Tyrany of secrecy, the e-KTP mega-corruption case Money, Power and Greed

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(illustration: IO/Rudraksha)

IO, Jakarta – The “electronic identity”card (e-KTP) procurement project corruption case is massive and highly-structured. It is suspected that the project itself was planned in such a way that the corrupt practices would become feasible. The e-KTP mega project started during the tenure of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. It was initially planned to cost Rp 6.9 trillion. The Ministry of the Interior (Kementrian Dalam Negeri – “Kemendagri”) set a budget of Rp 6 trillion. Once the project was tendered, the e-KTP budget became Rp 5.9 trillion. 5 corporations won the tender.

e-KTP procurement comprises of two aspects: the first is about the procurement of electronic ID-card, systems and hardware; the second is about population database.

Over the past few years, this event has been widely discussed among the public as a major corruption case in public procurement of goods and services. The  Corruption Eradication  Commission     (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – “KPK”) states that the State has endured a loss of more than Rp 2.3 trillion in e-KTP procurement.

Such intense publicity of the case, which involves a number of high profile figures, detracts from the other side of the coin: demographic data. This is ironic, because we are about to hold legislative elections and presidential elections in 2019. Demographic database is a crucial matter, as it shows the politicians who their elector bases are. It is a reference of the list of voters in the 2019 Elections.

The e-KTP mega project started in 2010. The Minister of  Interior (Menteri Dalam Negeri – “Mendagri”) at the time was Gamawan Fauzi, requested KPK to monitor the e-KTP project, which was initially to be completed in 2 years, has a long shadow. 8 people are suspected as the masterminds, and tens more are under suspicion as having benefited from receipt of illicit funds.

8 Major Suspects
In April 2014, KPK named the former Director of Demographic Administrative Information at the Directorate of Demographics and Civil Records (Direktorat Kependudukan and Catatan Sipil – Dirdukcapil) of Kemendagri, as well as the Committed Official (Pejabat Pembuat Komitmen – “PPK”), Sugiharto, as the first suspect in the e-KTP case.

According to KPK prosecutors, Sugiharto was involved in the issuance of bribes relating to the budgeting of the e-KTP project at the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Republik Indonesia – “DPR RI”) in fiscal years 2011-2013. He was then sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment, and a fine of Rp 400 million as a substitute for 6 further months of imprisonment. Sugiharto was proven to have his coffers enriched by USD 50,000.00. He was sentenced to replace that USD 50,000.00 minus USD 30,000.00 and minus 1 Honda Jazz automobile valued at Rp.150 million. In the e-KTP case, Sugiharto turned into a state witness who admitted his fault and pointed out other suspects in the case.

The next suspect was Irman, former Director General of Demographics and Civil Records of the Ministry of the Interior. According to prosecutors, Irman and Sugiharto were both involved in the distribution of bribes related to the budgeting of the e-KTP project in the House (DPR RI) for the fiscal year of 2011-2013. The prosecutors sentenced Irman to 7 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rp 500 million as a substitute for 6 months of imprisonment. He was proven to have enriched his own coffers by USD 500,000.00. Irman must replace the USD 500,000.00 minus USD 300,000.00 and Rp 50 million.

Next is Andi Agustinus, also known as Andi Narogong. He was an entrepreneur contracted for the execution of the e-KTP project. He was named  a suspect on 23 March 2017 and became the third suspect in the e-KTP case. Andi is proven to be involved in the issuance of bribes related to budgeting of the e-KTP project at DPR RI in the fiscal year 2011-2013. Furthermore, he was involved in the direction and nomination of certain companies as bid winners to execute the e-KTP procurement.

