Saturday, October 10, 2009

Indonesia’s Military Businessess - Public needs takeover details

The government must uphold transparency in its planned takeover of several Indonesian Military business units. The government must publicly announce details of the financial conditions and assets of every single business entity it intends to take over, before a presidential decree on the takeover is issued.

The public needed details of the planned acquisitions as soon as possible, because the deadline for the takeovers (set by the House through the 2004 TNI Law) falls on Oct. 16. Transparency is needed because the TNI businesses are estimated to be worth significant amounts. Data from the national team overseeing the transfer of TNI businesses (Timnas PAB) shows that the military controls at least 23 foundations overseeing 53 companies, and more than 1,000 cooperatives. The TNI also owns 1,618 properties, covering more than 16,500 hectares, and 6,699 buildings.

Indonesia’s military's business assets were worth Rp 2.3 trillion (US$244 million) although the real value of TNI businesses could be higher than the estimates because it was no secret that a number of military officers had also been running a great number of (illegal) businesses on the side.

TNI officials are also involved in illegal businesses, such as illegal logging and illegal fishing. In consequence, it is therefore imperative to reveal the results of the audit transparently, because by doing so we could find the real value of TNI businesses and punish those officers who are involved in illegal businesses.

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