The House of Representatives will hold a plenary session today to answer mounting demands by legislators to form an inquiry committee into the controversial Bank Century bailout.
Gayus Lumbuun, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) at the House, said legislators’ calls for the special inquiry were not intended to alienate anyone or incite hostility.
“It’s only aimed at improving the way of thinking,” he said Monday.
“We’re not trying to be openly hostile toward certain people.”
Golkar Party legislator Bambang Soesatyo said the House still needed more support from the public
to help lift the lid on the Century scandal.
“Golkar is ready to support the formation of the inquiry committee,” he said as quoted by state news agency Antara.
Golkar has become the first coalition partner of the current administration to demand the special House inquiry into the Century bailout.
The bailout scandal only came into the public view after the House summoned the government over its lack of transparency in bailing out the troubled bank.
The government had initially said the bailout would only cost Rp 632 billion (US$65 million), but it ended up ballooning to Rp 6.7 trillion.
The government argued the bailout was necessary to prevent a chain reaction affecting other banks.
Critics, however, say the bank was bailed out not out of a desire to protect the economy from the effects of the global financial crisis, but rather as part of a scheme to rescue the savings of high-profile and politically connected depositors.
A group of Muslim students visited the House on Monday to add their support for the formation of the inquiry committee and also to warn legislators not to use the scandal as political leverage over the current administration.
The group, calling itself the 28 Petition Forum, was established on Oct. 28 to commemorate the Youth Pledge Day.
Member Haris Rusly Motik said the forum wanted to show its support for the legislators who raised the call for the inquiry into the Century bailout.
“But we question the will of the Democratic Party, who were also elected by the people,” he said.
“They have betrayed the public’s aspirations.”
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party is the sole party at the House that has not proposed forming an inquiry committee on the case.
Vice President Boediono previously said the move by legislators to probe the Century case was normal, adding the government was ready to provide the needed information.
House Deputy Speaker Pramono Anung said the House needed to resolve the case to quell public unease about the administration’s involvement in the case.
“The public want to know what’s happening,” he said.
“The PDI-P supports the inquiry because we want to reveal the truth.”