Civil Society Coalition Reports Alleged Maladministration by the Ministry of Defense
The Civil Society Coalition for Security Reform reported the Minister of Defense to the Ombudsman. The Deputy Minister of Defense denied this.
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The following article was translated using both Microsoft Azure Open AI and Google Translation AI. The original article can be found in Koalisi Masyarakat Sipil Laporkan Dugaan Malaadministrasi oleh Kemenhan
JAKARTA, KOMPAS — Civil Society Coalition for Security Reform, Monday (12/2/2024), reported the Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto or Ministry of Defense to the Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia regarding alleged maladministration of the direct appointment of PT Teknologi Military Indonesia by the Ministry of Defense in terms of procurement of equipment main weapons systems or alutsista.
The defense equipment in question is the purchase of the Mirage 2000-5 aircraft. When reporting to the Ombudsman, the civil society coalition represented by Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW), the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI), and Imparsial, highlighted the direct appointment of PT TMI. The appointment is considered an administrative record and they want the Ombudsman to investigate it. PT TMI, according to the coalition, is still a matter of controversy over whether it is a state-owned company or a private company.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Defense Muhammad Herindra dismisses the emergence of misleading information about allegations of corruption practices in the process of purchasing Mirage 2000-5 and now another information is circulating that accuses PT TMI behind the purchase of defense equipment. Herindra asserts that such information is false, slanderous, and a hoax.
Find the appointment letter
Furthermore, Agus Sunaryanto from ICW said that procurement of defense equipment should go through the Defense Industrial Policy Committee (KKIP) to determine which defense equipment can be purchased by the Ministry of Defense (Kemenhan). "But this is a bypass through the appointment of PT TMI. "This is what we suspect is a potential conflict of interest," said Agus.
When reporting to the Ombudsman, the coalition attached several documents as initial materials, including a letter issued directly by the Minister of Defense regarding the direct appointment to PT TMI and the shareholders of PT TMI. In the report, they also mentioned the contents of a conversation circulating in the public about the alleged involvement of the Minister of Defense and a third party in the procurement of defense equipment abroad.
"But this is bypassthrough the appointment of PT TMI. "This is what we suspect is a potential conflict of interest."
So far, Agus has explained that according to the Ministry of Defense spokesperson, the purchase of the aircraft is pending due to the circulating issue of high prices. The value of the aircraft purchase is more than Rp 1,700 trillion for procurement until 2044.
Gina Sabrina, the Secretary of the National Executive Board of PBHI, stated that the Coalition had found a letter issued in 2020 addressed to Russia and signed by Prabowo directly appointing PT TMI for the procurement of weaponry systems. However, according to the provisions of the legislation, the domestic production of weaponry systems is prioritized.
Instead of proposing to the KKIP, the Minister of Defense directly appointed PT PMI as the third party for the procurement of defense equipment.
When domestic production is unable to meet the demand, it must go through a procedure, namely the proposal process to the KKIP. However, in this case, it did not happen. "Instead of proposing to the KKIP, the Minister of Defense directly appointed PT PMI as a third party for the procurement of defense equipment," he said.
Agus added, what the coalition is doing now is seeking clarity, both in terms of administrative procedures and implementation. Based on some information circulating, there is a conflict of interest where people who sit on PT PMI have political party affiliations and friendships with the Minister of Defense.
"In my opinion, this can be used as an entry point to transparently investigate and uncover what actually happened in the procurement of defense equipment and systems. This is part of the effort that we are pushing," he said.
"In my opinion, this can be used as an entry point to transparently investigate and uncover what really happened in the procurement of military equipment. This is part of the efforts that we are promoting."
According to Agus, his party also plans to report this issue to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) because of circulating information that there is a potential gratuity received by state officials. However, they will see the development tomorrow whether to report this to the KPK because they want to corroborate it first.
Mentioned about why the report was made only two days before the election in which the Minister of Defense became one of the candidates, Husein Ahmad, a researcher from Imparsial, said that civil society movements had been formed for a long time. This is part of the process of civil society supervision towards the Ministry of Defense regarding several issues.
"This is not part of any particular political movement. However, it is indeed part of a series of actions we have been carrying out for some time now and coincidentally, the documents are complete today so we have submitted them to the ombudsman. So, it has no relation to tomorrow's presidential election or whether there will be an election or not, we will still do this," said Husein.
