The Jakarta Post
Jakarta Council members are soon to be wearing 24-karat gold pins as the legislature has set aside Rp 1.3 billion (US$91,282) from the city budget to procure the jewelry.
However, the plan is being criticized, especially by newly elected councilors.
According to logammulia.com, a gram of gold from PT Antam Tbk is worth about Rp 749,000. Each councilor is to receive two 24-karat gold pins, one weighing five grams and the other seven grams, for a total cost of Rp 8.988 million.
According to the city budget website, apbd.jakarta.go.id, the total amount of money allocated for the purchase of the gold pins for 106 elected members for 2019 to 2024 term is Rp 1.3 billion.
Jakarta City Council secretary M. Yuliadi confirmed that the gold pins would be paid for out of the city budget.
“We will give each councilors two pins, a big one and a small one. The big one is for official events while the small one is for regular events. They will be 23 to 24 karats, with each pin [weighing] at least five grams. [The cost of] each gram is according to market price,” Yuliadi said last Thursday, kompas.com reported.
One of the councilors-elect from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Ima Mahdiah criticized the purchase of the gold pins, saying that it needed to be evaluated and they should only be made of brass instead.
“I will personally only use them once during the inauguration,” Ima said on Tuesday, jakarta.tribunnews.com reported.
The newcomer Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) also criticized the plan to procure gold pins. PSI Jakarta regional board head Rian Ernest said that PSI, which is to have eight seats on council, prefers the replicas commonly found in online shops because of their lower prices.
“The point is that PSI objects to the lavish use of the state budget,” Rian said.
“We haven’t yet discussed whether to accept the gold pins and then return them or outright refuse them,” he added.
Separately, the Democratic Party and National Mandate Party faction head on council, Taufiqqurahman, said the gold pins would belong to each councilor.
“The pins will be given to all councilors and should not be returned [because] they are not owned by the administration,” he said.
PDI-P faction head Gembong Warsono said that the gold pins were something normal for councilors.
“That’s the custom during the inauguration of new councilors; each will have two pins,” Gembong said, adding that incumbents would also receive additional gold pins.
He added that the money was allocated for the gold pins under the authority of the City Council secretary. (ami)