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Jakarta Post

S. Sulawesi'€™s Limpo dynasty in limbo

  • Haeril Halim and Andi Hajramurni

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta/Makassar   /   Thu, October 22, 2015   /  06:01 pm
S. Sulawesi'€™s Limpo dynasty in limbo

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) indicated on Wednesday that it may investigate other corruption cases related to the arrest of Hanura Party House of Representatives legislator Dewi Yasin Limpo, a member of the Limpo family, a powerful dynasty in South Sulawesi.

'€œWe will expand the investigation,'€ acting KPK deputy chairman Johan Budi told a press briefing.

Johan alleged Dewi, who is the sister of South Sulawesi Governor Syahrul Yasin Limpo, was caught red-handed while receiving S$177,700 (US$127,000) in bribes from businessman Septiadi Jusuf in Jakarta on Tuesday night.

Along with Dewi, who is a member of House Commission VII overseeing energy, and Septiadi, the KPK also apprehended head of Deiyai Regency Mining Agency Irianus Aldi and Dewi'€™s friends Rineld Bandaso and Bambang Wahyu Adi.

All five have been named suspects in the bribery case, which is related to the deliberation on state funding for a micro-hydro power plant in the regency in Papua worth hundreds of billions of rupiah.

'€œThe project, which is under the supervision of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, will be covered by the 2016 state budget,'€ Johan said.

Although the KPK is currently focused on investigating the bribery case implicating Dewi, Johan stressed that it could open more probes in the future should it find indications of other corruption issues involving members of the politically wired family.

On Wednesday, local political experts and antigraft activists in South Sulawesi encouraged the KPK to look for possible corruption cases that could implicate other members of the Limpo political clan, not just focusing on Dewi'€™s bribery case.

Political expert from Hasanuddin University in Makassar Jayadi Nas said the KPK could dig further with witnesses in its investigation to collect more evidence to support the opening of new investigations.

'€œThe arrest serves as a warning for us of the existence of other possible cases [involving the family]. As long as there is enough evidence to investigate other cases then we citizens of South Sulawesi will always support the KPK,'€ Jayadi said, adding that a political dynasty was always closely linked to corruption.

Meanwhile, Abdul Azis, who is the Makassar Legal Aid Institute (LBH Makassar) chairman, said the Limpo dynasty had dominated politics and the economy in South Sulawesi for years with scores of its members occupying important positions in the region.

'€œThere should be a thorough investigation including whether any member of the [Limpo] family is implicated in the [bribery] case or other possible cases,'€ Azis said on Wednesday night.

The late Col. (ret) Yasin Limpo, who was former regent of both Gowa and Maros had a number of children who hold important positions in South Sulawesi. His son, Syahrul, is currently serving his second term as governor after having served two tenures as Gowa regent.

Ichsan, another son of Yasin is in his second term as Gowa regent. Yasin'€™s widow Nurhayati Yasin Limpo served as House lawmaker representing the Golkar Party between 2004 and 2009.

Yasin'€™s daughter Tenri Olle Yasin Limpo, who is currently serving as a member of South Sulawesi Legislative Council (DPRD), is about to run in the upcoming Gowa regency election.

Another son of Yasin, Haris Yasin Limpo was a legislator in the Makassar DPRD and occupies a post as a director of the local Makassar-owned tap-water company PDAM.

Indira Chunda Thita Syahrul Yasin Limpo, who is a daughter of Syahrul, currently serves as House lawmaker representing the National Mandate Party (PAN).

Meanwhile, Adnan Purichta Ichsan Yasin Limpo, who is Syahrul'€™s nephew, is currently a member of the South Sulawesi DPRD. Irman Yasin Limpo, who is a brother of Syahrul, is currently acting East Luwu regent.

Many other relatives of Yasin hold important posts across the region.

The KPK convicted members of the most powerful dynasty in Banten, including then governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah in a bribery case in 2013. Atut'€™s brother Tubagus Chaeri Wardana was later convicted of several graft charges and had assets worth hundreds of billions of rupiah seized for money laundering.