Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and the Jakarta City Council has been at each other’s throats regarding irregularities found in the 2015 Jakarta Regional Budget (APBD).
If we ignore accusations and look at the cold, hard facts of the case, then it seems the governor is on the side of good here.
Governor Ahok suspected that the City Council secretly worked in Rp 12.1 trillion into the APBD in an attempt at a corrupt cash grab. After all, Ahok said he uncovered similarly corrupt practices in the province’s 2014 APBD.
In the 2014 APBD, the City Council “budgeted” for 25 schools in Jakarta to receive an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) unit worth Rp 5.8 billion each (a high-tech UPS unit is priced at around Rp 10 million). But these schools were never informed about the UPS procurement at all.
Kompas has done some investigation into the UPS case and found that the procurement deals were won by fictitious companies. The address for one turned out to be a small, run down photocopy shop.
In the official documents, one Rp 5.8 billion UPS tender was won by PT Frislianmar Masyur Mandiri, located on Jalan Pramuka in East Jakarta. But when Kompas visited the office, it turned out to be a small photocopy shop called ‘PD Wirasaba’.
The shop owner confessed he knew nothing about a UPS tender.
“What tender? We never took part in a tender,” he said, as quoted by Kompas on Saturday.
He also said he has never heard of the fictitious PT Frislianmar Masyur Mandiri. He has been working at the shop for five years.
“This shop has been around for a long time and it has never moved. I’ve actually just heard that this address was used for the [fictitious] company,” he said.
So who should we believe in the ongoing battle between Ahok and the City Council? Where Ahok’s case is backed up by facts, the City Council’s arguments against the governor have been nothing but attacks about the governor’s “arrogant” personality. Well, we’d rather have an arrogant but honest governor than a polite but corrupt City Council.