Major (ret) Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono and his running mate Sylviana Murni have been confronted with case after case. Lately, Sylviana Murni has had to face an allegation of corruption related to the construction of a mosque back that took place when she was the Mayor of Central Jakarta. Will more cases come to surface leading to the gubernatorial election day on February 15? Would these cases affect their electability?
Al Fauz Mosque Graft Case
There has been allegations that the construction of the Al Fauz Mosque in the Central Jakarta municipality office was botched. The case is currently being investigated by the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Division (Bareskrim POLRI). At the time of the construction of said mosque, Sylviana Murni was the mayor of Central Jakarta (2008-2010) under the then Governor of Jakarta Fauzi “Foke” Bowo.
The construction of said mosque consumed Rp27 billion from the regional budget (APBD) of Jakarta. Construction was completed on January 30, 2011, and Foke himself officiated the opening of the mosque.
The Bareskrim have so far have examined more than 20 people as witnesses in this case. One of said witnesses is Saefullah, who is Sylvi’s successor as mayor of Central Jakarta (2010-2014) and now the regional secretary of the Jakarta Special Region Administration. Talking to the press after a 3.5-hour questioning session at Bareskrim, Saefullah said that the construction of the mosque had begun during the tenure of Sylvi’s predecessor Muhayat, who was Mayor for the 2004-2008 term. Saefullah revealed that the Jakarta administration allocated a budget of Rp27 billion back in 2010 when Sylvi was mayor for the construction of the mosque.
But Saefullah seemed to defend Sylvi by saying that the contract of the project was not signed by Sylvi but her deputy Rospen Sitinjak because Sylvi was on leave to attend a training at the National Resillience Institute (Lemhanas). Sylvi herself confirmed that she was on training when the contract was signed by her deputy.
That said, the Chief of the Bareskrim POLRI Comr. Gen. Ari Dono Sukmanto recently stated firmly that the Bareskrim would summon and examine all of related parties to the case, including Sylviana Murni. Ari, however, has not yet revealed when the Bareskrim would summon Sylvi for questioning.
Other than the alleged corruption case mentioned, there’s the investigation into the treasonous plot. The Agus-Sylvi pair is somehow linked to this case. As we all know, the Jakarta Metropolitan Police is investigating the case, and one of the witnesses they’ve examined is Gde Sardjana, the husband of Sylviana Murni. Gde Sardjana was questioned on December 30, 2016. The Jakarta Metropolitan Police found out that Gde Sardjana had transfered Rp35 million to Jamran, one of the 11 individuals suspected of plotting treason. Said cash, according to the Spokesperson of the Jakarta Metropolitan Police Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono, was delivered to Jamran in three instalments over the course of November 2016. Argo, moreover, said that Jamran was a member of Agus-Sylvi’s campaign team. Argo said that Gde had admitted to transferring the money to Jamran. But Gde denied the accusation that the money he supplied was meant for plotting treason. Gde argued that the money he gave to Jamran was for paying the latter’s wife’s childbirth.
The Police’s investigation into the aforementioned cases may affect Agus-Sylvi’s electability and eventually the outcome of Jakarta’s 2017 gubernatorial election. We are all interested in seeing the development. We also wonder whether there will be other cases implicating the Agus-Sylvi pair. Agus’ name, for example, was once mentioned in a bribery case involving the former Head of the SKKMigas Rudi Rubiandini and Kernel Oil Pte Ltd (KOPL). Back on September 30, 2013, as reported by Tribunnews, the KPK summoned Ari Kusbiantoro, a commissioner at Kernel Oil for examination session. Ari is known as Agus’ close friend since their years at Taruna Nusantara High School.
Agus (and his family) was also under the spotlight following the leaked 2011 tax document of the First family—at the time, Agus’ father Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) was the President of the Republic. The public questioned the discrepancy between SBY family’s wealth reported in the 2011 tax document and their income. For example, in said 2011 tax document, Agus reported that he had savings of Rp1.6 billion but the sum came from unclear source(s) of income. As a military officer of the rank of Mayor, Agus’ gross income would be Rp5.85 million per month or Rp70.2 million per annum.
Furthermore, talking about Agus, we’re mainly talking about SBY, and the many graft scandals such as Hambalang and Bank Century bailout scandals implicating those inside SBY’s inner circle, including his youngest son Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono aka Ibas and Ibas’ father-in-law Hatta Rajasa. All of these cases may also affect how to voters perceive Agus. And whatever the ending may be of the investigation into the cases implicating Agus, Sylvi, their family, and their inner circle, the supporters of incumbent Ahok-Djarot as well as Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Uno would use these cases to box in Agus-Sylvi because the pair now appears to be the strongest contender based on various polling. Lately, the LSI of Denny JA released their polling results that once more put Agus-Sylvi at the top with 36.7% electability, while Ahok-Djarot and Anies-Sandi at 32.6% and 21.4% respectively. But many doubted the credibility of the LSI Denny JA as people suspect that they’re supporting Agus-Sylvi.
Having said that, the incumbent himself is now facing trial for blasphemy allegation. And there are a number of corruption allegations that implicating Sandiaga Uno. Each pair have their own baggage. The question is which one have more weight to drag them down and lose the race.
By Haryanto Suharman
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