Since the beginning, I have reminded the Indonesian ministers to not commit corruption
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has warned his ministers to not commit corruption.

"Since the beginning, I have reminded the Indonesian ministers to not commit corruption," President Joko Widodo said at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, Sunday.

The President conveyed the statement after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named social affairs minister Juliari Peter Batubara a suspect in the alleged bribery case related to the COVID-19 social aid program for residents of the Greater (Jabodetabek) area.

On Nov 25, 2020, KPK named Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo a suspect for allegedly accepting bribes in exchange for a lobster seed exporting permit.

"I keep telling about creating a system that closes the loopholes for corruption," Jokowi added.

He said he had repeatedly reminded state officials to be careful in using the budget.

"I repeatedly remind all state officials, including ministers, governors, head of districts, mayors and all officials to be careful in using money from the regional budget (APBD) and state budget (APBN)," the President emphasized.

Moreover, Juliari Batubara's case was related to social assistance to help people affected by the COVID-19 impact and help boost national economic recovery.

"The social assistance is urgently needed by the people," the President said.

The KPK suspected that the Minister of Social Affairs received a bribe worth Rp17 billion as "fee" for providing basic food social assistance.

"In the implementation of the first period of the basic food assistance program, it is suspected that a 'fee' of Rp. 12 billion had been received. MJS had given Rp8.2 billion to JPB via AW," KPK chairman Firli Bahuri told the press at the KPK building, here on early Sunday.

The money was then managed by Eko and Shelvy N, Batubara's trusted people, to be used to pay for his personal needs.

"For the second period of the implementation of the basic food assistance program, 'fee' amounting Rp8.8 billion was collected from October 2020 to December 2020. The money was also allegedly used for JPB's needs," Firli Bahuri said.

Hence, the total bribe that Juliari Batubara allegedly received was worth Rp17 billion.

Related news: Edhy Prabowo submits signed resignation to President Joko Widodo

Related news: Anti-graft agency grills Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara

Translator: Desca L, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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