Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 06:12
AsiaViews, Edition: 20/VI/June/2009
THE large house surrounded by a red-brick wall appears grandiose standing among the Hambalang Hills in Bojong Koneng village, Babakan Madang subdistrict, Bogor. Built on 4.8 hectares of land, attached to the vast bungalow-style house are a number of stables filled with dozens of horses. Alongside it is a circular horse training arena surfaced with white sand.
Although its location is somewhat remote, one hour’s journey from the Sentul toll road gate in the direction of Babakan Madang, the house is closely guarded. Two guard posts flank the front and rear sides. Not overlooked, security cameras are installed on several corners. Guards patrol the vicinity accompanied by dogs.
In mid-May this year, four officials from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) visited the property to review the wealth of the master of the house: the vice-presidential candidate from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), Lt. Gen. (ret) Prabowo Subianto. Speaking with KPK officials, Prabowo admitted to owning assets valued at more than Rp1.7 trillion. He is the wealthiest candidate taking part in the presidential elections this year.
“That’s the way it is being active in business affairs, some days it can be good, and the next day not so good,” said Prabowo explaining the sudden increase in his wealth. In 2004, he reported his wealth as being valued at around Rp10 billion. Unfortunately, on that day Prabowo was reluctant to open his home to journalists. “You can’t look around right now, it’s still a mess,” he told several journalists who asked permission to come in following the KPK examination. Prabowo did indeed only move into the Hambalang villa three months ago and renovations have only just been completed.
The complete results of the KPK’s investigation into the presidential and vice-presidential candidates’ wealth were then announced by the General Elections Commission (KPU) two weeks later, in late May. Below Prabowo, was Golkar Party presidential candidate Jusuf Kalla (Rp314 billion), followed by PDI-P presidential candidate Megawati (Rp256.4 billion), then General (ret) Wiranto (Rp84 billion) and former Bank Indonesia Governor Boediono (Rp22 billion). In last place was Democrat Party presidential candidate Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), whose total wealth is valued at Rp9.3 billion (Rp6.8 billion plus US$246,000).
After being verified, the value of Prabowo’s wealth dropped by around Rp200 billion to Rp1.57 trillion. “The decline was because there were some fixed deposits that had only recently been liquidated,” said the KPK’s Director for Wealth Reporting and Monitoring, Muhammad Sigit.
The villa located in the Hambalang hills plus a house on Jl. Kertanegara No 4 in the Kebayoran Baru area of South Jakarta owned by Prabowo are valued at Rp24.1 billion. Another house used by Prabowo when he cast his vote in the April 9 legislative elections in the Kemang area of South Jakarta was not reported. “That is his younger brother’s house, Hashim Djojohadikusumo,” said Gerindra Secretary-General Ahmad Muzani when sought for confirmation. “Pak Prabowo does indeed have an identification card with an address there,” he added.
Aside from the houses, other assets reported by Prabowo included eight motor vehicles and one 4-stroke motorbike at a total value of Rp1.98 billion. They are of assorted brands, from a Toyota Land Cruiser, a Mitsubishi and a Honda Lexus. Prabowo’s last car, a Honda CRV, was a lottery prize from Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) in 2007. Initially he intended to refuse the prize because he thought he had never opened an account with BRI. “Later on, he remembered that he once held an account at BRI to store pension funds from the military,” said Muzani laughing.
Aside from BRI, Prabowo also holds accounts with Bank Mandiri and Permata Bank. Overseas, the General Chairman of the Indonesian Farmers Association (HKTI) has also deposited monies with a bank in Malaysia. “Just for practical reasons, because he often goes there,” said Muzani. Prabowo’s total assets in the form of cash and deposits amount to Rp28.3 billion. “At Bank Mandiri alone there are three accounts,” he said.
The majority of Prabowo’s wealth is in the form of shares and securities. The total value amounts to Rp1.5 trillion and US$7.5 million. Since being dismissed from military service in 1998, Prabowo did indeed change direction sharply by becoming a businessperson. He now holds positions as president or chief executive officer (CEO) in a number of companies, including among others, Nusantara Energy (oil and natural gas, coal), Tidar Kerinci Agung (palm oil plantations) and Jaladri Nusantara (fishery industry).
The PT Tidar offices are located at a large house built in a classical style on Jl. Samudera No 30, Padang. There is no signboard in front of it. When Tempo visited the house in late April, the three cars parked in the front yard all displayed Gerindra stickers. Afrido Agus, the branch head of PT Tidar, explained that the company that produces crude palm oil (CPO) owns 28,000 hectares of plantations in the regencies of Dharmasraya, South Solok (West Sumatra) and Bungo (Jambi). Production levels have reached 5,000-6,000 tons of CPO per month. The company was established by Prabowo’s father, Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, in 1986 and now employs more than 4,000 people.
