Markus Junianto Sihaloho
A Golkar Party legislator who has admitted to corruption in a Koran procurement project has not resigned from the party despite earlier claims that he had done so, a party official said on Friday.
Setya Novanto, the chairman of the party at the House of Representatives, said that the legislator in question, Zulkarnaen Djabar, had so far only submitted his resignation from the House Budget Committee. “He hasn’t resigned from the party,” he said at a news conference in Jakarta.
He did not rule out the possibility of Zulkarnaen tendering his resignation from the party at a later date.
“He will make it known himself whether he plans to resign,” Setya said.
His statement came a day after he insisted that the legislator had already submitted letters of resignation to both Golkar and the House. “Of course Zulkarnaen has already met with party leaders and left the party,” he said on Wednesday.
Zulkarnaen, who served on House Commission VIII, which oversees religious affairs, was last month named a suspect for alleged bid-rigging in a project to procure Korans for the Religious Affairs Ministry.
Another suspect is his son, Dendy Prasetya, the director of the company awarded the Rp 20 billion ($2.1 million) Koran procurement contract. Both allegedly received a total of Rp 4 billion in bribes from the projects. Both father and son are also leading members of the Mutual Assistance Families Society (MKGR), one of Golkar’s three core organizations.
The case has unveiled a rift between Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali and his deputy, Nasaruddin Umar, with the latter publicly calling for the minister to be held accountable for the case.
Speculation has arisen that the spat between Suryadharma, from the United Development Party (PPP), and Nasaruddin, reportedly a Golkar member, stems from a rivalry over which party should receive a cut of the lucrative projects administered by the ministry.