Tuesday, 31 July, 2012 | 14:55 WIB
Going for the Small Fry
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The man seemed to have predicted his own fate. He put out his hand to greet Tempo, but did not identify himself by name. “Let me introduce myself. I am the suspect,” he told Tempo in the beginning of May. The man in question was Deddy Kusdinar, who heads the Sports Ministry’s finance and household bureau. He was recently declared a suspect by the Antigraft Commission (KPK) as the ministry’s former planning bureau chief. Deddy is suspected of playing a key role in a graft scandal centering around the Rp 2.5 trillion Hambalang sports center in Bogor. He had been the team leader during the search for land on which the construction of a national education and sports training center had been planned. He was also the official who made the chief commitment for the project.
The scandal rose to prominence after graft convict Muhammad Nazaruddin, the former Democrat Party treasurer, claimed that party chairman Anas Urbaningrum took Rp 100 billion in kickbacks to steer the contract to construct the Hambalang sports center to state construction firm Adhi Karya.
When Tempo met Deddy in his offices located on the sixth floor of the Sports Ministry building last May, Deddy believed he would be eventually dragged into the case. “My signature is on the project contract.” Indeed, two months later, on a Thursday two weeks ago, the KPK declared Deddy the first official suspect of the Hambalang scandal.
The Hambalang project, which spans across a hilly landscape measuring some 31.2 hectares, was flawed from the start. After the land certificate was issued as if by “magic”, the budget for the project took very odd turns. Initially, the budget for this project had been a mere Rp 125 billion. It proceeded to swell to Rp 1.175 trillion. The Sports Ministry apparently requested the Finance Ministry to allow Hambalang’s construction to continue through a multi-year project – so that funds could be made available for the project in phases.
In 2010, Rp 275 billion in funds was poured into it. The following year, another Rp 400 billion. In 2012, the plan was for another Rp 500 billion to be added on, and all this was just for construction work alone. Add to this the separate funds to buy equipment which would one day pack all of the Hambalang center’s buildings, and the total project figure reaches a whopping Rp 2.57 trillion.
The problem was that the Sports Ministry was determined to tender out the project when the Finance Ministry had not yet agreed to the multi-year contract. It had been proposed since June 2010, but the Finance Ministry had only given the green light on December 6 of that year. Adhi Karya, collaborating with Wijaya Karya, was announced as winner of the tender two weeks earlier, on November 25.
Four days after the Finance Ministry agreed to Hambalang as a multi-year project, on December 10, the Sports Ministry signed a contract with Adhi-Wika Cooperative Operations worth Rp 1.077 trillion. The target for the completion of the project was December 28, 2012.
One and a half years ago, the government had already poured in Rp 675 billion. Seeing that there were problems with the project, the House of Representatives froze the remainder of the Hambalang funds which should have been disbursed this year. The Sports Ministry finally halted the construction work.
Even though the project had not been completed, KPK says that it had caused losses to the state. As a multi-year project, the completion of Hambalang was divided into several terms.
Anton Septian, Prihandoko, Ananda Badudu