Jakarta. Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Tuesday lambasted three of his fellow Golkar Party members for reportedly trying to sabotage a parliamentary investigation against House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto, saying that the three had not acted on the party's behalf.
The House ethics council is conducting an investigation into a possible ethical violation involving Setya who allegedly demanded up to $4 billion in shares from mining giant Freeport Indonesia on the pretext that he was representing President Joko Widodo and Vice President Kalla.
However, the three new ethics council members brought in by Golkar just hours before the council was supposed to convene — Ridwan Bae, Kahar Muzakir and Adies Kadir — reportedly told colleagues that plans for a hearing should be scrapped and the case should be investigated by a House Special Committee forcing the session to be adjourned.
“If anyone is trying to stop [the case against Setya], he should do so based on people's demand. Golkar's motto is the voice of the people. It means, if Ridwan or Muzakir are trying to stop [Setya's case] they are not the voice of the people's,” Kalla said, while speaking at a seminar in Central Jakarta.
“People want this case investigated thoroughly.”
The ethics council was supposed to work out when Setya's hearing would start and who will be summoned to testify.
However, the three had turned this week's session “into an endless debate” on whether Energy Minister Sudirman Said, who first lodged the complaint against Setya, had any legal standing to file a complaint, as well as questioning the validity of the recording Sudirman submitted as evidence, ethics council deputy chairman Junimart Girsang said.
Experts have suspected that the last minute reshuffle from Golkar was aimed at protecting Setya. The party has denied that allegation and saying it would make the ethics council's investigation more clearly.