SBY & Bibit-Chandra Case

Nov 20th, 2009, in Opinion, by

Cicak BuayaPresident Yudhoyono’s attention focus, the Bibit-Chandra case vs electricity crisis in Jakarta.


Indonesia Matters posters have not opened up on the main news story of the month, or year, so here goes.

Blearily, being a not-very-hyper type before siang, I heard the President on the morning news on the 18th, declaring (not in so many words) that his

patience was exhausted and if they couldn’t get their act together, he’d turf them out and get people who were up to the task.

Unfortunately, I was too early in my hoarse cheering, for the news item concerned not the police nor the Attorney-General, but our wretched suppliers of electricity, PLN.

The Jakarta Globe later filled me in on the report, viz.

A visibly angry President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday warned state utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara that if it could not end the nation’s power shortages — especially in Jakarta — then other independent companies may be given the chance to do so.

“PLN seems to have a limited capability on this issue, and it would be wrong if PLN wanted to handle [the nation’s power needs all alone]. Other companies should be given the opportunity through the correct regulations and policies”.

Yudhoyono said after a limited cabinet meeting held with PLN directors on Tuesday. He did not elaborate.

And fine words, hopefully elaborated actively asap! Black-Outs are a bore, and disrupt a lot of things we like and need to do.

But would it not have been even finer had SBY made some similar declaration about the Bibit Samad Rianto and Chandra M Hamzah corruption and police scandal that is surging all around him. Despite the fact that he was actually named by one of the presumed participants in the nefarious events concerning the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi, KPK), he has remained largely aloof.

We need him to come out fighting, lopping bureaucratic heads in all directions.

Or is there greater risk of fatal shock if you touch the Untouchables than there is if you touch the electricity?

14 Comments on “SBY & Bibit-Chandra Case”

  1. David says:

    Indonesia Matters posters have not opened up on the main news story of the month, or year, so here goes.

    Had a bad case of inertia or possibly stupor with this one.

    Anyway I think SBY’s response to the team of 8’s report was that the recommendations about cleaning out the police, attorney general’s office (and KPK incidentally) were ‘sunnah’, ie good to be followed but not mandatory, which might not be a good sign for anything happening.

  2. Burung Koel says:

    Tim Lindsey’s piece in today’s Oz tries to make sense of it all.

  3. David says:

    Some photos I took near the KPK office in Jakarta, far from sold on the quality or cleverness of them but anyway (you gotta click them)

  4. David says:

    No stopping me now… here was Kevin Rudd handing over a cheque for 12 rupiah to SBY, just outside the OZ embassy, you can’t see him but at left is Obama, not sure what he’s doing there though.

  5. Oigal says:

    Gotta love the last one.. Eco Dignity indeed, dignity comes with integrity and credibility. When Indonesian Government shows it is the slightest bit serious about the environment as something to be cared for instead of pillaged then perhaps it’s time to stick the hand out yet again. Until then why bother?

    Reminds me of this lunacy..

    “CENTRAL American nations will demand $US105 billion ($114.2 billion) from industrialised countries for damages caused by global warming, the region’s representatives say.
    Central American environment ministers gathered in Guatemala overnight to discuss the so-called “ecological debt” owed to them and to set out a common position ahead of climate talks in Copenhagen next month”

    Mmm… How about the forests of Amazon and South East Asia are critically important to the world’s health. As the respective governments of these world treasures have spectacularly failed in their ability to display anything other than inept and corrupt governance, these forest are now declared world resources and national sovereignty is here by revoked and passed to a more responsible world body for protection. Oh and here’s your billion dollars now toddle off to your glitzy little mansion in the midst of squalor and your ½ dozen BMWs.

  6. Ross says:

    Meanwhile, back to the subject. SBY wants everybody to shake hands and go home. Is this a satisfactory ending to the story? I for one don’t tend to think so.

  7. Oigal says:

    Agreed Ross, it’s almost unbelievable that these plonkers still don’t grasp what is wrong here. If the KPK blokes are guilty or not (and who believes any organisation with power in Indonesia is clean) is not relevent. It’s all about due process, honesty and dark shadows that run Indonesian Business and Politics. SBY looks like going down in history as the man that missed his destiny and settled for a cup of tea and good lie down instead.

  8. deta says:

    Just had a conversation during lunch with one of the auditor team members who investigated the transformer explosion in Cawang. They found out that it has been used continuously for 15 years with excess capacity while it is supposed to be overhauled every 5 years. What makes thing worse is, PLN doesn’t keep a spare so they have to take one from Surabaya (the last spare remains) to replace it. Maybe it is really the time when PLN should have a competitor.

    However, this is an easier and safer case to be solved than the untouchable case of Bibit Chandra……

  9. Oigal says:

    However, this is an easier and safer case to be solved than the untouchable case of Bibit Chandra……

    No its not Deta, to much money to be made, if you improve the service where can the crocodiles (big n small) make their (very large) pocket money. “You want connect Mister..I can help…You want more capacity ..I can help” Not to mention the projects, this is worth millions and crocs do very mean things when you threaten their feeding trough.

  10. deta says:

    No worries Oigal, they plan to increase the electricity rate next year. Should be more than enough to feed these ever-hungry crocs…

  11. Daavok says:

    Well What about stopping to jerk around and get a couple of good geothermal plants in the area!

    Cleanest and cheapest energy yet! Not to mention that the ring of fire makes it an ideal location for such venture.

    Its seems to me a that even with enough infrastructure to support the current and future demands the gangsters out there looking for a way to make extra money can always find a way, even by providing good service.

    This easily solves many problems:

    1- Increased opportunity for development
    2- Stops Indonesia from being dependent to oil, exporting what little they can produce. (Cash!)
    3- Good for environment, less carbon tax (if actually applied)
    4- Good image given by Indonesia to the rest of the world.
    5- increased profits from cheap electricity goes to the pockets of the greedy and everyone is happy!!

  12. deta says:

    Nice one, Daavok

    With so many natural resources owned by Indonesia, this country shouldn’t have a strong reliance on unrenewable energy imported from foreign countries. Gasoline can be replaced by biofuel and biomass gassification, electricity can be obtained from geothermal, hydropower (large scale and small scale) or windpower. However, this isn’t probably put as a priority by Indonesian Government since the utilization of these technologies will cause some income reduction for the people who have been benefited by this reliance for quite long time.

    Regarding the geothermal plants, apparently they require a huge investment to build. Maybe this is also one reason why Indonesian government doesn’t full heartedly developing ones. Considering the large investment cost and a long period to return, while they only serve for a period of 5 years, it is probably not them, but the new officials who will enjoy the result.

    Just a simple thought from a simple (a little bit suspicious) mind.

  13. Daavok says:

    Indeedio, they do require a large investment but much less than other energy installation (more or less $6000 per kW)

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