The Ministry of Defense denied it
Deputy Minister of Defense Muhammad Herindra stated that in recent days there has been misleading information about allegations of corruption during the process of purchasing Mirage 2000-5. In addition, there is also information circulating that accuses PT TMI of being behind the purchase of military equipment. However, this information is deemed to be untrue, as well as being misleading, slanderous, and a hoax.
If this continues to be developed, such misleading information can weaken the Ministry of Defense's efforts in designing Indonesia's defense power system. The agency also requests the cessation of spreading false information, defamation, and hoaxes. Please note that there are no forbidden words in the original text of this article.
"False information is often developed by certain parties during the procurement of defense equipment process. We, at the Ministry of Defense, deplore such defamation and weakening. We call upon all parties not to sacrifice the national interest for the sake of short-term political interests," said Herindra, accompanied by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense, Air Marshal Donny Ermawan Taufano, and the Spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense, Dahnil Azhar Simanjuntak, as well as the legal representative of the Ministry of Defense, Hotman Paris Hutapea.
Has not happened
Factually, Herinda provided a clarification that the plan to purchase Mirage 2000-5 has not happened due to fiscal space limitations. However, the Ministry of Defense remains focused on trying to find the best fighter aircraft to safeguard Indonesia's airspace, including the gradual purchase of Rafale Dassault from France.
Regarding PT TMI, he stated that there is currently no contract for defense procurement between the Ministry of Defense and PT TMI. Regarding all hoaxes and slanderous information that undermine Indonesia's defense efforts and harm the Ministry of Defense, the dissemination of such information through social media and online platforms with unfounded accusations will result in legal action taken by the Ministry of Defense against the spread of such slander and hoaxes.
"This is something that does not exist, then it is spread as if it exists."
When asked to explain the chronology and facts by Hotman Paris, Dahnil Anzar said that there was no purchase of Mirage 2000-5 aircraft. The contract was already canceled due to ineffectiveness, the terms were not met due to fiscal limitations. Therefore, there could not have been a bribe because there was no transaction.
Mirage's contract with Qatar signed on January 31 2023 will be canceled in mid-2023. During the contract, no money will leave Indonesia. Because there was no purchase, according to Dahnil, it does not make sense if the Ministry of Defense/Ministry of Defense is associated with bribes or receiving bribes or commitments of fees. "This is something that doesn't exist, then spreads as if it does," he said.
Regarding PT TMI, Dahnil explained that TMI never made a contract with the Ministry of Defense. Therefore, there were no transactions and no involvement in buying and selling with the Ministry of Defense. Even if there was TMI, it was related to a group of experts who helped oversee the quality of defense equipment or goods held by the Ministry of Defense.
Hotman Paris Hutapea reaffirmed that the contract between Indonesia and Qatar is a conditional contract. If the conditions are not met, the purchase will not proceed. Therefore, the information that is circulating is a hoax. The agreement between the Indonesian Government and the Qatari Government was signed on January 31, 2023, and canceled in June-July 2023.
”The contract was never effective, yes, it finally ended. The contract was never effective because the conditions were not met, including that we did not have the funds. If the funds don't go down, who wants to donatethe funds. "Yes, it is impossible for Ministry of Defense officials to pay for the bribes, while the funds from the state treasury have not decreased," he said.
Similarly, the viral video titled "Allegations of Mirage 2000-5 Aircraft Bribery Involving Ministry of Defense Officials and Eva Kaili" is a defamation because there is no buying or selling involved. "If there is no buying or selling then there is no bribery. This is completely false," he said.
Eva, who was involved in a scandal in the European Union, has been imprisoned since mid-2022. Meanwhile, the Mirage 2000-5 contract is due to expire in late January 2023. The two are not related and there is no communication between them.
Regarding the foreign language website that is suspected to be the primary source of the alleged bribery information circulating, Hotman stated that such a site could be created by Indonesians. "Foreigners definitely use logic. Where is the bribery if there is no selling and buying? So that site was ordered using a foreign account to make it look true," he said.
Regarding the video, Horman also explained that the video circulated using the logo of the National Committee for Women's Democrats (DPP NCW). This is the same group that previously made allegations of money laundering against celebrity Raffi Ahmad some time ago, which until now cannot be proven. "And behind it is the chairman with the initial H speaking using a closing statement," he said.
Regarding the legal efforts that will be pursued by the Ministry of Defense, Hotman said it will be considered. There are two relevant articles, namely Article 27 Paragraph 3 of the Information and Electronic Transactions Law regarding defamation and Article 28 on spreading false news. "But that decision will be made later. I haven't received any instructions," he said.