Grants from the Jakarta administration to mass organizations continued to burgeon. Anies Baswedan’s supporters allegedly received special treatment.
ENTICED by the prospect of receiving Rp1 billion, Nina Haryati, a member of the National Anti-Drug, Street Brawl and Anarchic Actions Movement (Gepenta), rushed to Gerbera Hotel in Megamendung, Bogor, West Java, on June 17. The Jakarta government was going to distribute grants to several mass organizations that passed the selection process.
Nina and around 90 others from various organizations left on two buses sponsored by the Jakarta chapter of the National and Political Unity Agency. “We were also given Rp292,000 each to participate in the 3-day event,” Nina told Tempo last Thursday, November 7.
She recounted that upon arriving at the venue, Eliazer, the head of the mass organizations sub-directorate of the Jakarta National and Political Unity Agency, immediately explained to them about a grant up to Rp1 billion for each organization. To win the money, each organization must submit a proposal of activities that supports the work program of Jakarta Governor Anies Rasyid Baswedan. The best 10 participants in the event titled “Mass Organizations in the Development and Safeguarding of the NKRI’s Unity” would secure places in the next selection phase.
However, Nina’s hopes of her organization winning the grant were dashed when Eliazer said in his presentation that the Jakarta government would give priority to those that supported the Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno ticket in the 2017 gubernatorial election. After all, Gepenta did not support the duo, and in fact her friend, Sisrie, who was also present at the event, was the supporter of Joko Widodo and Ma’ruf Amin, the opponent of the Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno pair, in the presidential election. Sisrie claimed to be the secretary-general of the We Love Jokowi fans club.
Eliazer declined to comment on the requirement to be Anies’s supporter. “Who directed you to me?” Eliazer asked back via a WhatsApp message. He then gave emoticons of a smiley face and two hands pressed together but did not answer Tempo’s calls.
Taufan Bakri, head of the Jakarta National and Political Unity Agency, shrugged off the news of his office setting such a condition. “Anybody can receive the money,” he asserted last Friday.
For sure, Gepenta was not on the list of the grant recipients for 2020, a copy of which was obtained by Tempo. Nina recalled that at the end of the meeting in Megamendung, all the participants were asked to write their impressions about the event. “I wrote, ‘The fund belongs to Jakarta, not a particular group.’”
In 2016, Basuki earmarked Rp2.5 trillion for the purpose. A year later, it went down to Rp1.4 trillion. After Anies and Sandi took office, the amount crept up. As of last year, it stood at Rp1.8 trillion, but it ballooned to Rp2.7 trillion this year. The administration has even prepared Rp2.8 trillion for the next year.
Unlike Gepenta, a female clerics’ organization (PUPN) was chosen to receive a fund totaling Rp317.6 million in the Jakarta’s 2020 draft budget priorities and ceiling (KUA-PPAS). The PUPN office located in Jalan Tebet Timur Raya, South Jakarta is also the private residence of Marhamah, PUPN’s treasurer. She acknowledged to Tempo that the organization established in 2016 indeed campaigned for Anies-Sandi in the election. It also supported Prabowo-Sandi in the presidential bid.
Marhamah said PUPN Chair, Nurdiati Akma, was also present at the presentation in Megamendung. However, Nurdiati refused to comment about her attendance. The former legislative candidate from the National Mandate Party (PAN) said that her organization had applied for the grant since 2018 or a year after Anies-Sandi’s win with a proposal to hold 15 educational courses for ustazah (female preacher) in Jakarta but failed to receive any for 2019.
The PUPN again submitted the proposal this year, and during an event at the National Alms Agency last September, Nurdiati got news from the provincial government representative that the PUPN would receive a grant this year. The presentative also explained to her the reason her organization was not chosen in 2019. “They call it 1-0-1. If you get it this year, you will be eligible again only after two years.”
Another pro Anies-Sandi organization besides the PUPN to receive the fund in the 2020 KUA-PPAS is the Jakarta Habaib Ulema Forum which is set to grab Rp646.6 million. In campaigns ahead of the 2017 gubernatorial election, the organization’s chair, Syukron Makmun, called on the masses to choose a leader of the same faith. Anies’ rival, Basuki Tjahja Purnama, was a non-Muslim. Prior to the election day, Basuki was named a religious blasphemy suspect for citing the verse 51 of Al-Maidah Surah regarding the advice to choose Muslim leaders.
The forum did not receive any grant when Basuki was the Jakarta governor. There was nobody at the location when Tempo went to their office in Jalan Dewi Sartika in East Jakarta on Thursday, November 7. Calls to the office phone number until Friday were not answered.
The total grant money has continued to soar during Anies Baswedan’s era. In 2016, Basuki earmarked Rp2.5 trillion for the purpose. A year later, it went down to Rp1.4 trillion. After Anies and Sandi took office, the amount crept up. As of last year, it stood at Rp1.8 trillion, but it ballooned to Rp2.7 trillion this year. The administration has even prepared Rp2.8 trillion for the next year.
However, it was not only the grant budget that has soared but the amount received by mass organizations has also skyrocketed. One of the grants Anies has increased is for the Jakarta chapter of the Indonesian Teachers’ Association (PGRI). During Basuki’s tenure in 2017, the Jakarta PGRI received Rp1.8 billion. After Anies came to office in 2018, the amount swelled up to Rp367.2 billion. This year, the PGRI received Rp323.7 billion and is poised to receive Rp319billion next year.
The same goes for the Indonesian Early Childhood Educators’ and Teachers’ Association (Himpaudi). In 2017, the organization was not chosen for the grant, however, a year later the administration gave away Rp40.2 billion. It would also receive Rp40.3 billion and Rp34.3 billion respectively for this year and the next. “That is for the teachers’ welfare,” Anies reasoned.
Anies said, as a whole, the grants are aimed at increasing the public’s participation in development activities. He refuted the notion that he is being selectively generous to those that supported him in the gubernatorial election. “All organizations are welcomed to submit proposals. There is a selection process,” he added.