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Ulama Council one of the country’s most frequent bribe seekers - TII

Detik.com - January 21, 2009

Jakarta – According to Transparency International Indonesia (TII), the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) has become one of the institutions that most frequently accept bribes. Most of this alleged bribery is related to management of halal (kosher, permitted under Islam) certificates.

According to TII Research and Policy Manager Frenky Simanjuntak, out of the 171 respondents that were interviewed from food and cosmetic companies, as many as 10 percent admitted to being asked for money in relation to their businesses.

“So it is closely linked to how companies submit halal certificates”, he said during a press conference at the Kartini Public Hall on Jl. Gatot Subroto in South Jakarta on Wednesday January 21.

The survey was conducted between September and December 2008 in 50 cities comprising 33 provincial capitals with an additional 17 major cities.

Simanjuntak went on to explain that the initiative for this bribery originated from public officials. Like it or not, businesspeople sometimes have to go along with these demands. “Nevertheless this is still categorised as bribery”, asserted Simanjuntak.

Nevertheless, Simanjuntak said he did not know if the results of the survey could be pursued by the relevant authorities. In his view, the survey simply serves as a reference. “Going in that direction (an investigation), that’s beyond the authority of the survey results”, he concluded. (mok/iy)


The ultra-conservative Indonesian Ulama Council or Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI), a council of Islamic religious leaders that functions as the National Islamic Law Deliberation Board, portrays itself as the “moral guardian” of the country and advocates the enactment of Sharia or Islamic based laws a way of eradicating the rampant corruption that pervades all levels of Indonesian society.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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