Jakarta – Indonesia banned political parties contesting the May 29 general election from obtaining foreign aid, the Media Indonesia newspaper reported yesterday. "It is against the law for the parties to ask for foreign funds even though they feel that the election funding is insufficient," it quoted Mr H. S. A. Yusacc, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, as saying on Tuesday. The two minority parties complained on Monday that the 500 million rupiah (S$300,000) given by the government was not enough.
Mr Ismail Hasan Metareum, head of the Muslim-oriented United Development Party, said the funding, which made up most of the minority parties' income, was too little. Mr Soerjadi, leader of the government-backed faction of the divided Indonesian Democratic Party, said the money would not pay for the campaign, which begins on April 27 and ends on May 23. – Reuter.