Jakarta: Officials with the three ministries that were recently reported to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) by Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam over alleged corrupt practices said on Friday that they were ready to face questioning.
Dipo refused to reveal the three ministries that he claimed nurtured collusive practices with several lawmakers. But, unnamed sources from the KPK and the Cabinet Secretariat confirmed the three ministries as being the Agriculture Ministry, Defense Ministry and Trade Ministry.
Separately, officials from those ministries stated they would not block Dipo's move or any possible follow-up investigations by the KPK.
"My ministry adopts a spirit of promoting transparency and accountability. I am open to cooperation with any relevant institutions in order to uphold that spirit," Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan told reporters on Friday.
Unconfirmed reports maintain the alleged misconduct at the Trade Ministry had occurred before Gita was appointed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to serve as trade minister in October last year.
Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Bambang Hartawan said, meanwhile, that he would be seeking clarification on the information that suggested there were corrupt practices at the ministry.
"We have yet to be officially informed. However, we are ready [to respond to the report] because we are open and transparent," Bambang said.
He added that collusion between Defense Ministry officials and members of the House of Representatives was unlikely because the ministry operated under a very strict internal monitoring mechanism, "particularly on matters relating to budget allocations", Bambang said.
In Bali, Agriculture Minister Suswono said he had received an anonymous document that he suspected was a copy of Dipo's report to the KPK, containing "false" allegations of corruption within his ministry.
"However, I am more than ready to be grilled by the KPK, if necessary," he said on the sidelines of an international event in Nusa Dua, Bali as quoted by Antara news agency.
KPK spokesman Johan Budi insisted on not disclosing the identity of the three ministries, saying he had not received detailed information about Dipo's report.
He did confirm, however, that one of the allegations filed by Dipo was already under KPK scrutiny.
Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) lawmaker Tubagus Hasanuddin said he hoped Dipo had submitted detailed and legitimate evidence with his report to the KPK. "Otherwise, it would merely amount to libel."
Hasanuddin is the deputy chairman of House Commission I overseeing defense, foreign affairs and information.
He denied that the commission had been involved in any collusion with the Defense Ministry concerning budgetary matters.
Dipo's report has added to the ongoing hype about alleged "corrupt" practices at the House after State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan made public statements that a number of lawmakers had extorted several SOEs.
While many have praised Dahlan and Dipo's moves, some allege that the report was merely an attempt by the government to divert public attention from the massive outcry following President Yudhoyono's granting of clemency to a number of high-profile narcotics convicts.
Dipo, himself a former activist, denied the speculation. "Many also said that I was trying to cause a sensation; but, for what? I grew concerned about collusion after the President mentioned the matter 12 times during Cabinet meetings," he said.
Dipo said on Friday that he plans to submit reports implicating two additional ministries.--Courtesy of The Jakarta Post