Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sri Mulyani, the Finance Minister

The Special Committee of the Parliament (DPR) has been inquiring officials allegedly involved in the flow of tax payers' money amounting to Rp 6.7 Trillion for bailing out Bank Century.

The officials include current Vice President, and former governor of Bank Indonesia (central bank) Boediono, former Vice President Jusuf Kalla and current Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani.

Compared to the others, Sri Mulyani's appearance is much better, she answered questions calmly, to the point and often smiling. Here is an article about her in Kompas.


Sri Mulyani, Two Thumbs up yet Rebuked

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com — The inquiry committee investigating Century Bank is satisfied with Sri Mulyani's answers, however one of her remarks later provoked sharp criticism. Sri Mulyani, also called Mbak Ani, who is the former chief of the Committee for Financial Sector Stability, had her hearing before the committee, Wednesday, House of Rep. building, Jakarta.

"Although there's still much difference in diametral view, I appreciate Sri Mulyani. She was outspoken with good articulation," said inquiry member Hendrawan Supratikno from PDI-P fraction, for example he also mentioned the time when Sri Mulyani answered about the legal premise of the Coordinating Committee's existence.

Another inquiry committee member from PDI-P, Ganjar Pranowo, even said that Sri Mulyani, the finance minister, had been more prepared to face the inquiry committee compared to the former Bank Indonesia (BI) governor, Boediono, who is now VP.

"No answer was misdirecting. Overall, our colleagues aren't too tense. She didn't answer like Boediono or the others from BI."

Bailout benefitted the people?

However, when Sri Mulyani mentioned during her hearing that the Century Bank bailout disbursement, worth Rp. 6.7 trillion, benefitted the people, inquiry committee member Gayus Lumbuun from PDI-P fraction immediately criticized her.

"The Rp. 6.7 trillion bailout benefitted only a few. Ironically the money came from the people," declared Gayus, Wednesday.

Furthermore, Gayus continued, the indicators used to support Sri Mulyani's statement were the value of rupiah, the capital market, and BI's interest rate. "Is this empiric reality or just imagination? Didn't you read the suicide news because somebody didn't believe in the saving refund?"

Gayus added that Sri Mulyani's statement was very disturbing. Especially if considering the amount of money that has been disbursed. Unfortunately, Sri Mulyani didn't rise to answer this statement
.

8 comments:

ALRIS said...

SM emang jempolan....
Salam kenal.

H. Nizam said...

Alris,

Salam kenal kembali, terima kasih atas kunjungan & komentarnya.

colson said...

Part of a parliament's duty is to hold accountable and investigate the political responsibility of those who decide about huge and complicated cases like the "Century Bank bailout" obviously is. It is good news that Sri Mulyani seem to have passed the test - more or less.

But I can't deny I've got some doubts here. About what is really going on.

I'm not convinced each and every MP is spotless, blameless. Some even may have an vested interest in corruption. They may want to undermine a president, a government, which has been cleaning the country - up to some extent- of corruption during the previous term in office.

Parliament's track record at least is less positive than SBY's, Boediono's or Sri's. For some MPs the president's previous term caused them a rough time. Several of them got even proesecuted.

Here (http://perspektif.net/english/article.php?article_id=1246)is another who has doubts. Well, he even seem to notice some conspiracy. Wimar Witoelar argues the real culprits are in Parliament:"Century and Bumi cases: Who is the slayer, who the victim?".

I'm afraid the commission is playing dangerous games.

H. Nizam said...

Colson,

Both the government and the parliament cannot be regarded as clean in the Bank Century bail out.

Sri Mulyani said that she only agreed of Rp 320 Billion, blamed Boediono for the drastic increase to Rp 6.7 Trillion, and decrease in the bank's CAR.

On the other hand, many members of parliament have doubtful background. There has been allegations that even the Head of
Special Commission (from Golkar) has a questionable background.

Wimar Witoelar's doubts are also shared by so many others i.e. the present Bank Century inquiry originated from the feud between Sri Mulyani and Golkar's Chief Aburizal Bakrie.

In order to expedite the fact finding process, the best thing to do would be : SBY clarify the matters, and bring anyone wrong to justice.

colson said...

@ Harry: I get uneasy about the matter when I read that Mafud MD - Constitutional Court- accuses MPs of treating testifying persons ( a.o. Boediono) like defendants. He refers to ethics, but to me that's just not the way a parliamentary investigation should be conducted - it's not a trial.

H. Nizam said...

Colson,

The MPs' method of questioning is like harsh interrogation, thus worst than court trial.

The problem is that they do not feel that way. Some members of the special committee have been recalled by their parties which are members of the coalition.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

As long as the outcome is just and legal, then your court system will manage a good outcome. I know nothing of the situation.

H. Nizam said...

Kiwi Riverman,

You are right, what is needed here is a just and legal outcome of the process in parliament.