Sinar Harapan
27 June 2019

Former Chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission Antasari Azhar: BLBI was Bigger for Government Banks, But the Settlement Is Not Clear


JAKARTA – The former Chair of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Antasari Azhar questioned the return of Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance (BLBI) funds of Rp 446 trillion by state bansk, which was never resolved.

He said that out of a total of Rp600 trillion in BLBI funds, most of it was enjoyed by government banks. While private banks receive IDR 154 trillion.

On a talk show in Jakarta on Wednesday (6/26/2019) afternoon, Antasari Azhar said, when leading the KPK (2007-2009) there was already a problem with BLBI being investigated by the prosecutor's office, but for private banks including Sjamsul Nursalim’s and "I myself at that time just wanted to start investigating the Rp 446 trillion. The losses at the red plate banks were more," he said.

BLBI was an assistance scheme (loan) provided by Bank Indonesia to national banks in 1998 in order to maintain monetary stability following the 1997-1998 crisis in which the value of the rupiah dropped dramatically, and interest rates surged very high. The public lost trust in the government and there were large scale withdrawals (rush) from banks.

Antasari said that when he led the KPK he wanted to return the KPK to its intention as a kind of trigger mechanism to encourage the efforts to eradicate corruption by the police and prosecutors to be more effective and efficient.

He wanted to investigate the IDR 446 trillion BLBI settlement of the government banks. "I wanted to study the conditions in which Rp 446 trillion was handed over to government banks. Where is the case? Isn't there? That's what we collected to start investigating, because I didn't want BLBI to become a commodity. A political issue that emerge every year (again and again), "he said.

"I asked the prosecutor to give a report to the KPK on how many cases had been resolved, how much money was withdrawn based on returns from substitute money and the results of the auctions. I asked the prosecutor to collect it, but until I was released from the KPK there was no report," he said .

He also questioned why all these state banks were merged into Bank Mandiri.
The advocate Maqdir Ismail, who was contacted separately, conveyed his notes of the total BLBI funds that was distributed amounted to Rp 600 trillion.

Of this amount, Rp 460 trillion was used by government banks. Whereas private banks used Rp 140 trillion. The completion of BLBI was only carried out by for private banks, among others through the MSAA (Master Settlement and Acquisition Agreement) scheme.

One of the parties to this scheme was his client, namely Sjamsul Nursalim, the shareholder of BDNI (Indonesian National Trade Bank). Sjamsul Nursalim followed the settlement scheme through the MSAA because he handed over assets worth equal to the bank's liability so that he could get a Release and Discharge from the government on May 25, 1999