Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has acknowledged that several of his subordinates in the Jakarta administration have long been involved in the misuse of the city budget.
Speaking to reporters at City Hall in Central Jakarta on Tuesday, Ahok said that he knew city councilors were not the only perpetrators behind irregularities in the city budget. Agency heads and staffers within the city administration, he said, also took part.
"In 2014, I found many irregularities in the city budget. For example, there were allocations for things that were never brought up during meetings, for example in the Education Agency. So what did I do? I demoted the agency's head and replaced him with Pak Lasro Marbun," Ahok said.
At the time, Taufik Yudi Mulyanto was head of the Education Agency. Taufik was moved to the Governor's Team for Development Supervision (TGUPP) early in 2014 and replaced by Lasro Marbun, now head of the Jakarta Inspectorate, who had "saved" more than Rp 1 trillion (S$105 million) not long after his inauguration as Education Agency head.
"[Taufik] was one of the big 'players' in the [education] agency. Pak Lasro had saved trillions in dubious allocations, which is one of the reasons why last year we had the largest unused budget," Ahok said.
Last year's unused budget was Rp 6.47 trillion from the total budget of Rp 72.8 trillion.
Taufik could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
"I also demoted [I Dewa Gede] Sony, who headed the ULP [Goods and Services Procurement Agency]. He was promoted last October and I demoted him in January because I knew he was involved. We're still looking for other people who were or are involved; if they are officials, they will be demoted; if they are staffers, they will not receive allowances," he said.
Last week, Ahok revealed that in the 2014 city budget, there was more than Rp 280 billion allocated to procure uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for computers in 49 senior high schools in West and Central Jakarta.
Lasro, on the other hand, acknowledged that he had missed the dubious allocations, and said that the allocations were made by subagencies in municipalities, which have different budget documents from the central agency, but denied that he was involved.
"Agency heads do not supervise allocations made in subagencies because we have different documents," Lasro told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday at City Hall.
Despite orders from the parties' central board to cancel their votes, the NasDem Party and United Development Party (PPP) factions have yet to retract their right of inquiry. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the National Awakening Party (PKB) factions also still seem firm with their decision, despite rumours of backtracking.
The City Council has hired its own lawyer, Razman Arif, who previously represented Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan in his graft case and former Transportation Agency head Udar Pristono in the faulty Transjakarta bus procurement case. Udar is among former Jakarta agency heads who have been named suspects in procurement cases, along with former Sanitation Agency head Eko Bharuna, who was named a suspect in a portable toilet procurement case.
On Tuesday, dozens of residents went to City Hall to voice their support for Ahok and urged that he "keep fighting for the people". Ahok took the opportunity to apologise to Jakartans for causing trouble with his feud with the City Council.
"I apologise to the people of Jakarta for this dispute. I assure you that all of our services will not be disturbed. But please know that this is not about Ahok versus the City Council; this is about fighting for transparency," Ahok said.