The Palace Hunts Down Cendana
The government is aggressively reclaiming a number of assets and receivables related to the family of former President Suharto. They are considered to be detrimental to the state.
KNEELING between the graves of Suharto and Siti Hartinah in Astana Giribangun, Karanganyar, Central Java, I Gusti Putu Ngurah Sedana prayed and sowed flower petals on Thursday, May 6. The head of the working team of the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park) said that he asked for blessings to manage the tourist attraction located in East Jakarta. “We are asking for their permission as they initiated the construction of Taman Mini,” Putu told Tempo on Friday, May 21.
Through Presidential Regulation No. 19/2021 regarding Taman Mini management, the government took control over Taman Mini from the Harapan Kita Foundation, previously owned by the family of former President Suharto, also known as the Cendana family. The state secretariat ministry stated that one of the reasons for the government’s acquisition of Taman Mini was to improve the management of state assets as recommended by the Supreme Audit Agency. Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said the tourist area, which was inaugurated in April 1975, continues to lose Rp40-50 billion every year.
Putu said the government has invited the managers and the Harapan Kita Foundation to discuss the management transfer process several times. In a meeting on April 9 at the state secretariat ministry, the transition team has asked the foundation to submit reports on the management of Taman Mini for more than four decades. “We asked for a complete record of the inventory of assets, finances, and human resources,” he said.
Workers installing a sign in front of the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) gate, saying that the area is now under the possession and management of the State Secretariat Ministry, Jakarta, April 7. Antara/Asprilla Dwi Adha
The Secretary of the Harapan Kita Foundation, Tria Sasangka Putra, said that his party would be cooperative in the management transfer process. He claimed that the foundation has never asked for any money from the government and has never intended to self-manage Taman Mini. Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Taman Mini, Tanribali Lamo, denied allegations that Taman Mini never generated any revenue and was considered to be detrimental to the state.
Apart from taking over the management of Taman Mini from the foundation owned by the Cendana family, the government is aggressively collecting debts owed by Bambang Trihatmodjo—Suharto’s third child. Bambang is the head of a private consortium that became the partner for the XIX SEA Games in Jakarta in 1997. The consortium mismanaged its finances until it received a loan from the state.
Chief of the Finance Ministry’s of Jakarta I State Assets and Auction Service Office, Wildan Ahmad Fananto, said that his institution was asked by the state secretariat ministry to settle the SEA Games XIX receivables. The ministry has sent Bambang a billing letter and proposed a travel ban. “We are trying to collect state receivables optimally,” said Wildan.
Bambang then sued Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati to the Jakarta State Administrative Court regarding the travel ban decision. Bambang was prevented from traveling abroad twice on December 11, 2019 and May 27, 2020. The court finally rejected the lawsuit. Bambang’s travel ban ended in early May and the ministry has yet to propose a third one.
Even so, the Director of State Receivables and Other Assets at the Directorate-General of State Assets at the Finance Ministry, Lukman Effendi, confirmed that the collection will continue until the debt to the state is declared complete. “Including execution attempts by the State Receivables Affairs Committee,” said Lukman.