JAKARTA, Aug.25 (JDN.id) – Indonesia’s anti-graft agency on Friday night officially announced outgoing social affairs minister Idrus Marham as a suspect in bribery case related to the 600 megawatts coal-fired power plant project Riau-1.
“During KPK’s (Corruption Eradication Commission) investigation process, a number of new facts and adequate preliminary evidences were found…new investigation was begun as of August 21 with new suspect IM, (former) social affairs minister,” Basaria Panjaitan, a KPK commissioner said in a press conference, referring to Idrus Marham.
A couple of hours before the announcement, Marham submitted his resignation letter to President Joko Widodo. The president accepted the resignation and appointed Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita as the replacement.
“He is allegedly together with ES (Erni Saragih) receiving money from JBSK linked to coal-fired power plant Riau-1,” Panjaitan added.
JBSK refers Johanes Budisoetrisno Kotjo or Johanes Kotjo, another suspect in the bribery case. He was a consultant with Singapore-based Blackgold Natural Resources Ltd’s, a subsidiary of Samantaka Batubara, since June 2018.
Erni Saragih, a Golkar politician, was deputy chairman of Commission VII, which deals with energy issues, at the House of Representatives. KPK investigators arrested her at Marham’s residence in July when she attended a birthday celebration. She is now a suspect in the case.
Blackgold is part of a consortium that was in cooperation with Pembangkit Jawa Bali (PJB), a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state-utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), to work on Riau-1 power plant, a $900 million project.
Marham is the first from President Joko Widodo’s cabinet since Oct. 2014 to be a graft suspect. He was inaugurated as the social affairs minister in January, replacing Khofifah Indar Parawangsa who resigned for gubernatorial election this year.