On 21 December 2017, he was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rp 1 billion as a substitute of 6 months of imprisonment by the panel of judges in the Corruption Court (Pengadilan Tindak Pidana Korupsi – “Pengadilan Tipikor”) in Jakarta. Further, Andi was sentenced to replace the monies he had embezzled, i.e. USD 2.5 million and Rp 1.1 billion, minus the USD 350,000.00 he repaid to KPK. According to the panel of judges, the money must be replaced 1 month at the latest after the judgment comes into effect. Otherwise, Andi’s assets will be confiscated and auctioned off. If he has insufficient assets to replace the missing money, his fine will be 2 years’ imprisonment.

The e-KTP case also brought down Setya Novanto, the former Speaker of the House – DPR. He was charged with abuse of authority as a member of the House in the electronic ID procurement project. According to the prosecutor, Novanto directly or indirectly intervened with budgeting and procurement of goods and services of the e-KTP project in 2011-2013.

The abuse of authority was intended to enrich himself, other individuals and corporation. Novanto is charged with personal enrichment of USD 7.3 million, or about Rp 71 billion (exchange rate in 2010) from the e-KTP procurement project. The USD 7.3 million originated from the consortium he approved as a winner of the e-KTP project bid. Furthermore, Novanto is also charged with having used stolen moneys to purchase a Richard Mille watch, series RM 011 at USD 135,000.00, or about Rp 1.3 billion (exchange rate in  2010).

Novanto is charged with corruption jointly with his nephew, Irvanto Hendra Pambudi. Novanto threatened to obstruct the administration of the budgeting if the DPR did not get paid a fee of 5%. Novanto also pressured the providers of L-1 biometric products to give a discount of 50%. The late Johannes Marliem, Director of the company, finally gave a discount of 40%. Profits from the discounted L-1 product prices were to be distributed between Novanto and other members of the DPR.

Another House member also involved in the e-KTP case is Markus Nari. The House member from Golkar Party was named a suspect because he is accused of demanding Rp 5 billion from Irman for his help in facilitating the project. Markus is suspected of having received about Rp 4 billion as a realization of this demand. He is suspected of having a role in facilitating the e-KTP project in DPR and in increasing the budget set in 2012. At the time, a session was held to discuss the extension of the e-KTP project for about Rp 1.4 trillion. Markus is suspected of having persuaded DPR member Miryam S. Haryani to provide false statements in the e-KTP corruption case hearings. Even though he is already a suspect, Markus Nari has yet to be arrested.

The sixth suspect in the case is Anang Sugiana Sudiharjo, President Director of PT Quadra Solution. Anang is suspected of having been involved in the payment of moneys to Setya Novanto and a number of other DPR RI members through Andi Agustinus, alias Andi Narogong. The investigation is ongoing, and KPK has ordered Anang to be confined in the Guntur Prison.

In 2018, there were 2 “newcomers” caught in the web of the e-KTP project corruption case: Made Oka Masagung, an entrepreneur, and former Director of PT Murakabi Sejahtera, Irvanto Hendra Pambudi Cahyo.

Made Oka Masagung is suspected to have served as a liaison in the 5% e-KTP project, to channel the bribes for Setya Novanto through his company. The total amount Made Oka received to be forwarded to Novanto was USD 3.8 million. According to the testimony of suspect Andi Agustinus alias Andi Narogong, Setya Novanto demanded a proportion of the monies for himself and other members of the House to be channeled through Made Oka.

In the banking records subpoenaed by KPK, Made Oka received 6 million USD from parties envolved in the e-KTP procurement project, while the former Gunung Agung CEO did not participate in the e-KTP project. Firstly, OEM Investment received USD 1.8 million from Biomorf Mauritius, the foreign company that is to provide L-1 biometric products to be used in the e-ID project. Later, he received USD 2 million from the accounts of PT Delta Energy.

Irvanto Hendra Pambudi, a nephew of Novanto, is also suspected to have facilitated bribes for the former House Speaker. Irvanto is suspected of having received a total of USD 3.5 million from 19 January 2012 to 19 February 2012, money intended for Novanto. This is the 5% fee demanded for the facilitation of the e-KTP budget.

