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Basuki Tjahaja Purnama: I Will Expose Much More
Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama arrives at the KPK building. TEMPO/Eko Siswono Toyudho
Thursday, 12 March, 2015 | 15:30 WIB
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama: I Will Expose Much More

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok, does not know the meaning of surrender. He stressed he will defend the 2015 Jakarta Budget, even though he faces great opposition from the Jakarta Regional House of Representatives (DPRD), also known as the City Council.

Ahok claims the description of 'phantom' funds did not originate from him but from the former chief of the Office of the Finance Development Controller (BPKP), Mardiasmo, who is now the deputy finance minister. It was the BPKP's audit that discovered the practice of 'smuggling' budget allocations. "Then they mysteriously went in," he said, "like a phantom."

From those findings, Ahok became more convinced there are 'dark' forces manipulating the budget. "Interestingly, it's a case of a thief accusing another thief. They say we are the ones who are phantoms," said Ahok, the former regent of East Belitung. He recently spoke to Tempo reporter Dini Pramita. Excerpts:

Why were you angry at the Home Affairs Ministry's meeting to mediate between yourself and the Jakarta City Council?

I was not angry at Anas Effendi (mayor of West Jakarta). In fact I got a statement from Anas on Monday. I took the angry pose on purpose so I could play chess, I could be open and they would panic and be scared. My hope was that no one would walk out. At that time, the Director-General of Finance, Reydonnyzar Moenek and Secretary-General Yuswandi A. Temenggung said that the 2015 Budget was legitimate and complete. It only needed to be submitted by the governor, because what was claimed by the council were only expenses.

 

In other words, the DPRD version of the budget was not the correct one?

The budget has its expenses, costing and revenues. Perhaps because they were ashamed they thought of covering this shortage. They had lost the debate because they pretended to be submitting the budget.

 

In your opinion, what is inside the DPRD version of the budget?

It's very ironic. Is it possible to have 46 percent of the schools about to collapse, needing the UPS, a bilingual system and chairs and electronic board. And this happens year after year.

 

Why are they being exposed now?

I created the instrument in 2013, one year after my appointment. I wanted to use it in 2014 but it was rejected. The SKPD (regional work unit) was united in rejecting everything, so I'm thinking of firing them all. I want to clean up (City Hall), but at that time the president, home affairs minister and the finance minister were not our people.

 

Besides the UPS procurement, what else will you expose?

I will expose much more. I have prepared the documents. Right now, my investigation has come up with Rp12.19 trillion. I looked back to 2014, to find out whether it had already been practiced. It seems the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Police Crime Investigation Division have gone back to work. I'm sure the head of the Crime Investigation Division, Budi Waseso, would be able to take them in first. The 2013 Budget awaits the audit by the BPKP which will cover back to 2012. The basic thinking from 2012 to 2015 is all there.

 

Reportedly, the KPK leaders have not been responsive about your report.

I don't know about that. If they are not serious, it will be okay because I have communicated it with the president. I got a bit upset. I said that if the KPK refuse to act against them, I will go ahead.

 

It's also been reported that President Joko Widodo was a bit uncertain when he met you.

I don't know. Let's see what happens. He's the type to take in diesel cars (keeps cool easily), quite different from me. (*)



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