Monday, 18 June, 2012 | 19:02 WIB
What Happens after Neneng’s Arrest?
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:News of the arrest of Neneng Sri Wahyuni has been welcomed. The wife of the former treasurer of the ruling Democrat Party, Muhammad Nazaruddin, is expected to shed light upon the graft scandal involving legislators and party figures. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) now has more ‘ammunition’ to get to the bottom of the political scandal.
Neneng’s role as the cashier of the Permai Group, a group of companies founded by Nazaruddin and his colleagues, is evidently crucial. Neneng knows exactly about the company’s cash flow, including the commission the company received from dozens of state projects. In addition, Neneng must also know about the amount of money trickling down to Democrat elites and members of the House of Representatives (DPR). The ‘commission’ may be linked to the athletes’ village construction project scandal, which Nazaruddin has been jailed for, and the solar home power system project that implicates Neneng. However, there have allegedly been other illegitimate transactions from other projects, including procurement projects at some universities.
The KPK should take full advantage of Neneng’s testimony and the evidence that she may still hold. Investigation over the Hambalang sports center construction project needs to be followed up. However, the KPK has an opportunity to reveal a larger scheme involving the Permai Group, which may provide some closure to Nazaruddin’s case. If necessary, investigators should also apply articles of money laundering in addition to charges of bribery and graft.
The KPK’s approach so far has led to unfair law enforcement practices. The people who are persecuted are those who have been caught red handed for receiving or giving bribes or have at lhave been proven of committing such acts. In fact, there are other perpetrators who should be on the list of incriminated people because almost all projects the Permai Group worked on were obtained through questionable procedures, allegedly through collusion.
The KPK should be more courageous in settling the scandal involving the Permai Group after the anti-graft commission arrested Neneng. Some of the questions that have yet to be answered are: Did Anas Urbaningrum appoint Anugerah Nusantara, of the company’s most important enterprises, to work on a project? Did Anas also receive money from the company in regard to projects that are being investigated by the KPK, including the athletes’ village project and the solar home power system project?
Neneng’s testimony will corroborate Nazaruddin’s testimonies, which have been ignored. For instance, Nazaruddin testified about the money trail leading from the Permai Group to the Democrat Congress in Bandung in 2010. The funds were allegedly used to secure Anas’ chairmanship in the caucus. Nazaruddin had made the claims over and over again but he gained no response because no one else would verify his claims.
The KPK’s effort to reveal cases implicating Nazaruddin is a long awaited move that may determine the political landscape, or even the country’s path of democracy. If the Democrat figures involved in graft practices are sent to jail, it may reinforce the will to create a better and cleaner party—as long as the KPK is consistent in applying its follow up to other party figures involved in corruption. Otherwise, without the effort to settle the Permai Group scandal once and for all, bribery and corruption will always stand in the way of the country’s political development.