Irvanto is suspected of having participated in the e-KTP procurement process through his company, PT Murakabi Sejahtera. He also attended several meetings in the office at Ruko Fatmawati with the e-KTP project goods procurement team. Irvanto is suspected of having known of the demand of 5% fee to facilitate the administration of the e-KTP budget; he started to participate in the e-KTP project with an invitation to attend meetings at Ruko Fatmawati to discuss the national e-KTP cards, with other entrepreneurs in smart cards. The ruko (shop house) belongs to Vidi Gunawan, a brother of Andi Agustinus alias Andi Narogong.

According to Irvan, his company and several others joined in the Murakabi Consortium, which participated in the e-KTP project bid held by the Ministry of the Interiors. Murakabi Consortium became one of the three consortiums participating in the bid, the two others being the Government Printing Office of the Republic of Indonesia (Percetakan Negara Republik Indonesia – “PNRI”) and the Astra Graphia Consortium. A member of the Fatmawati Team, Jimmy Iskandar Tedjasusila alias Bobby, testified that the PNRI Consortium was set up to be the bid winner, while the Astra Graphia and Murakabi Consortiums were there only as participants for the bid process.

The Flow of Funds
Other than the 8 suspects, the KPK Prosecutor stated that there are tens of parties said to have received illicit funds from the e-KTP project. These are roughly divided into 3 clusters, i.e. bureaucrats, politicians, and corporations. For example, Gamawan Fauzi (Mendagri at the time) received USD 4.5 million and Rp 50 million, Diah Anggraini (Secretary General of Kemendagri at the time) received USD 2.7 million and Rp 22.5 million, and Drajat Wisnu Setyawan (Chairman of the e-ID Procurement Committee) received USD 615 thousand and Rp 25 million.

6 members of the Bid Committee received USD 50,000.00 each; Husni Fahmi received USD 150,000.00 and Rp 30 million; Anas Urbaningrum received USD 5.5 million; Melcias Marchus Mekeng (Chairman of the Budgets Commission of the House at the time) received USD 1.4 million; Olly Dondokambey received USD 1.2 million; Tamsil Lindrung received USD 700,000.00;  Mirwan Amir received USD 1.2 million; Arief Wibowo received USD 108,000.00; Chaeruman Harahap received USD 584,000.00 and Rp 26 billion; Ganjar Pranowo received USD 520,000.00; and Agun Gunandjar Sudarsa as a Member of Commission II and Budgets Commission of DPR received USD 1.047 million.

Furthermore, Mustoko Weni received USD 408,000.00; Ignatius Mulyono received USD 258,000.00; Taufik Effendi received USD 103,000.00; Teguh Djuwarno received USD 167,000.00; Miryam S. Haryani received USD 23,000.00; Rindoko, Nu’man Abdul Hakim, Abdul Malik Haramaen, Jamal Aziz, and Jazuli Juwaini Heads of Task Forces of Commission II of the House received USD 37,000.00 each; Markus Nari received Rp 4 billion and USD 13,000.00; Yasonna Laoly received USD 84,000.00; Khatibul Umam Wiranu received USD 400,000.00; M. Jafar Hapsah received USD 100,000.00; Ade Komarudin received USD 100,000.00; Abraham Mose, Agus Iswanto, Andra Agusalam, and Darma Mapangara as members of the Board of Directors of PT LEN received Rp 1 billion each; Wahyudin Bagenda as President Directors of PT LEN Industri received Rp 2 billion; Marzuki Ali received Rp 20 billion; and Johanes Marliem received USD 14.88 million and Rp 25,242,546,892.00.

