paksa dalam arti penahanan terhadap tujuh tersangka itu, karena alat bukti sudah dianggap cukup kuat,'' ujar Jaksa Agung Muda Pidana Khusus (JAM Pidsus) Marwan Effendi di Jakarta, Kamis (28/8).
Tujuh tersangka dalam kasus yang terjadi sekitar periode 2006 hingga 2007 itu diduga telah mengakibatkan kerugian negara senilai lebih dari Rp40 miliar.

Tujuh tersangka itu adalah mantan Bupati Banyuwangi Samsul Hadi, mantan Sekretaris Kabupaten Banyuwangi periode 2006-2007 Sudjiharto, pengusaha yang juga spekulan tanah dan mantan Kepala Desa Pengantigan, Kecamatan Rogojampi Effendi, mantan Kabag Perlengkapan Pemda Banywangi perode 2006-2007 Sugiharto.

Serta mantan Kepala Badan Pertanahan Nasional (BPN) Banyuwangi periode 2006-2007 Suharno, mantan Kepala Badan Pertanahan Nasional (BPN) Banyuwangi tahun 2002-2004 Nawolo Prasetyo, dan mantan Camat Kabat yang kini menjadi Camat Gambiran Sugeng Siswanto.

Ketujuh tersangka ini menurut Marwan akan langsung dijemput di alamat kediaman masing-masing dan akan langsung dibawa untuk ditahan di Rumah Tahanan (Rutan) Kejaksaan Negeri (Kejari) Banyuwangi. (RED)