Ministry, House in mud-slinging mode over Koran scandal
Lawmakers and officials of the Religious Affairs Ministry laid blame on each other Monday for the graft-ridden Koran distribution that made headlines recently.
Religious Affairs Ministry secretary-general Bahrul Hayat has rebutted lawmakers' claim that their participation in distributing the Korans was part of a special program of the ministry as well as a regular ministry program.
"There is no such program. We don't specifically require help from lawmakers to distribute Korans because anyone can participate if they want," Bahrul said on the sidelines of a meeting with House of Representatives Commission VIII overseeing religious affairs on Monday.
Commission VIII members previously claimed innocence in their alleged role in distributing Korans to their constituents for free, saying that it was a regular ministry program.
By accepting the Korans, the lawmakers could be implicated in the graft-ridden Koran procurement case currently being investigated by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
The KPK has named Zulkarnaen Djabar, a member of Commission VIII from the Golkar Party, a suspect for allegedly rigging the procurement by instructing the ministry's Directorate General for Islamic Community Affairs to award certain companies as winners the procurement tender.
Zulkarnaen’s constituent is West Java VI consisting of Bekasi and Depok municipalities.
Additionally, the KPK has also named as suspect Zulkarnaen's son, Dendy Prasetya, whose PT KSAI was awarded in the tender. (nvn)