Idrus Marham speaks to reporters on Friday (24/08). (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A)

New Social Affairs Minister Appointed, as Idrus Marham Resigns Amid Corruption Charges


AUGUST 24, 2018

Jakarta. Social Affairs Minister Idrus Marham filed his resignation to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Friday morning (24/08), after the national antigraft agency named him a suspect in a corruption case related to a power plant project.

Idrus said a letter from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) regarding his legal status arrived on Thursday night. The Golkar Party politician also sent a resignation letter to his party.

Antigraft investigators questioned Idrus several times as a witness in the case related to the Riau-1 power plant project.

"I resign from the social affairs minister's post," Idrus told reporters, adding that he must act like a gentleman and will respect the legal process.

Soon afterwards, the president inaugurated another Golkar politician, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, as the new social affairs minister.

Idrus took office in January, replacing Khofifah Indar Parawangsa, who resigned to run in East Java's gubernatorial election.

In July, another Golkar politician, Eni Maulani Saragih, was arrested by KPK at Idrus's residence. She was serving as a deputy chairman of House of Representatives Commission VII, which oversees energy.

Eni, who has since been named a suspect, is charged with receiving a Rp 4.8 billion ($334,000) bribe from a stakeholder of the 600-megawatt Riau-1 coal-fired power plant project. The $900 billion power plant project is developed by state-owned electricity firm Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN).

Earlier, KPK investigators also questioned PLN president director Sofyan Basyir as a witness in the case.

The power plant project is part of the government's 35,000 megawatt power development plan.