Early this year, many Indonesians were outraged when news came out that the People’s Representative Council (DPR) spent Rp 20 billion (USD 2 million) to renovate its 8400-square feet (780 sqm) Budget Agency meeting room (see photos above and below).
The following article about the Presidential Office’s expenditures on renovations for itself is old, from the beginning of this year, but sparked over 1300 comments and many more views from Indonesian netizens on the popular Kaskus discussion forums…
Wow, the Cost for Renovating Presidential Palace Reaches Rp 21.9 Million [USD 2.3 Million]
JAKARTA – The People’s Representative Council is not the only one wasting tens of billions of rupiahs [millions of dollars] on renovation projects. As it turns out, the Presidential Office is also doing the same thing.
Based on the data from Federal Government Budget Plan Year 2012 Appendix 4 BA007 tabulated by the Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Seknas FITRA), they assessed that the budget allocation for a series of projects in the Ministry of State Secretary and the Palaces reaches Rp 80.48 billion [USD 8 million].
Details are as follows:
1. Budget allocation program to improve facilities in the Ministry of State Secretary Apparatus:
- Construction/improvement for Ministry of State Secretary office building Rp 41,397,859,000 [USD 4.4 million]
- Construction/improvement for State Housing Rp 14,781,680,000 [USD 1.6 million]
- Gateway rail repair for State Secretary office building Rp 349,050,000 [USD 37,000]
- Construction of security fence for the State Secretary land assets Rp 2,050,990,000[USD 216,000]
2. Jakarta Presidential Palace: Rehabilitation/renovation for state building Rp 10,680,518,000 [USD 1.1 million]
3. Bogor Presidential Palace: Renovation for buildings/structures Rp 3,342,917,000 [USD 353,000]
4. Yogyakarta Presidential Palace: Rehabilitation/renovation for buildings/structures Rp 2,359,928,000 [USD 249,000]
5. Tampak Siring Presidential Palace in Bali: Renovation for buildings/structures Rp 1,558,979,000 [USD 164,000]
6. Cipanas Presidential Palace: Renovation for buildings/structures Rp 3,960,242,000 [USD 418,000]
A press statement received by Okezone Wednesday evening (January 18, 2012) by Advocacy and Investigation Coordinator Ucok Sky Khadafi for Seknas FITRA said that the austerity program that has always been championed by the government was unfortunately not carried out in their own departments.
Ucok cited the 2011 budget allocation for renovating the Presidential Palace in Jakarta was Rp 3 billion [USD 316,000] but in 2012, it was increased to Rp 10 billion [USD 1 million].
“All of this [spending] illustrates that the government’s policy is inhumane because it prioritizes building construction or physical construction over human resource development,” criticized Ucok.
Comments from Kaskus:
As a citizen, it hurts to see this news
Right when there are a lot of people living in harsh conditions and uncertainty, the government is busy renovating the Palace ='(
I’m concerned! =(
Hmmm … sigh ….this is sad, boss.
What do they use the palace for anyway??? Might as well make it into a museum so the public can enjoy it.
Creating projects to earn fees =D
I’m confused on what to comment on… What was reported was only the amount. The [buildings] area and the details of improvements were not so clear…
In my opinion this is normal… State Palace (Istana Negara) should be big, spacious, and the improvements should not just be ordinary..
This is my objective opinion you know, boss. But I wonder why all the palaces had to be repaird all at once. Why not just one or two first…
The people don’t even mind sleeping on the river side, how could it cost that much… It should only be renovated when it really is crumbling…
[The government] doesn’t care about using the public’s money for useless expenses.
ZaidSeptember: (responding to agent703)
You’re right, boss. It’s very odd. The renovation was done for the palaces all at once.
That’s normal. That’s the office used to manage a lot of people. There are 200 million people. We can’t use the porch or a shack as the location to manage that!!
Look beyond the cost. It’s for national pride too. Look at the historical value too…[we need to have an] open mind and [to think] outside of the box ….
I’d rather [the government] build many palaces costing only Rp 21.9 billion [USD 2.3 million] than spending that building WC [water closets, washrooms, restrooms]…..
Both the DPR and the MINISTRY alike are losers who rob the public’s money.
It’s true, boss, what people say, that INDONESIA is now a country that has become THE BUNKER FOR CORRUPTORS.
BrianAdinda: (responding to podsxa)
You said it’s used for taking care of the people???
I do not feel being taken care of by the government, boss. If this country was an airplane, then it’s flying on auto pilot regardless of whether the airplane is going to crash or not.
Regarding national pride, I am more proud of Indonesia’s [unity in] diversity than a building, boss.
sandy70: (replying to podsxa)
Only [USD 2.3 million]??
Okay why don’t thou pay up then … =D =D
It’s all very elegant, The People’s Representative Council (DPR) and the [executive] government working together to rob the public’s money. It’s time to take action by NOT PAYING TAXES. It’s useless to pay tax anyway when the tax money will just get robbed by those damned officials.
Please go ahead with renovations, but these buildings still stand majestically… How come many of the primary school buildings that are leaking, have holes in the walls, and are nearly collapsed are not renovated? A lot of primary schools in my place are counting down the days to collapse .. sob
Why don’t they renovate based on urgency a.k.a the highest priorities first. If the building is still okay, it could be postponed first. It means to prioritize based on what is important and what can be postponed .. sob
The government has gone crazy.
They don’t have any feeling. Can’t they see that the people are suffering?
Bah, I’m sick of reading about these things. It only makes me emotional..
They’re not thinking about people who are suffering, instead they’re just wasting money.
LOL, the cost of renovation for the 5 Palaces is equal to the renovation cost of the DPR‘s 10×10 meter Budget Agency room hahaha
The palace is one of the symbols of this country. Of course it would need good maintenance. You don’t want the palace to be messy when it is used for welcoming state guests or for national ceremonies.
If one can provide a more detailed allocation of that huge amount of funds, perhaps it can make fellow Kaskusers [Kaskus users] comment even more. It would be even better if the urgency of each repairs can be explained further because this country should think about infrastructure repairs in other areas such as education (there are many schools not even decent enough to use if the high officials of this country want to be sensitive with their surroundings)
ChibaTadayoshi: (replying to ZaidSeptember)
Does [news about the presidential palaces’ renovation] hurt more than [knowing] the cost of renovation for a 10×10 meter room? They cost the same…
When it comes to corruption and wasting state money, our government is the expert.
What do you think? Are the renovations and expenses necessary and reasonable? Or are there more pressing needs for the money?