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BP Batam denies ombudsman's maladministration findings in Rempang Eco-City project

Tempo - February 1, 2024

Yoga Eka Sahputra, Jakarta – The head of Batam Development Board or BP Batam Muhammad Rudi, responded to Ombudsman's investigation on alleged maladministration in Rempang Eco-City. According to Rudi, BP Batam has to abide by all rules in developing the national strategic project.

"I believe the law enforcement [team] knows better," he said on Wednesday in Batam.

Rudi emphasized that he's not willing to comment further on the maladministration claims but reaffirmed that Rempang Eco-City will be developed after the land transfer process is finalized.

"The transfer process is quite slow due to unfinished administration. I'm not going to comment further but [the development] will proceed if the administration is cleared up, from the forest to the status of land management rights (HPL)," he explained.

Rudi claimed that his side would resolve any apparent issue to ensure a smooth sailing development of the Batam project. "Including the compensation and such. We will resolve everything to ensure there's no [maladministration]," he added.

Ombudsman previously reported a number of maladministration issues found in its investigation from September 2023 to January 2024. Ombusdman member Johanes Widijantoro said on Monday that at least four maladministration findings were noted in the Rempang Eco-City project. Those were related to neglect, dragged-out suspension, and unprocedural actions within the context of Rempang Eco-City development.

The first maladministration finding was of Kampung Tua in Rempang Island, which has no document to back up its existence.

Second, to the land status and land management rights. The mishandling occurred before BP Batam acquired the right to manage the land, and Ombudsman urged the agency to resolve the issue.

Another maladministration count Ombudsman reported was the time Rempang Eco-City was established as a strategic project. From May to July, the short time marked the lack of thorough preparation to accelerate Rempang Eco-City development. Rejection and agrarian conflict that occurred was caused by a shortcoming of adequate regulation, policy, and land availability.

The last finding was related to repressive measures taken by the police and joint apparatus. The enforcement against resident rejection of Rempang Eco-City caused fear and insecurity within Rempang communities. In addition, Ombudsman concluded that these measures caused distrust toward the police and the government as a whole.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1828497/bp-batam-denies-ombudsmans-maladministration-findings-in-rempang-eco-city-projec