Markus Junianto Sihaloho
House speaker Marzuki Alie said on Friday that it was premature to create a special team to investigate the Hambalang sports center project’s budget agreement, because it is still unclear who oversaw the process.
Marzuki said the details of Hambalang’s budget discussion should be thoroughly examined before a formal investigation is launched. Some members of House Commission X — which oversees sport affairs — recently said they never discussed or approved the Rp 1.2 trillion ($127 million) budget for Hambalang, a critical detail that Marzuki wants answered before any other action is taken.
“Let’s open the [budget’s] documents to see whether it was discussed by House Commission X” urged Marzuki, who is from the Democratic Party. “Is it true that the decision was solely taken by the leader of the Budget Committee? Let’s answer that first.”
Marzuki suggested that lawmakers might have forgotten discussing Hambalang, and should therefore review the files.
“Sometimes, because of their work load, [they] don’t listen to the discussions or notice when it was decided,” Marzuki said, smiling. “Stop accusing each other before opening the meeting documents over Hambalang. If they can’t find it, then it’s a problem. But if files exist, later they will be ashamed.”
House Commission III member Bambang Soesatyo from the Golkar party has called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Marzuki to establish a team to investigate the graft-tainted Hambalang project budget.
Hambalang came under the spotlight after graft convict Muhammad Nazaruddin said that both Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum and Youth and Sport Affairs Minister Andi Mallarangeng (who is also from the Democratic Party) accepted bribes for the project.
What’s more, two buildings of the unfinished project recently collapsed.
Bambang said that the case should be scrutinized carefully because the alleged crime involves many parties, including top officials of the ministry.