Police to question vice governor nominee Sylviana Murni on social aid graft allegation

Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono with running mate Sylviana Murni in the 2017 Jakarta election. Photo: Instagram
Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono with running mate Sylviana Murni in the 2017 Jakarta election. Photo: Instagram

Sylviana Murni, candidate for vice governor and running mate of Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono in the upcoming election, has been hit with two corruption allegations, one of which she is scheduled to face police questioning for today.

Sylviana is alleged to be among those responsible for corrupt dealings in the Jakarta Provincial Government’s social aid grant to the city’s scouting organization, Kwarda Gerakan Pramuka. According to reports, Kwarda received Rp 6.81 billion in social aid grants twice, once in 2014 and once in 2015. However, it is believed that people behind the scenes created funds for fictitious events for Kwarda in order to justify the grant.

Sylviana may well be involved in this scheme, as she has chaired Kwarda since January 2015 and was also the deputy head of the Culture and Tourism Agency at the Jakarta Provincial Government both times the social aid was granted to Kwarda.

Sylviana is scheduled to testify as a witness to investigators at the National Police’s Crime Investigation Agency (Bareskrim) today.

National Police Spokesman Grand Commissioner Martinus Sitompul denied that their investigation of Sylviana is politically motivated.

“It’s not true. We receive formal reports from the people and we respond by acting on them. We were given this job by the state to uphold the law,” Martinus said yesterday, as quoted by Vivanews.

Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono took a jab at the authorities for the timing of this investigation.

“This is what I regret. It feels like the potential for politicization is too great. [They’re] looking for things that aren’t there,” he said.

In addition to the Kwarda case, Sylviana is also alleged to be involved in the mark up scheme for the construction of a mosque in the Central Jakarta Mayor’s office. Sylviana was the Central Jakarta mayor when the Rp 32.5 billion funding by the Jakarta Provincial Government for the mosque was approved in 2015. Authorities have already questioned 20 witnesses in this case, but have yet to question Sylviana.

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