37 members of Commission II received a total USD 556,000.00, obtaining USD 13,000.00-USD 18,000.00 each; several members of the Fatmawati Team, i.e. Jimmy Iskandar Tedjasusila alias Bobby, Eko Purwoko, Andi Noor, Wahyu Setyo, Benny Akhir, Dudi, and Kurniawan received Rp 60 million each; the joint management of PNRI received Rp 137,989,835,260.00; Perum PNRI received Rp 107,710,849,102.00; PT Sandipala Artha Putra received Rp 145,851,156,022.00; PT Mega Lestari Unggul as the holding company of PT Sandipala Artha Putra received Rp 148,863,947,122.00; PT LEN Industri received Rp 20,925,163,862.00; PT Sucofindo received Rp 8,231,289,362.00; and PT Quadra Solution received Rp 127,320,213,798.36.

Other than the above parties, the latest to be implicated as according to Setya Novanto’s testimony, are two ministers in Jokowi’s Cabinet, i.e. the Coordinating Minister of Human and Cultural Development, Puan Maharani, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung. He said that they each received USD 500,000.00 of the e-KTP project monies.

The parties accused of having received illicit funds denied the charge vehemently.  Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, for example, denied that he received fees from the e-KTP project. Pramono reiterates that Setya Novanto’s accusation is baseless, stating that during his tenure as Deputy Speaker of the House in 2009-2014, his job description only included tasks and functions in industry and construction. In other words, during his entire 5-year tenure, he has never had any relation with, let alone be involved in meetings relating to, the mega-project.

“If anybody gives me any bribe, logically that’s because I have the authority due to my position and powers to influence something. I never said anything about e-KTP, and none of the investigated officials ever talked about e-KTP with me,” said the former Secretary General of PDI Perjuangan. He explained that e-KTP was a domestic governmental project, so any discussion about it was made by the Government and Commission II, which deals with domestic issues.

The Coordinating Minister of Human and Cultural Development, Puan Maharani, made a similar statement. She said that she has never discussed the electronic identity card project during her tenure at the House of Representatives (DPR). Before her appointment as a minister, Puan held the position of PDIP Fraction Chairwoman in 2009-2014 and member of Commission VI in 2014. “We naturally discussed everything related to the House, but I personally never talked about e-KTP issues,” Puan said in her office in Jakarta on Friday, 23 March 2018.

Puan denied Setya Novanto’s statement. “What he said is untrue and baseless,” she said. According to her, Setya should be talking about facts, “Not something that ‘they say’ happened.”

Other than Puan and Pramono, former Chairman of Commission II of DPR, Ganjar Pranowo denied that he ever received funds from the corrupted e-KTP project. Ganjar claimed that he has only heard about the distribution when he was questioned in the case.

KPK has guts
Mudzakir, Criminal Law Expert of Indonesia’s Islamic University, Jogjakarta, responded towards the names of the ministers accused by Setya Novanto. According to him, Novanto’s testimony is weak evidence at best, because the testimony was based on what others said, not something that he has witnessed or experienced by himself. “The testimony is not viable unless the testimonies of (Made) Oka and Andi (Narogong) corroborate it,” he said to Independent Observer, 26/3/2018.

Meanwhile, Political Communications Analyst from Paramadina University Hendri Satrio said that the very mention of Puan and Pram’s names is quite surprising, but KPK must follow up on it nevertheless. “It will remain questionable if not followed-up upon. When their names are cleared, Puan and Pramono will be relieved,” he said.

Mudzakir then said that Novanto’s testimony should not just be viewed politically, but also legally.  “What Setnov said has a potential of expanding widely, because Nazaruddin and previous witnesses have implied it. Setnov also dared to name names. For that reason, KPK’s investigators should follow up, do further checks to ascertain the truth and untruth of Setnov’s words. It’s now KPK’s duty to prove and disprove the accusations one by one,” he said. “Let’s push KPK so that it has the guts to investigate these high officials,” he said.

Returning e-KTP Funds
From the e-KTP procurement corruption case that has been going on for the past 4 years, KPK has received Rp 250 billion from 5 corporations, 1 consortium, and 14 individuals. “We received a total replacement of Rp 220 billion from corporations and consortiums. We also received refunds from 14 people, who have been very cooperative with their testimony, at Rp 30 billion,” said Head of KPK’s PR Bureau, Febri Diansyah, at KPK Building, Jalan Kuningan Persada, South Jakarta.

