Former state SOE minister Sofyan Djalil said Monday that Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Idrawati and former Bank Indonesia governor (now Vice President) Boediono might have not realized that the decision to bail out Bank Century had been “pushed by ghost riders” although the policy itself was imposed based on goodwill.
“There is no policy without risk, same goes for the Bank Century bailout. But then it appeared that the bailout was undertaken due to pressure from third parties,” Sofyan told a discussion.
He was referring to some parties who allegedly needed the government to inject the Rp 6.76 trillion (US$716.56 million) bailout in order to save the money of the bank’s big depositors.
Sofyan said the bailout policy making was okay as long as it was supported by sufficient data and based on good faith.
“Whether there were ‘ghost riders’ behind the policy or not, it is a separate issue. If they really exist, please, law enforcers investigate it,” he said, refusing to elaborate who the “ghost riders” might be.
Critics have called for Mulyani and Boediono to step down because the two are considered as the policy makers responsible for the bailout.
Sofyan said that such efforts were too extreme and counterproductive.
Sofyan said he was afraid that if every big policy was slammed by political moves, even if it was legally safe, many legislators would be hesitant to make quick and strategic decisions. “The country may become stagnant if this happen,” he said.
Sofyan surprised observers when suddenly made public his thoughts on the scandal. Sofyan had kept out of the media since he left office in October, despite the explosive scandal.
“It was my personal opinion,” he said, referring to his statement which was in favor of Mulyani.
When asked why he had not talked to media earlier, Sofyan said, “Because Pak Erry just called me yesterday, asking me if I could [enter the] discussion,” referring to former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy chairman Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas.
Rumors have circulated that Erry has begun rounding up experts and public figures to spread opinion to the public in favor of Mulyani. (bbs)