Former vice president and current candidate for the same office Jusuf Kalla was grilled at the Anti-corruption Court in Jakarta on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 on how money was spent in the hosting of international conferences held in Bali in 2004 and 2005.
Claiming the situation at the time was considered “an emergency,” Kalla told the Court that President Megawati Soekarnoputri had ordered him to garner as many international conferences as possible for Bali to restore the Island’s tourism industry after two terrorist bombing.
The anti-corruption court is questioning if proper protocols and procedures for appointing an event organizer were followed by the Department of Foreign Affairs for the many events diverted to Bali as part of the recovery plan.
Kalla, testifying at the corruption trial of the Foreign Ministry’s former secretary general Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat, told the Court: “In my opinion, the conferences as stated under Presidential Instruction No.80/2003 [which stipulate matters related to the procurement of goods and services] can be done by direct appointment and that there is no need for a tender.”
According to The Jakarta Globe, Kalla did not answer when asked if the direct appointment of event organizers was done on presidential instructions. He merely explained that the president had ordered that as many conferences as possible be held in Bali.
Following the Bali bombing of 2002 daily arrivals of foreign tourists dropped from 5,500 per day to just 1,000.
In response the Indonesian government undertook a program to encourage domestic tourism and international conferences in Bali. The program started in 2002 continued after the Aceh tsunami disaster of December 2004 and the second Bali bombing of 2005.
Kalla told the judge that the appointment of event organizers was a technical matter and “he did not deal with technical matters.”
At the time, Kalla was Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for the People’s Welfare prior to his election as vice-president from 2004-2009 under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Sudjadnan could be sent to prison for 20 years if found guilty of corruption in the administration of 12 international conferences held in Bali that caused losses to the state of an estimated US$924,000.
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