Ahmad Ali’s Clarification
AFTER reading the cover story of Tempo, November 9, 2020 edition, concerning The Forbidden Fruits, I need to clarify several matters.
The articles entitled Toll Fee for Fruit Imports, Two Friends from Sulawesi, Special Treatment for Importers and Factions Seeking Fortunes mentioning the involvement of Ahmad Ali in regulating the fruit import quota is an exaggerated allegation and seriously harms my good reputation. Tempo magazine seems to have composed stories to direct public opinion that fruit imports are problematic and there is a corrupt practice in the form of illegal levying that involves me as a colleague of the agriculture minister in National Democrat (NasDem) Party. All the reports in the cover story are obviously untrue because the allegation was based on the claims of one to two persons which the truth cannot be confirmed.
The framing of Tempo gets even more peculiar and out of place when this magazine put some personal matters irrelevant to the substance of the articles. The reporting on the police certificate of good conduct (SKCK) connected with the psychotropic drug violation penalty in 2018 is evidently irrelevant to the substance of the cover story and has the potential for serious character assassination. Furthermore, the fact of the personal issue written by Tempo was not accurate because the case of psychotropic drug violation occurred in 2003 or 17 years ago rather than 2018 as related in the magazine. As a note, I have openly written about this matter on my Facebook on September 13, 2018. Once again, in my view, the attempt at personalization of the problem is an exaggerated action.
Regarding the alleged fruit import quota regulation, I herewith affirm that I have no knowledge whatsoever and have never been involved in the fruit import policy in the agriculture ministry or the trade ministry. The information reported by Tempo about the meeting with one of fruit importers that involved me at Pacific Place never happened at all and was untrue. There was not even one meeting between me and fruit importers at Pacific Place or any other location.
Tempo also reported having contacted Ahmad Ali without response. In the last few weeks I have really been engaged in many activities in my constituencies during the House of Representatives recess so that I cannot yet specially respond to Tempo. My recess itinerary covers many regions in Central Sulawesi and I keep moving from one region to another up to about 500 kilometers apart. There is often the problem of signals. I planned to reply to Tempo after the recess in a direct interview. I very much regret Tempo’s publication of the stories before obtaining my confirmation.
Ahmad M. Ali
As written in the articles, the case of psychotropic drug misuse was a story of 2018 when you obtained the SKCK to become a legislative candidate that did not include the event in 2003—Ed.
The Natural Gas Price
WE, engaged in the ceramic industry in Cirebon regency, West Java, have used natural gas from the Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) for almost 40 years. After hoping for such a long time for the realization of Presidential Regulation No. 40/2016 and Ministerial Decree No. 89/2020 on the gas price reduction for seven industrial sectors, including the ceramic industry, until the publication of this letter our hope has not yet come true.
We request that justice be accorded to us as ceramic industrialists by allowing our right as loyal customers of the PGN. We hope the authorities which decide on the natural gas price adjustment will accommodate this request.
Chief Executive Officer, Terra Cotta Indonesia Cirebon