“At each plantation, we have a processing factory to convert fresh palm oil fruits into oil,” said Afrido. It is because of this that PT Tidar’s financial performance has remained bright even though palm oil prices have dropped. “The price of fresh [palm oil] fruit has indeed declined, but the price of oil remains the same,” he said. He declined to mention the value of the company’s annual profits.
Overseas, Prabowo holds shares in a number of companies in France and Argentina. However his most outstanding company outside Indonesia is Karazanbasmunai, an oil and gas company based in Kazakhstan. Since the company was purchased 12 years ago, Prabowo has succeeded in driving up oil production from 12,500 barrels to 50,000 barrels a day. Crude oil reserves at the field are still abundant at an estimated 340 million barrels.
What is unique is that Prabowo included 94 horses and hundreds of Indian goats in his wealth report. The total value comes to Rp5 billion. “If taken as an average, the total price of all of his horses is around Rp3 billion,” said Muzani. The goat livestock ranch meanwhile is a program pioneered by Prabowo when he became the head of HKTI. Here, authentic Indian goats from the Jamnapari region in India are bread with local goats. “All of the goats are given free to cooperatives that want them,” said Muzani. “Meanwhile their milk is also taken free by the local people,” he said.
Although rosy, this does not mean that Prabowo’s business empire has been free of problems. In December last year, one of his companies, PT Kiani Kertas—which has now changed its name to Kertas Nusantara—was sued for bankruptcy in the Central Jakarta Commercial Court. The plaintiff was Allied Investment Ltd, an investment company from Hong Kong. Allied accused the paper-manufacturing company of negligence in repaying a loan of US$20 million. Last week however, the plaintiff suddenly withdrew the suit. “We are now in the process of settling out of court,” said Allied’s lawyer Tisye Erlina Yusuf.
NOT just anyone can get into the Puri Cikeas Indah housing estate complex in Nagrak village, Gunung Putri subdistrict, Bogor. Security guards will immediately intercept anyone who just turns up out of the blue. Without prior authorization, don’t expect to be able to just stroll in.
The 25-hectare housing estate complex was initially developed by retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Suratto Siswodihardjo in 1994, and is indeed an elite housing estate area. A number of retired military officers such as President Yudhoyono, Lt. Gen. Agus Widjojo, Lt. Gen. Soeyono and Gen. Subagyo Hadi Siswoyo live there.
It is because of this many doubt that Yudhoyono’s assets report in the form of land and property “only” amounts to Rp2.4 billion. A real estate marketing staff member contacted by Tempo last week estimates that the price of commercial land at Puri Cikeas currently stands at between Rp1.5-2 million per square meter. If it is true that Yudhoyono’s house stands on 5,000 square meters of land, the market value of the land alone would be around Rp10 billion.
Subagyo Hadisiswoyo, who was contacted last week, confirmed this. Subagyo admitted to having bought a block of land at Puri Cikeas Indah in 1995 at a price of Rp35,000 per square meter. “At the time the access road had not yet been sealed,” he said. He is sure that the value of his land has now risen many times over.
Presidential spokesperson Andi Mallarangeng asserts that Yudhoyono filled out his wealth report in accordance with prevailing stipulations. “So, the estimated price that was used was in accordance with the KPK’s request,” he said.
The increase in the value of Yudhoyono’s assets of as much as Rp1.8 billion over two years, according to Andi, is quite proper. “The amount is in accordance with his income,” said Andi on Friday last week. As President, Yudhoyono’s income is Rp62.7 million per month. If all of this were banked over the last five years of his administration, it would have accumulated to around Rp3.75 billion. “In addition to this, there is additional income from royalties for SBY-composed songs of as much as Rp40 million,” he said. The album of Yudhoyono’s songs title I Long for You sold 40,000 copies throughout Indonesia.
KPK Deputy Chairman Muhammad Jasin explained that the price standard used by the commission to estimate the price of land and property is based on the taxable value of the land and property (NJOP). “There are many cases where the NJOP is slow to follow the market value,” said Jasin. By way of example he cited a patch of land priced at Rp100 billion, even though the taxable value of the land was only Rp4 billion. “This is an example of the kinds of discrepancies that can occur,” he said.
Jasin also noted that the KPK will not be conducting an investigation into the wealth reports of the presidential candidates just yet. “This is just the preliminary data, later on it will be compared with their future assets, if they are elected,” he said.
By: Wahyu Dhyatmika, Ismi Wahid, Amandra Megarani, Cheta Nilawaty, Sutarto (Jakarta), Febriyanti (Padang), S.G. Wibisono (Balikpapan)
Tempo No. 41/IX/09-15 June 2009
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 December 2010 06:12 )
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