Joko’s Metallica Bass Guitar Declared State Property

Heru Budi Hartono holds a bass guitar signed by Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo owned by Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo on Monday, May 6, 2013. (JG Photo/Afriadi Hikmal)

Heru Budi Hartono holds a bass guitar signed by Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo owned by Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo on Monday, May 6, 2013. (JG Photo/Afriadi Hikmal)

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has decided that a bass guitar gifted to Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo from the metal band Metallica is state property, an official said on Tuesday.

Giri Supradiyono, a KPK director, said the maroon Ibanez bass from musician Robert Trujillo has the potential to create a conflict of interest because the gift was related to Joko’s role as a governor.

“The gift was given by Jonathan Liu as the concert promoter. He had the idea to ask his friend to get signed bass [from Metallica]. So the bass was requested to be signed,” Giri said at City Hall.

Giri said the guitar was declared state property because it exceeded the Rp 300,000 limit for gifts and there was a mysterious note on the guitar, separate from Trujillo’s message that said: “To Jokowi, keep playing that cool, funky bass.” Jokowi is the governor’s nickname.

“Because there is [a note on the guitar that reads] ‘Giving Back,’ which has different handwriting than Trujillo’s [note]. There is someone else who added it. In Indonesian, the words could have a meaning of asking for something in return,” Giri said, adding that Joko can keep the photo of Trujillo playing the bass.

Giri said that the KPK was deciding between two options of what to do with the bass. One proposal is to move it to a museum, while the other option is auctioning the bass through the Ministry of Finance.

“Jokowi can have it again but with a higher price [if he buys it at the auction],” he said.

Joko, an avid heavy metal music fan, surrendered the signed bass guitar to KPK in early May after the antigraft body saw the governor proudly showing the gift off in Indonesian media.

All public officials are required to report the receipt of gifts to the antigraft commission within 30 days

  • Dewi Thompson

    Where does it go after the State takes charge of it?

    • 22Trools

      It is auctioned … thus demonstrating that honesty in Indonesia does not pay

      • Dewi Thompson

        Really where and how do the normal public find out about these auctions, are thye opened to the public or just kept among the high placed govt. officials?

        • Muffinman

          Good question. Auctioned by the Ministry of Finance. That’s a good one ! I wonder what else they might have for auction ?

  • PakLe

    that’s just mean, KPK! Let him have his guitar, and go and do some more important work.

    • Dewi Thompson

      Pak it was not meant to be in reference to Jokowi, I was referencing all of the other govt officials that do not report these so called “cash” gifts of appreciation. Please, I support Jokowi stronger than anyone but he is fighting against a powerful machine and he is messing with their corrupt rice bowl.

    • Foreskin_Man

      I dont think this is unimportant. Gifts are so widespread, how many times have you heard this like, ‘this is not corruption, we only gave him this money to appreciate how he was handeling the case’… You need some clear rules and receiving gifts for things you do in official capacity is just not ok. The guitar is harmless of course, but clear examples must be made. I belive Joko will understand their decision.

      • PakLe

        yeah i agree it’s a very important issue. But in this case the KPK are being silly. They should have publicly commended Jokowi for being a pioneer and actually declaring a gift and setting a good example, then give the bloody thing back to him.

  • Dewi Thompson

    “All public officials are required to report the receipt of gifts to the antigraft commission within 30 days”

    So have any corrupt individuals in the govt. ever been charge for recieving gifts and not reporting them?

    • roy

      Delinquency you are mentioning is gratification, Mrs.Dewi. Of course many defen dants have been convicted due to such crime, but surely it is still a few compared to those who is beyond supervision

  • Rahadian

    Why dont you give it to Dewa Budjana? He have a plan to open a guitar museum in Bali.

  • Roland

    “…there is a note on the guitar that reads ‘Giving Back!’ … In Indonesian, the words could have a meaning of asking for something in return,”

    Ah, those unwritten Indonesian “social norms” and the purposeful mistranslation(!!!) and misunderstanding of this simple quote.

    But then again – good on Jokowi
    a) he can keep the picture and
    b) someone of his political rivals would have surely used an unreported possession of the guitar against Jokowi.

    Where will it end up? I wonder…

    Maybe in SBY’s shrine of things he “acquired” during his presidency, e.g. a bathmat from the Queen, certain h.c. doctorates, etc…

    • Dewi Thompson

      An award from a Jewish foundation…

  • sheldon archer

    Yes the KPK can now drop all their other investigations and concentrate of this very important case. Better arrest Joko for not declaring the gift

    • devine

      He did declare it…

  • Larry Tan

    OMG, they have to resort to this to get back at Jokowi. Ridiculous!

  • Dwiyanto Cheung

    Imagine someone rich enough buying a precious guitar with Jokowi’s name on it. What a shameful thing to do if he would not give the guitar back to Jokowi.

  • DYD

    “GIVEN” … not “GIFTED” … please go back to school and study proper english

    • Comello

      Although I’d be the first to complain about the sometimes bad English in this newspaper, ‘gifted’ is correct – maybe not very colloquial, but correct nevertheless.

      • PakLe

        Not sure Comello. “gifted” is an adjective – (a gifted musician), i think in this case it’s another case of the recent, irritating ‘trend’ of making nouns into verbs. ‘verbing’ i think it’s called. Part of the natural evolution of language, maybe. Irritating for purists, definitely!

        • vonbraun

          Kind of like sentence fragments, definitely!

  • Rob

    I believe KPK has their strong reason to do this, as they are trusted law enforcement agency. Its great example and role model that every government officials must report any gift to the commission. Great job KPK! ..and great heart of Jokowi! … Go a head Metallica… a pitty of Jonathan liu who made Jokowi in trouble…

  • Tatanka

    This is the CORRECT decision. Government officials in other countries must disclose the gifts they receive regardless of the source. Any gifts with market value higher than the set policy must be turned over to the government. Otherwise, it is a slippery slope. This rule also applies to president SBY and ALL government officials, including concert tickets, airline tickets, paid vacation vouchers, etc.

  • Wong Edan

    Can anybody buy it, or are there strings attached?

  • Dewi Thompson

    Come on Trolls out with the info, you got an inside track with your BIL’s info but where is it really advertised?

  • EuanMie

    Well Mr Trujillo’s bass has now gained a value far greater than its mere material worth and has come to symbolise the struggle for clean government. Thus maybe it really will be in the national museum one day. This was the right decision and I’m sure Jokowi agrees with it.

  • GypsyMacaque

    A value exceeding 300.000 Idr will be declared state property. What about 300.000.000 (Three hundred million) United States Dollar , a gift from a corporation to a politician? No-string-attached.