Ahok infuriated by irregularities at vehicle emissions test center
Sita W. Dewi
The Jakarta Post
Deputy Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama, teamed up with Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) commissioner Bambang Widjojanto, on Wednesday to inspect an emissions-test center in Kedaung Kali Angke, West Jakarta, and found several irregularities.
At around lunchtime, Ahok arrived in the area, where Bambang, city secretary Saefulloh and city inspectorate chief Franky Mangatas had been waiting for him, and together entered the center.
Ahok asked Jakarta Transportation Agency officials to try out vehicle-test equipment. However, most of the equipment did not function properly. He later asked the officials to conduct tests on a truck that he randomly picked. The officials tested the truck manually.
The deputy governor proceeded to inspect the cashier, where he found cash totaling Rp 8 million [US$695.19]. He also discovered that officials wearing Transportation Agency uniforms were not actually civil servants.
Ahok was infuriated.
'Get rid of them. Even if they are civil servants, just remove them. They deserve it,' he said.
Ahok also bombarded the officers with questions regarding emissions tests, after which he learned that only 11 of 500 vehicles tested that day had failed the tests.
'How come only 11 vehicles out of 500 failed the tests while you conducted the tests manually? How would you know that the remaining vehicles were actually in proper condition?' he said.
Following the inspection, the city administration decided to temporarily shut down the Kedaung Kali Angke emissions-test center to launch an investigation.
'We will shut down the center as of today so anyone hoping to test their vehicle in this center today should cancel it. These are such dubious tests. They might be delaying the issue of the test results or the approval, hoping for bribes,' he said.
The official test fee for a vehicle is set at Rp 87,000 but in reality a vehicle owner may have to pay between Rp 200,000 and Rp 400,000.
'I want dodgy officials removed. If they file a lawsuit, we will face them. We will follow the money and report it to the police or to prosecutors,' Ahok said, adding that he would instruct Jakarta Transportation Agency head M. Akbar and his deputy Benyamin Bukit to inspect all emissions-test centers in Jakarta.
Bambang said the impromptu joint inspection was part of a program by the city administration and the KPK to enforce good governance. 'We are carrying out our supervisory function,' Bambang said.
He pointed to several discoveries made during the inspection.
'Between 80 percent and 90 percent of the equipment was not functioning and the tests were not reflected in the results. I also saw structural problems because the centers used to be jointly managed by the city administration and cooperatives but eventually the management was transferred to the city. However, since it was transferred to the city, a lot of the equipment has been broken. Many of the workers here are apparently outsiders,' he said.
Bambang also found fraudulent practices which involved large sums of money. 'There were illegal levies of between Rp 100,000 and Rp 200,000 per vehicle so if today they tested 500 vehicles, there would be around Rp 2.5 billion in illegal levies circulating. That's huge,' he said.
Bambang said the KPK would follow up the preliminary findings and launch an investigation to dig deeper into the illegal practices found in the emissions-test process.
'We will submit our findings and recommendations to the city administration four weeks from now. The rest will be up to the city administration,' he said.
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