Unfortunately, KPK has not provided any details on who returned the stolen e-KTP funds. Febri again asked the parties who also received monies from the e-KTP project to return them as quickly as possible, because the returned monies may lead to new evidence that might help catch other wrongdoers in this case.

Even though KPK did not release any details, Indonesia Corruption Watch and the Student Senate of Jentera Indonesian Law School collected evidence received in the e-KTP hearings and referred to 15 officials who have returned monies to KPK. They include Irman, Sugiharto, and Diah Anggraini, who returned USD 500,000.00. Kemendagri Staff, Dian Hasanah; and a member of the House-DPR RI, M. Djafar Hafsah who claimed in court that they have submitted monies equal to Rp 1 billion.

When testifying in court, entrepreneur Anang Sugiana Sudiharjo claimed to have returned USD 200,000.00 and Rp 1.3 billion. Others, including BPPT staff Tri Sampurno; a member of e-ID project technical team and academician, Maman Budiman; a Kemendagri staff member, Pringgo Hadi Tjahyono; Chairman of e-KTP Bid Committee, Husni Fahmi; Chairman of the Procurement of Goods and Services Committee, Drajat Wisnu Wibawa; members Abraham Mose and Hotma Sitompul; and BPKP Auditor, Mahmud Toha Siregar, have also returned monies.

Victims of e-KTP
Amidst the mess of e-KTP and the intensity of the KPK in investigating the case was the sad news of the demise of Johannes Marliem, the Director of Biomorf Lone, the vendor of the automatic fingerprint identification system for the e-KTP.

Marliem was said to be a key witness in the resolution of the e-KTP case. He was found dead in his home in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA, at 02.00 a.m. on 10 August 2017. He was thought to have killed himself. Marliem and his company was slated to provide the L-1 brand Automated Finger Print Identification System (AFIS) which will be used in the e-ID project. Before his death, he claimed to know the roles of all officials involved in the corruption that defrauded the nation of Rp 2.3 trillion, including that of Setya Novanto.

Biomorf showcases the e-ID project as a promotional item on the company website. According to Biomorf, the e-KTP program is one of the biggest multi-biometrics civil identification projects in the world, which will store data on citizens’ faces, fingerprints, and eye pupils.  Indonesia’s e-ID has a unique identification number and contains fingerprints, photo, and encrypted demographic data. Biomorf was established in 2008 and has offices in 3 countries, i.e. Indonesia, India, and the United States.

The statement that Johannes killed himself is questionable. After all, he was only 32 years old and his life in the United States was a prosperous one. According to investigations of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reporting to the Court in Minnesota, his varied assets included a home by the shores of Lake Minnetonka valued at Rp 25.5 billion, a Bugatti car valued at Rp 35 billion, a luxury watch collection valued at Rp 21.5 billion, and two Hermes bags valued at Rp 8 billion. He was also known to have leased a personal jet at Rp 10.7 billion. FBI also recorded a flow of funds of up to USD 13 million, which is equal to Rp 175 billion, from Indonesian accounts to his personal accounts in the period of July 2011-March 2014.

Other than living large, Johannes was also known for giving large. He donated Rp 3.02 billion for the inauguration of United States President Barack Obama in 2013, and he also donated Rp 888 million to the Como Friends non-profit organization in 2014.

Other than Johannes Marliem, the Eradication Corruption Commission Investigator, Novel Baswedan also suffered an unfortunate attack on Tuesday 11 April 2017, when acid was sprayed onto his face by an unknown person, and his eyes were injured. There is a strong suspicion that the acid attack was related to the e-KTP case he was handling. Novel was the Head of the Investigative Task Force handling the e-KTP case, and he gave testimony in the e-KTP hearing, exposing much wrongdoing.

