Jakarta. House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Fahri Hamzah railed against his dismissal by the Prosperous Justice Party, or PKS, demanding to know what his "sins" are.
Fahri said he was never told that he was under internal investigation for ethical violations, arguing that the last time he had a conversation with PKS leaders was in October, when current chairman Sohibul Iman was sworn in.
"I was only invited to meet again once [after the inauguration] and that was to ask me to step down. What is going on here?" Fahri said on Monday (04/04).
In a written statement released on Monday, PKS chairman Sohibul said Fahri was fired for several remarks and actions that were not in line with the party's views.
Sohibul said Fahri defended, against the party line, a raft of projects around the legislative complex costing a combined Rp 1.6 trillion ($121 million), and that he allegedly called lawmakers opposed to the project "stupid."
Fahri also drew the ire of his PKS colleagues when he defended the controversial plan to revise the law governing the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which would see the highly respected body lose some of its powers. The lawmaker reportedly said those rejecting the plan were "trying to be heroes and cover up their own sins."
The PKS opposed both matters.
On March 11, an internal tribunal found Fahri guilty of violating the party's code of ethics and recommended that he be dismissed "from all party duties," which also include his position as a lawmaker and deputy speaker of the House, Sohibul confirmed on Monday.
The party's central leadership board, Sohibul continued, decided to act on the tribunal's recommendation and issued a letter, dated April 1, to dismiss Fahri, practically ending the lawmaker's career in the party.
Fahri said he never received the letter dismissing him from the party, claiming that it "was only read to me. And suddenly the document was announced to the public."
"The public needs to know what my sins are," he said, arguing that he knows of many colleagues in the PKS who had done much worse but got to keep their positions in the party.
"There was the [PKS] member who was busy watching something during a plenary session but that person was never fired. There is also one who is now serving time in prison but never fired. What did Fahri Hamzah do to deserve being fired?" he asked, referring to former PKS lawmaker Arifinto and former chairman Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq.
Arifinto was snapped by a photographer while watching pornography on his tablet computer during a House plenary session in 2011. He later resigned as a lawmaker over the scandal but not from the party.
In 2013, Luthfi was sentenced to 18 years in prison for receiving and laundering Rp 1.3 billion in bribes from a beef importer in exchange for him using his influence in the Ministry of Agriculture, then led by another PKS politician Suswono.