Jakarta – The supervisory board of the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) denied on Friday that it had protected a former member from sexual-assault allegations, saying that it had no idea that the alleged incidents had taken place.
The former member, Syafri Adnan Baharuddin – who resigned earlier this month – was accused by a female colleague of rape and sexual harassment both inside and outside the office.
The board denied protecting Syafri, saying it had first heard about the case after receiving the complainant's report to the National Social Security Council (DJSN).
"We in the name of the supervisory board of BPJS Ketenagakerjaan want to clarify the situation regarding our former member," said Guntur Witjaksono, the head of the supervisory board.
"We, the board, are accused of intentionally protecting him following the allegations of sexual misconduct against him. That is not true."
Guntur said Syafri had admitted to him on Nov. 28, that he had been in a "special relationship" with the complainant.
He explained that she had been suspended as a result of a meeting of the supervisory board, which had decided that the "special relationship was unhealthy".
"The suspension was implicitly designed to stop [the complainant] and [Syafri Adnan Baharuddin] from meeting face-to-face, since the conflict [between them] had reached a dangerous level," he said.
He said the complainant's report was eventually sent to the DJSN, and that he called for another supervisory board meeting after that.
"I called for another supervisory board meeting to mete out a punishment to Syafri because firing him was not within my authority. I asked him to resign from his position as the head of the budget, audit and actuarial committee, but not as a member of the board as yet. He responded with his resignation [from the committee]," Guntur told a press conference, while adding that not long after this resignation, Syafri resigned from the board.
The complainant accused her former superior of sexual misconduct and reported him to the National Police's Criminal Investigation Division on Tuesday. She claimed that she had been raped at least four times between April 2016 and November 2018, and also harassed during and outside of working hours.
Syafri has denied the claims and made counter allegations to the police on Monday of violations of the Electronic Information and Transactions Law and the Criminal Code on defamation.
M. Adityawarman, another board member, echoed Guntur's statements. He questioned whether the sexual harassment had taken place because every BPJS Ketenagakerjaan meeting between committee members was recorded.
"Every meeting she had with me is clear and on the record. Meanwhile, the timeframe during which she claimed the sexual misconduct occurred has never been made clear," he said. (spl)
This article was originally published in The Jakarta Post's print edition on Jan. 12, 2019, with the title "BPJS Ketenagakerjaan denies protecting board member".