Heru Lelono, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s special aide for information affairs, said on Monday that Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam should have not made public his report to the country’s top anti-graft body about alleged collusion between three ministries and lawmakers.
“The KPK [Corruption Eradication Commission] can receive reports confidentially. Don’t trigger polemics by making it public. Looking at media reports recently; some ministers seem to feel uncomfortable [with Dipo’s reports]. If they do, they can talk to the President,” Heru told reporters at the State Palace.
“In my opinion, to some extent, matters involving Cabinet members can be dealt with internally first. Otherwise, ministers who consider themselves clean will be uncomfortable,” he added.
At least three ministries were reported by Dipo to the KPK earlier this month for alleged corrupt practices involving the ministries’ top officials and members of the House of Representatives.
Unnamed sources from the KPK and the Cabinet Secretariat confirmed that the three ministries were the Agriculture Ministry, Defense Ministry and Trade Ministry. Dipo has not denied this. The KPK only confirmed that it had been investigating alleged corruption surrounding the procurement of fertilizer at the Agriculture Ministry.
Heru said he did not know Dipo’s motive “because he has never discussed the plan to report to the KPK with us, the President’s special aides”, he said.
Politicians and observers have said that Dipo’s move and the resulting reactions were indications of rifts between Cabinet members and Yudhyono’s inner circle.
Rumors of an impeding Cabinet reshuffle before the end of this year have been circulating, probably the last before Yudhoyono’s tenure ends in 2014.