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Dahlan Iskan declared as a suspect over electricity procurement case

JAKARTA ( Dahlan Iskan, former state enterprise minister and former state utility PT PLN president director, has been declared as a suspect over alleged breaching procedures on procurement of goods and services that have caused losses to the State.

Dahlan is the third minister under former Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) government who had been declared as suspect. Earlier, former minister for religious affair Suryadharma Ali and former energy and mineral resources minister Jero Wacik have also been declared as suspects for their implications in corruption cases.

He was declared as a suspect last Friday (June 5) by the DKI Jakarta State Prosecutor. His status changed from a witness to a suspect after he was questioned for 9 hours. He was allegedly implicated in a corruption case related with the procurement of 21 electrical susbstation worth Rp 1 trillion that were paid from 2011-2013 State Budget.

The substations were aimed to support PLN’s operations in Java, Bali and Nusa Tenggara region.

A number of executives of companies awarded with the project have been also declared as a suspect. They are accused to have breached the article 11, verse 1 of the President Regulation (Perpres) No. 54, Year 2010 on the duties of government bureaucrats.

Based on the regulation, the payment should have been paid in accordance with the progress of the project. However, in reality, the payment has been made, but the projects showed no progress. Media reports have said some projects were yet to be realized, among others due to land clearing problem.

Dahlan Iskan said he will look closely again about the projects that have signed as the case happened before he was appointed as the State Enterprise Minister.

Adi Toegarisman was quoted by Tempo as saying that the case should be viewed through a comprehensive perspective. The heart of the case is that the projects were categorized as multi-years project and the payments should have been made in stages in accordance with the progress of the projects, which was not the case.

He said seven out of 21 electricity projects have yet to be started, five have been completed while others encountered problems in midway. The Supreme Audit Board (BPK) is currently assessing the amount of losses suffered by the State.

The State Prosecutor’s decision has triggered sympathy from Dahlan Iskan’s colleagues, friends and supporters. They argued that the decision was based on weak and vague evidences.

Dahlan Iskan is the owner of Jawa Pos group, a largest media group based in Surabaya, East Java. Dahlan Iskan said he has asked apology from his wife as his wife opposed his decision to accept the appointment as PLN CEO and minister. (*)

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