​Haji Lulung: “if I’m involved in UPS corruption, bury me alive”

Whichever way they want to spin it, some members of the Jakarta City Council (DPRD) are very likely involved in the UPS (uninterrupted power supply) corruption scandal. One outspoken figure from the DPRD, Deputy Chairman Abraham “Haji Lulung” Lunggana, is fiercely adamant he wasn’t involved in the corruption scheme.

The main suspect in the corruption case, former infrastructure head of West Jakarta’s Education Agency Alex Usman, previously told the police about a markup scheme for the purchase of 49 UPS units for some schools in Jakarta in 2004. The DPRD at the time approved a request for Rp 330 billion from the Jakarta Regional Budget to buy the UPS units, which should’ve only cost around Rp 10 million each.

Alex admitted that he bribed DPRD councilors to facilitate the mark up scheme. Haji Lulung was the coordinator of the Education Commission at the DPRD at the time, and proposed the purchase of the UPS units to the government.

Despite all this, Haji Lulung denies he was involved in the corruption scheme.

“I don’t know Alex Usman. Alex Usman doesn’t know Lulung. I swear on the Quran, I don’t know him. If I’m lying, take my life now. I never met him, I don’t know his mouth, his nose, his breath, his stare,” Lulung told Tempo yesterday. 

“I have a wife and kids. If I was involved in the UPS corruption, I can dare to swear that my family and I will all die. Bury me alive.”

While Haji Lulung went to dramatic lengths to proclaim his innocence, let’s not forget that some corrupt politicians made similar grand gestures in the past. As far as we know, Anas Urbaningrum hasn’t been hanged on top of Monas, and Akil Mochtar’s fingers are still intact.  

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