[ETAN-key] TNI Blasted For Not Handing Over Businesses
fbp at igc.org
Sun Mar 13 09:24:16 EDT 2011
The Jakarta Post
Saturday, March 12, 2011
TNI Blasted For Not Handing Over Businesses
Bagus BT Saragih, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The prolonged transfer of Indonesian Military
(TNI) businesses to the government is proof of
the TNIs lack of transparency and poor
willingness to reform, an NGO said on Friday.
The 2004 TNI Law mandates the force to complete
the handover of the businesses worth a total Rp
3.2 trillion (US$364.8 million) to the government by 2009.
The deadline passed almost two years ago, but
the TNI has not announced the handover progress,
Al Araf, the program director of Imparsial, said at a press conference.
The government also seemed reluctant to enforce
the law by pushing the TNI to fulfill its obligations, he said.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a retired
army general, was afraid of losing political
support from the armed forces, he said.
The TNI is still a significant power in
Indonesian politics. The President might not want
to exacerbate the political situation given the
current tensions among members of the ruling coalition, Al Araf said.
The decision to end military businesses was made
in October 2004 when the House of Representatives passed the TNI law.
Critics claim military businesses were a vehicle
for members of the military to amass personal wealth.
Human rights groups and military analysts have
long voiced concerns over the militarys business
activities, which they say were at the root of
many of human rights abuse and corruption cases.
In early 2009, then defense minister Juwono
Sudarsono pledged the processes would be
completed by the deadline set by the law, which was October 2009.
However, the government failed to do this,
forcing the minister to form a national team on
military business takeovers comprising officials
from the TNI and the Defense Ministry as well as
representatives from the Finance Ministry,
Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises
Ministry, State-Owned Enterprises Ministry and Law and Human Rights Ministry.
Businessman Silmy Karim, who was appointed to
head the team, claimed the transfer process was
complete. He insisted the government had carried
out the mandates stipulated by regulations.
Salim said Imparsial may have overlooked some
regulations ruling that cooperatives and
foundations were excluded from the process.
Everything was done by the end of 2009. We
cannot take over cooperatives because they are no
longer included in the TNI organizational
structure as regulated by a 2010 presidential
regulation, he told The Jakarta Post.
Foundations were also no longer subject to the
TNI law because they were not businesses, Silmy argued.
Most military businesses, set up in the New Order
era, are cooperatives or foundations. The team
said there were 1,321 cooperatives, 53 firms and
23 foundations run by the TNI as well as 1,175
other subsidiaries leasing state property for commercial purposes.
Official data shows these businesses generate an
average annual profit of a paltry Rp 268 billion.
This figure, however, has decreased steadily,
triggering suspicions the TNI may have
manipulated the legal status of some business
units to exempt them from being targeted by the law.
Al Araf cited a 2006 statement by the TNI
claiming that all of the business were worth only
Rp 1.5 trillion, far below the initial estimate of Rp 3.2 trillion.
In fact, an independent study in 2004 valued the
assets of all TNI businesses at Rp 5 trillion, he said.
Al Araf said Silmys claims must be backed up by
a transparent disclosure of the whole transfer
process, including details of all of the business units handed over.
The TNI must disclose the value of each business
unit and their assets, he said.
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