Novel was then taken to Singapore for therapy; after 10 months, he returned to Indonesia in February. Even though Novel is well enough to come home, his sight is not fully recovered: he cannot see anything out of his left eye, while his right eye’s vision is still blurred. He is still focusing on treatments to recover his sight. Not only are his eyes not yet healed, his attackers have yet to be found. This is very sad.

Database
Since the commencement of the e-KTP case, much effort has been made to solve it. We now know the 8 major suspects in the procurement of goods and services for the electronic ID.  However, until now nobody is certain where our demographic database is stored. In relation to the e-KTP, the party that processes the demographic database is Biomorf Lone. As the Company is headquartered in the United States, there is a strong suspicion that data on Indonesian citizens is in the hands of Uncle Sam. Biomorf data shows that 172 million citizens in 6,452 sub-districts in Indonesia are recorded in the e-KTP program.

Mudzakir admitted that even though the e-KTP project failed, the database has been shared with the United States.  He questions the location of the demographic database and begs the Government to take serious notice of it. “Who possesses the data now – that’s where the danger lies,” he says.

In relation with the upcoming Elections, there is hope that the information technology is open and controllable in order to avoid future cheating. “There is a grave danger when abuse of information technology occurs – a difference of 2 digits can represent a change of at least hundreds of people. If people cheat manually by changing the figures, they can be caught. But fooling with digital numbers is hard to control. That is why this is necessary – because we need valid data to check voting,” he said.

The 2014 Elections left us with an important lesson of needing a stricter watch on voter data, because many people were recorded as valid voters even though they had actually died. “We must monitor Election results closely, because changing voting results with modern technology is very easy. Just add 0.2 to the percentage: that’s already a major difference.  The voter data transported from the booths to the sub-district offices, village offices, district offices, must be valid. Data from the provinces to the center must be even more solid. We must do this to avoid the mistakes of 2014. I suggest that KPU publish votes per district, sub-district, down to neighborhood level in print. This must be a printed product, not just digital, because print data is more solid while digital data is easily changed,” he said.

With these concerns about a digital system, Mudzakir actually proposes a return to a manual system. “(To vote) you must show your ID card, your Family Card, 2 proving documents at a minimum,” he said. Mudzakir finds the e-KTP bribery case that cost the nation billions to be a petty concern, as the big issue is actually the demographic database as a state secret. “This is what we should take to task as the political crime of subversion. Bribery is nothing new in the country. If the state endures losses, all you have to do is confiscate everything and return it to the nation. However, e-KTP data that is transported abroad and now does not exist here: according to me that’s what I call an “internal crime against the nation”. It is subversion that can destroy our nation. We must find them, whoever is involved. If it involves ministers, we must investigate thoroughly why and how such critical data escaped abroad. That is more important than just minding the e-KTP case now,” he reiterates.

Since the e-KTP case got blown, Mudzakir has been focusing on his views on demographic database. “I’ve reminded everyone about the e-KTP database frequently, but no official responds, even though this is related to state secrets. It really is related to the State Intelligence Agency, which is responsible for maintaining state secrets. But not a single person complained about it. Why can’t the nation talk about the missing citizenship data? The state must be moved, because the biggest threat relating to e-KTP is the loss of the entire body of data on Indonesian citizens,” he said spiritedly.

Mudzakir finds that the data is crucially related to the Elections of 2019. He’s concerned that the data could be used to attack Indonesia. “These two things can affect Indonesian elections. With this data, people can tweak winning easily. And a person who wins in such a way will not be loyal to this country, but to the person providing him with such a win. This means that the very republic is at stake,” he said.

According to Hendri, on the other hand, the one who holds the demographic database should be checked. “But that should be done by the Government,” he said.

With such conflicting rumors about the location of the demographic database, can we hope for justice to be upheld in the country? Only time will tell.
(Dessy Aipipidely)