BY :MUHAMMAD AULIA
JANUARY 14, 2023
Jakarta. Anti-graft czar Firli Bahuri on Saturday slammed disgraced Papua Governor Lukas Enembe as the bad apple in the government who must be brought to justice for his corrupt behavior and financial extravagance at the expense of people in the province.Lukas was arrested earlier this week or four months after he was named corruption suspect for allegedly taking bribes from businessmen. Law authorities are also investigating his lavish lifestyle and his gambling habit.”The suspect sets an example of a reckless leader who, for whatever reasons, has shown indiscipline while holding a public office so he must face criminal prosecution,” Firli said in a statement.Papua receives a large amount of financial aid called “special autonomy funds” from the central government every year but the money had little effect on people’s prosperity in the impoverished province, Firli said.
Elites in the Papua government took the funds from the central government to enrich themselves and “stirred public opinion to justify the theft” and manipulated their own people as if the funds were spent on public interests, Firli said.In reality, there have been no significant development projects by the provincial government over the years despite the continued financial aid from the central government.“The KPK arrives to recover and secure money and state assets which must be used to boost the prosperity of the people in Papua,” he added.Chief Security Minister Mohammad Mahfud MD said in October that the central government had channeled a total of Rp 1,000 trillion ($66 billion) in “autonomy funding” to Papua since 2001, about half of the amount was disbursed during Lukas’ term.“More than Rp 500 trillion ($33 billion) has been disbursed during Lukas Enembe’s tenure but nothing happened: the people remain poor and the officials continue their lavish lifestyle,” Mahfud said.the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center revealed that Lukas has made payments totaling 55 million Singapore dollars (US$39 million) to overseas casinos since 2017 after they analyzed the governor’s financial records at the request of the KPK.At one point, Lukas spent 5 million Singapore dollars in a single casino payment, according to the PPATK. The KPK also found that Lukas once paid 55,000 Singapore dollars for a watch.On Thursday, a lawyer for Lukas demanded his immediate release, citing his poor medical conditions.Petrus Bala Pattyona said Lukas has a stroke and heart, kidney, and lung problems and needs to undergo medical treatment regularly.