News / Asia

    Indonesian Minister Resigns Amid Corruption Charges

    Indonesian Sports and Youth Minister Andi Alfian Mallarangeng is mobbed by the press after announcing his resignation in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec. 7, 2012.
    Indonesian Sports and Youth Minister Andi Alfian Mallarangeng is mobbed by the press after announcing his resignation in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec. 7, 2012.
    Kate Lamb
    Seeing the wealthy and influential squirm in court is now a weekly front-page affair for Indonesians. But Friday marks the first time an active cabinet minister has been named a suspect by the country’s anti-graft body, or KPK.
     
    Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng will face charges of graft for his role in a multimillion dollar sports project.
     
    Mallarangeng oversaw the construction of the sports facility in West Java, which is believed to have cost the state $25 million in losses. A government audit identified numerous irregularities and violations.
     
    On Friday, he announced his resignation from the Cabinet, and the board of the Democrat Party. Mallarangeng, who is also under a travel ban, said he could not work effectively as a minister while facing the legal proceedings. Maintaining his innocence, the minister said he hopes that justice will prevail.
     
    Facing repeated attacks to its authority from the national police, and occasionally the parliament, the case is a win for the KPK.
     
    But former KPK deputy head Erry Hardjapamekas said the case against the minister is not a sign the anti-graft body is more emboldened. More importantly, he said, the case could point to a changing culture of accountability - one where politicians act honorably in shameful circumstances.
     
    “Usually they [politicians] are always denying, 'I am not a corrupter, I am only doing my job,' all the excuses. But in this case Andi stands up and says, 'OK, I am a suspect and I will resign from my position and I will focus on the legal process.' I think this could be a good new habit or culture," Hardjapamekas said.
     
    In the lead up to the 2014 election, the integrity of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democrat Party has been hard hit. Mallarangeng is the third party member to face a court in connection with the sports facility project.
     
    Former party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin is serving a four-year jail term for his involvement. His deputy, Angelina Sondakh, is currently in court.
    Mallarangeng could face 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges.
     
    Transparency International says Indonesia is in the bottom third of its Corruption Index, among the most corrupt nations.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora