Rizky Amelia & Ezra Sihite
Democratic Party chair Anas Urbaningrum arrived at the Corruption Eradication Commission’s (KPK) office Wednesday morning to answer questions about his alleged involvement in the graft-ridden Hambalang sports complex project.
Senior members of the Democratic Party accompanied Anas to the hearing, including secretary general Saan Mustopa, House Commission III chairman Gede Pasek, communication division chief Andi Nurpati and legal and advocacy division head Denny Kailimang. Members of the Democratic Party Youth Front welcomed the party chief as he walked into the KPK’s headquarters.
“I’m grateful to be here at the KPK office to fulfill the [KPK’s] request to testify,” he said. “The [KPK’s] request letter only asked me to clarify or explain the allegations of graft in the Hambalang case.”
Anas said that he welcomed the chance to explain himself.
“If I was not asked for an explanation, people might be left with the wrong idea,” Anas said.
Graft convict Muhammad Nazaruddin accused Anas of receiving Rp 100 billion ($10.6 million) in bribes from construction company Adhi Karya to secure the builder’s bid for the Hambalang project. Nazaruddin claimed that Anas used the money to fund his successful campaign to become chairman of the Democratic Party.
Saan said Wednesday’s show of support illustrated the strength of the party.
“These [Democratic Party members] spontaneously decided to accompany Anas,” Saan said. “The solidarity among party board members is high.”
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recently asked corrupt party members to step down from their posts, explaining that a series of high-profile graft cases have tarnished the party’s image.
Ruhut Sitompul, a senior member of the Democratic Party who said the president’s statement was directed at Anas, told the party chair to cooperate with KPK investigators.
“Anas should cooperate with the KPK to improve the party’s image,” Ruhut said, adding that Anas should heed Yudhoyono’s words and abide by the law.
“I’ll pray that the storm will over soon,” he said.