Tuesday, May 22, 2007

So what does 'hero' really mean here?

Remember the time not so long ago when there were a couple of ex business crooks who were invited to Istana after they expressed their willingness to return the money they had stolen? Yes, many people were outraged. Calling the government a dirty whore who did not have dignity. A minister reportedly said that if those crooks were asking for forgiveness and managed to return the money (not even the whole!), it would be good enough. Some agreed, some not. Nevertheless, the law seemed so flexible.

Now, another story. The moral is basically the same. But because this one involves Amien Rais, who are heroes to many, people easily overlook the similarity. Amien confessed that he took some amount of illegal money from Rokhmin Dahuri the then Minister for Fishery and Marine Resources for his presidential campaign in the last election. Rokhmin, on the other hand, has announced that the current president SBY, along with the former president Megawati and another then-candidate, Wiranto did accept similar funding. Following the Rokhmin's report, Amien confessed and said he 'was ready to go to jail, if he had to'.

Of course Amien's confession seems loaded: to at least bring SBY down. Well, we agree: if SBY is proven guilty, of course he should be punished. So should Megawati and Wiranto and Amien himself. So, let's hope that these cases are taken seriously by the law people.

But, now come the interesting part. The chief of MPR, Hidayat Nur Wahid seems to think that Amien Rais is a hero. He suggests that Amien should not be taken to jail. Because Amien is 'a national figure who is well respected'. If Amien is found guilty, Hidayat conutinues, he can just return the money. Now, that sounds familiar (see the first paragraph above).

Seems that we really don't need Laws. After all, forgiveness is what matters. No wonder we're so safe.

Update 1: It is just getting more and more interesting. Now a law expert thinks Amien has given enlightenment to the study of law. I wonder, if he is such a noble person, why did he have to wait more than 2 years before admitting his misconduct? Why did he have to wait until Rokhmin blew it all?
Update 2: From the court, as reported by Kompas, Amien Rais actually received Rp 600 million, not Rp 200 million as he confessed. Let's wait and see if he 're-confesses' or denounces the extra Rp 400 million.
Update 3: President SBY reacted (yes, after long deliberation, I guess, as usual). Basically he accused Amien Rais of trying to ruin his reputation. Quoting the Law, SBY stressed that such action by Amien Rais was against the law and could lead to nine months in jail. But then, SBY implied that he would not take the case to the court, "unless Amien accuses me directly in public". That is ridiculous. If SBY is so troubled by Amien, why doesn't he just sue him now? If he doesn't think he should sue Amien, why bother with press conference to explain?

In the meantime, Sutrisno Bachir, the head of PAN (Amien's party, too) said he would return the money Amien and PAN received from Rokhmin. In TV, Bachir said, "We should return the money, because it belongs to the people of Indonesia". Another hero, I guess. Who rushes to do good deeds when found guilty.

Fahri Hamzah from another accused party PKS, who now is a House member, said that the House Board has no right to investigate him, because at the time (of accepting the money from Rokhmin), he was not yet a House member. OK, but does that mean you're innocent?

What a comedy.


Anonymous said...

If forgiveness is enough, why do we need police officers?
Just another distortion in the already distorted nation...

Aco said...

Exactly, Anonymous

iman said...

I think it just a high politic conspiration. If Amin should be sent to jail, of course other presidential candidates who got the DKP from Rukmin should be sent too, including SBY. On the other hand by giving apologize to Amin and just closing the case it will save SBY and other presidential candidates. In my opinion among PAN,PKS,Democrat Party and may be other parties have dealed to safe their leaders. It is a win win solution, isn't it? because Everybody is better off. But.... voice of justice has been burried.