Tuesday, 03 July, 2012 | 22:51 WIB
Corruption and the Alquran Project
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Corruption does not seem to bother with the political parties or religions it stains. The graft scandal involving the Alquran project then, should be no surprise to anyone that realizes how ‘culturally’ embedded corruption has become.
Provision projects often seem to have been plotted by political parties and House of Representatives (DPR) members. One of the projects in question is the Alquran provision project worth Rp35 billion at the Religious Ministry, which was funded by the 2011 state budget. The project was not exactly free of political manipulation. Nasaruddin Umar, the Deputy Religious Minister, who handled the project while he was also the director-general for Islamic Community Guidance, confirmed the project was executed through a bidding process. However, such procedures do not guarantee the project will be free of corruption.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has since arrested Zulkarnaen Djabar, a Religious Commission and Golkar member at the DPR. Zulkarnaen was allegedly involved in a scheme with an officer from the Islamic Community Guidance Directorate-General. Two companies, Adhi Abdi Aksara Indonesia and Karya Sinergi Alam Indonesia, both owned by Zulkarnaen’s family, won the tender. Later, it was also revealed that Karya Sinergi’s CEO was Dendy Prasetya, Zulkarnaen’s son.
Zulkarnaen also allegedly received bribes from other companies for different projects. Ironically, Zulkarnaen is a member of the DPR’s Religious Commission that should be monitoring the Religious Ministry. Zulkarnaen is also a member of the DPR Budget Council, an important institution that determines the state budget.
A scheme that has left the public feeling disgusted continues to be repeated. Former treasurer of the ruling Democrat Party, Muhammad Nazaruddin, was also a member of the Budget Council when he managed to secure dozens of state projects. Nazaruddin is currently in prison for a bribery case linked to the athletes’ village construction project along with his fellow party member, Angelina Sondakh, a suspect in a similar case. Angelina was also a member of the Budget Council. National Mandate Party (PAN) politician Wa Ode Nurhayati, who is implicated in a regional infrastructure project scandal, was also a member of the DPR Budget Council.
KPK investigators are expected to examine the Alquran provision project scandal thoroughly. Zulkarnaen should also consider opening up to investigators because there is a possibility that his colleagues at the DPR were involved in a similar project scandal or other projects.
However, the most important matter is how to put a stop to this crime. DPR members and political parties’ top figures should know that the public is aware of their dirty practices.
We can only imagine the losses that the state has incurred due to corruption by these politicians. The Alquran provision project may ‘only’ be worth billions of rupiah. However, there are larger cases such as the Hambalang sports complex project in West Java that have not been settled. In addition, other scandals involving the avian flu vaccine factory and health equipment procurement still linger. State losses have reached trillions of rupiah because of greedy politicians and state officials, while the public waits for those in power to clean up their act and stop committing graft.