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Abraham Lunggana: Ahok Knows Nothing
Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD), Deputy Speaker Abraham Lunggana a.k.a Haji Lulung. TEMPO/Seto Wardhana
Friday, 13 March, 2015 | 14:46 WIB
Abraham Lunggana: Ahok Knows Nothing

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Jakarta Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) also known as the City Council, has agreed to use the right of inquiry to investigate a suspected violation over the process of submitting the 2015 Regional Budget to the Home Affairs Ministry. One man behind the move to investigate the policy of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama is Abraham Lunggana, the DPRD deputy speaker from the United Development Party (PPP).

It seems members of the City Council are angry over the budget submitted by Basuki because it was not the one approved jointly by the government and the council. Basuki, better known as Ahok, submitted an early copy of the Jakarta budget which did not contain additional proposals from the DPRD because he found many 'piggy-back' projects inserted after the joint discussion of the budget. He counted phantom or mystery projects valued at Rp12 trillion, and duly reported them to the anti-graft commission, the KPK.

To mediate the conflict, the Home Affairs Ministry invited both parties to its office for a discussion. Instead of approving the document, this council member quarrelled with Ahok at the meeting. "He is arrogant," said Lulung, Lunggana's nickname, to Tempo reporter Syailendra Persada last week at the Jakarta DPRD building.

The mediation at the Home Affairs Ministry seems to have failed?

We almost came to an agreement but Ahok got upset, pointing to his staff and pressuring them.


From the video recording, we saw that in fact it was the council members who provoked arguments.

Who said so? I posed the question: should we use the law or arbitrary authority? But Ahok pointed at the mayor, forcing him to say he never proposed a budget for the purchase of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) equipment.


Who actually proposed an allocation for the purchase of the UPS?

Ahok knows nothing. He's been governor for only a short time while the mayors have been in office for decades. They are smarter than Ahok and myself. If it was never recommended, why did it appear in the budget? That means the topic has been discussed at the council.


Reportedly, the budget was proposed by the council.

That could be, but this is what may have happened: the council's proposal came from the bottom, from the people. So, it makes sense for us to propose it. We have that right. We recommended it openly, involving non-governmental organizations too. If they were fakes or phantoms, don't carry them out. In 2014, they were carried out. There were tenders and the government at the time issued circulars saying the funds were available. Why did he say it was fictitious? There was an auction when the budget was altered and Ahok was then already the acting governor.


According to the governor, the projects were sneaked in.

We and the work units in charge of equipment sat together to discuss it. But the council's recommendation was rejected by Ahok. He thought they were fake suggestions. Ahok should be careful what he says. The budget he submitted to the Home Affairs Ministry was returned. That means Ahok's act was not according to procedures. Ahok should have sat with us first to discuss it.


The governor used the e-budgeting system. Doesn't the council approve of such a system?

I've spoken till I foamed at the mouth. We approved [the budget] so long as it was clear and open. What's happening now is that Ahok forced e-budgeting without prior discussions with us. That's why we will use our right to inquiry because his procedure was wrong.


So what's the solution to ensure the Jakarta government has a budget?

Most importantly, Ahok should not be arrogant. That mediation session should have resolved the issue, but there was no approval. I hope there's more mediation.


By the way, the PPP has instructed its members in the Jakarta City Council to withdraw its right of inquiry. Why are you persisting in persecuting Ahok?

Ahok is good at lobbying political party chiefs. He said he was not afraid of inquiries, yet he's gone to plead to the central government. I stress, the PPP in the Jakarta DPRD will not withdraw the right of inquiry because this is now linked to defamation and procedures breached by Ahok.


The governor reported the phantom budget to the KPK. Are you ready to be investigated as the head of the council's education commission?

Ready. News reports say I'm afraid because communication with Taufik (deputy speaker from the Gerindra Party) has been through WhatsApp. I have no fear. I push the legal process.


So, it's true what's being said in WhatsApp?

I downloaded WhatsApp only after the news had spread. I never knew what WhatsApp was (*)

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