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Jakarta Post

Ahok objects to 'barter' accusation in 'Koran Tempo'

  • Callistasia Anggun Wijaya
    Callistasia Anggun Wijaya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 19, 2016   /  09:05 pm
Ahok objects to 'barter' accusation in 'Koran Tempo' Staff of the Environment and Forestry Ministry install a notice ordering that work stop for the construction of islets C and D in Jakarta Bay on Wednesday. The project has stopped while the ministry runs more evaluations. (kompas.com/Akhdi martin pratama)

Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has expresses demur over the use of the word "barter" by Koran Tempo in describing a contribution made to his administration by the developer of a reclamation project in the form of activities or projects, which were reportedly requested by the Jakarta city administration.

“I protest against the use of the word 'barter' in the news. Barter means you give me something and I’ll make a profit,” Ahok said at City Hall on Thursday, referring to a Koran Tempo report last week that said PT Agung Podomoro Land (APL) had financed the eviction of the Kalijodo red-light district to barter for favors relating to a reclamation project.

The description ‘barter’ is slanderous, Ahok said, adding that he was therefore considering reporting the newspaper to Indonesia’s Press Council.

According to minutes of a meeting concerning a 15 percent additional contribution to the city, between the city administration, PT Jakarta Propertindo, PT Muara Wisesa Samudra, PT Taman Harapan Indah and PT Jaladri Kartika Pakci on March 18, 2014, the administration requires reclamation developers to carry out flood prevention work in North Jakarta. Among the developers' choices were installing water pumps or creating pump housing, dredging rivers, extend dikes and constructing inspection roads and low-cost apartments.

The requests were defined as additional contributions so that the developers could be granted principle permits and execution permits for their reclamation projects. The contribution is in addition to developers' obligation to handover 5 percent of reclaimed land to the city administration as stipulated in existing regulations.

The problem is that the legal basis for the additional contribution was never passed by the City Council and, worse than that, the council stopped the deliberation of two reclamation bills that would have stipulated a 15 percent additional obligation, following the arrest of a city councilor for allegedly receiving a bribe from APL.

Koran Tempo reports that corruption suspect and Agung Podomoro Land CEO Ariesman Widjaja has confessed to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) that his company constructed low-cost apartments in Daan Mogot, West Jakarta, and financed the Kalijodo eviction as part of its additional contribution to the city administration in order to secure reclamation permits.

Ahok argued that his decision to request a 15 percent additional contribution was allowable under his "discretion right" to issue regulations in the absence of relevant existing regulation on a matter. He believed that his decision was in the interests of the city.

The developers, Ahok continued,  had also agreed with the administration’s request, in the form of written contracts between the administration and developers. (bbn)

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