National Mandate Party (PAN) politicians Drajad Wibowo, center, and Amien Rais's son Hanafi Rais, second from right, showed up at KPK headquarters in Jakarta on Monday (05/06). (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro)

Amien Rais Reneges on Promise to Explain Alleged Graft Involvement


JUNE 05, 2017

Jakarta. Senior politician Amien Rais, one of the founders of the National Mandate Party, or PAN, failed to fulfill his promise to come to the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, headquarters on Monday (05/06) to explain his alleged involvement in a graft case related to the procurement of medical equipment by the Health Ministry in 2005.

On Friday, Amien, who led the last days of popular uprising against President Soeharto in 1998 and helped usher in the "Reformasi" era in Indonesia, held a press conference to announce he will come to the KPK headquarters in Jakarta on Monday to make statements regarding an alleged transfer of Rp 600 million ($45,200) into his bank account in 2007.

The Case

KPK prosecutors said in a court hearing that the money was allegedly transferred by former health minister Siti Fadilah Supari — a suspect in the medical equipment graft case that allegedly caused Rp 6.1 billion in state losses.

Amien admitted receiving a Rp 600 million money transfer in 2007, but not from Siti Fadilah. He claimed the money was from former PAN chairman Soetrisno Bachir, a prominent businessman.

KPK prosecutors alleged state pharmaceutical company Indofarma won the bid for the procurement project as a result of the then minister's close relationship with PAN.

Soetrisno's brother-in-law Nuki Syahrun was at that time a director of Indofarma Global Medika, a subsidiary of Indofarma.

Amien denied the money from Soetrisno was related to the graft case.

He also told reporters on Friday he will use his audience with the KPK to report two other corruption cases involving high-profile figures in the country.

He did not provide details about the cases or the individuals allegedly involved.

No Show

But Amien reneged on his promise to turn up at KPK headquarters on Monday. In his place, Ansufri Sambo, the chairman of the "212" group — a campaign to encourage Muslims to rally against Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama during his blasphemy trial — showed up at the KPK's doorstep.

"We were sent here. We want to make sure first that if he [Amien Rais] comes, the KPK will see him. If not, then why? If [the KPK] isn't ready to see him, then when will they be [ready]?" Ansufri told reporters at the KPK headquarters in South Jakarta.

Ansufri was also the coordinator of the "Al-Maidah Picnic," which sent supporters of now governor-elect Anies Baswedan and his deputy Sandiaga Uno to polling stations when Jakartans cast their vote to elect a new governor in April.

KPK spokesperson Febri Diansyah on Friday indicated that KPK leaders were unlikely to meet Amien since they rarely meet anyone who could be involved in a graft case still under investigation.

Ansufri was accompanied by PAN politicians Drajad Wibowo and Hanafi Rais — Amien's son.

Ansufri said KPK leaders' reluctance to meet Amien is a slight on the "Founding Father of Reformasi." Ansufri also alleged that KPK prosecutors might have mentioned Amien's name in the graft case in retaliation against the PAN leader, who was actively supporting Anies and Sandiaga in the Jakarta election.

Amien and PAN sided with Anies, who was also backed by Prabowo Subianto's Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party, against Ahok, who was backed by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) — the ruling party backing President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration.

"This is a politics of retaliation, they're playing scorched-earth tactics," Ansufri said.

Hundreds of university students were also seen rallying outside the KPK headquarters on Monday demanding that KPK leaders agree to meet Amien to discuss his alleged involvement in the graft case.