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18th Asian Games organizers race against time, graft allegations

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, March 6, 2017 | 06:47 am
18th Asian Games organizers race against time, graft allegations Workers dimantle the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Senayan, Jakarta, Tuesday, October 18, 2016. The stadium were renovated formthe upcoming Asian Games 2018 with Rp.500 billion budget and expected to be finished in Ocrober 2017. JP/Seto Wardhana. (JP/Seto Wardhana.)

The starter’s gun has been fired and with the opening of the 18th Asian Games, the biggest multisport event in the region, only 17 months down the track, host Indonesia seems to have stumbled at the starting line.

The latest problem concerns graft allegations. The Jakarta Police have named three suspects — Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) non-active secretary-general Dody Iswandi, treasurer Anjas Rivai and vendor Agus Ikhwan — who are alleged to have embezzled funds from the 2018 Games’ socialization program.

As they build their case the police are due to question members of the KOI executive committee on Monday.

“[Monday’s] questioning is aimed at verifying the state losses, the data on which is provided by the BPKP [Development Finance Comptroller],” Sr. Adj. Comr. Ferdy Irawan of the Jakarta Police said as quoted on the website of national radio station RRI, rri.

co.id, on Sunday. According to BPKP findings, the alleged corruption in the socialization program, which took place in six cities, amounts to Rp 9.23 billion (US$693,489).

The KOI executive committee members who are being called for Monday’s questioning are KOI secretary-general Dasril Anwar, Krisna Bayu of the athletics committee, Bambang Rus Effendi of sports for all, Harry Warganegara of sports development, Syahrir Nawier of finance and budgeting, Leane Suniar of sports medicine, Hellen Sarita Delima of sports law and Raja Parlindungan Pane of sports environment.

In line with the investigation, the police will also summon KOI chief Erick Thohir.

“We’re set to call upon the KOI chief, but we’re still arranging a time,” said Ferdy.

(Read also: Jokowi wants MRT during Asian Games)

In the meantime, Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) delegates have been visiting cohost cities Jakarta and Palembang on a threeday trip, which ends on Monday.

On March 4, the delegates attended a sixth coordination meeting in Jakarta at noon before visiting several venues in the capital’s Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) sports complex in Senayan.

The venues included the indoor tennis arena, Istora Senayan indoor sports hall for badminton, the aquatics facilities, hockey field, the archery field, basketball stadium and the main GBK stadium.

In the coordination meeting, badminton’s technical delegate Greg Kim Hong-ki, who is Badminton Asia secretary-general, asked the organizers to make sure that a test event, scheduled for October or November, would be held in Istora Senayan, Kompas daily reported.

Greg said his request was essential because athletes needed to familiarize themselves with the Asian Games’ venue.

Organizer Gatot Tatoko, who supervises infrastructure work for the Games, said the renovation of a venue for boxing and indoor volleyball, which is also the indoor tennis arena, and the aquatics center was about 35 to 45 percent complete.

The Games, which open in August 2018, are set to feature 42 sports and 59 sports disciplines. Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) deputy director for sports Lukman Niode said the organizers had not yet finalized the number of sports events. So far, 493 sports events have been provisionally listed.

“We’re seeking an agreement on the final number of sports events to be staged,” he added.

It is estimated that it will cost at least Rp 8 trillion for Indonesia to stage the Games for the second time, a decline from the initial Rp 10 trillion proposed in early 2015. The government has pledged to cover Rp 5 trillion, which will mostly go into infrastructure.

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