Let’s try a cliché: condemning corruption is the first favourite pastime in Indonesia. And practising it the second. Or vice versa. But it also is entertainment.
This weekend alone the news media are abundant with tax officials (Dhana Widyatmika, and four others), business men (Djoko Tjandra), business women (Siti Hartati Murdaya), administrators ( Tubagus A’at Syafaat) and, of course, politicians (Fahd El Fouz) who are suspected, charged, on the run, arrested, tried or who have been convicted in connection with graft and corruption. There are also reports on thousands of ‘suspicious transactions” . It concerns regional budget revenues which miraculously have landed on private accounts. Not to mention another thousand peculiar transactions with a strong and nasty smell of money laundering. It looks like the very House of Representatives Budget Commission have been playing foul. Well that’s what the Center for Financial Transaction Reporting and Analysis says.
All these facts appear to confirm the cliché of an elite which passionately is stealing public money and at the same time is going to any length to fight white collar crime .
And then there is Izedrik Emir Moeis. A heavy weight. Because he loves food too much. And money. He’s the leader of the House of Representatives’ finance commission. And a naughty boy.
I think offering him the chair of the commission was like inviting a fox in a chicken barn. It crossed my mind that it was possible only because the invitation came from fellow foxes in the trade. It’s not a likely job for someone who in the pretty recent past has been implicated in shady dealings with traveller’s cheques, procurement of medical equipment , a power plant project and an out-sourcing project of a state owned electricity company. However each time, mainly due to the extraordinary legal system, he escaped by the skin of his teeth. Yet Emir is in real trouble now. KPK officially promoted him to ‘suspect’ in a Lampung power plant bribery case. It allegedly involved $ 300000.- hush money. Which is inconvenient once the wrong people know about it. As they do now.
But seemingly most damaging ( and entertaining to gloating readers like I am) are the rumours he also has been treated by Alstom ( which has it’s headquarters in France) to luxurious accommodation and “ adult entertainment venues“. In La Ville Lumière, France. I bet his place in history will probably be filed as “an Indonesian in Paris”. The “adult entertainment is now being investigated” by KPK and “Emir may have been able to escape all those charges, but the “adult entertainment” issue is a severe blow for his family members“, the Jakarta Post wrote.
Adult entertainment venues? It triggers my imagination. Try and picture this.
Paris, as we all very well know, is the city of good food and “oooh la la”. A Cockaigne where top-notch businessmen and politicians can recover from their stressful lives of wheeling and dealing or the burden of serving the people and the nation. For Alstom and Emir Paris doesn’t just equal a bird’s eye view from the Eiffel Tower, a meal at Chez Papa and a visit to Centre Georges Pompidou, I presume. Rather exquisite restaurants, Cabaret Moulin Rouge and high end escort girls. Dining and whining. Dinners in Pierre Gagnaire and elegant ladies in the Hotel Ritz Paris suite. Paid for by the French, understanding, broad-minded and grateful business partner. Part of the “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” relationship.Though Emir might have preferred the escort girls to do the actual adult scratching.
It’s rumours only. KPK is just investigating. It still has to be proven. But wouldn’t it be wonderful, wouldn’t it be a majestic legal absurdity if a big time corrupted politician who always escapes justice, would ultimately land in jail because he accepted a present consisting of extra marital sex 12000 kilometres from home?