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Jakarta Post

At graft court, Bekasi regent says home minister told her to facilitate Meikarta project

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, January 14, 2019   /   05:04 pm
At graft court, Bekasi regent says home minister told her to facilitate Meikarta project  An aerial photo taken on Tuesday shows the construction of apartments at Meikarta in Cikarang, Bekasi regency, West Java. (Antara/Hafidz Mubarak A. )

Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo ordered suspended Bekasi regent and graft suspect Neneng Hasanah Yasin to facilitate the issuance of the necessary permits for the Meikarta mega-development project in the regency, Neneng has claimed.

Neneng made the statement while testifying as a witness against defendants Lippo Group operational director Billy Sindoro and three Lippo Group consultants and employee at the Bandung Corruption Court in West Java on Monday.

“The ministry’s director general for regional autonomy Sumarsono summoned me to his office [to talk about a West Java bylaw on infrastructure development around Bekasi]. Upon arriving at his office, he was talking to the minister over the phone,”  Neneng said as quoted by tribunnews.com.

“Sumarsono later gave his phone to me and Tjahjo Kumolo later said [over the phone] ‘please facilitate the permit issuance for Meikarta’.”

The regent later told the court that she had accepted the request, as long as she followed procedures.

Neneng said she told Sumarsono the permit issuance would need a recommendation from West Java's governor.

“Sumarsono then replied that his directorate general would facilitate a meeting between the West Java provincial administration, Bekasi regency and Meikarta project developer PT Mahkota Sentosa Utama,” she added.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) accused Neneng of accepting Rp 7 billion (US$495,530) from Billy to facilitate obtaining the permits necessary for the Meikarta project. Billy allegedly promised Rp 13 billion as a “commitment fee” to the regent.

The Meikarta modern city project in Cikarang, Bekasi, West Java, is the flagship project of the Lippo Group. (kuk/ipa)