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Sampoerna, SBY-Demokrat, & Century bailout

December 30, 2009 , Posted by byu at 3:54 AM


George Aditjondro wrote in the controversial book: Membongkar Gurita Cikeas, Di balik Skandal Bank Century about the connection of Sampoerna Group/Family with SBY-Demokrat through Jurnal Nasional newspaper. Boedi Sampoerna, according to Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), had over US$200 million deposit in Century, which would gone, if government closed down the troubled Bank Century.

I just remember when our fellow journalists discussed about who's behind Jurnal Nasional newspaper when it first hit newsstands few years ago (2006 to be exact). Journalists in town mainly mentioned Sampoerna. Which Sampoerna or who in the Sampoerna family involved in Jurnal Nasional (JURNAS), nobody knows except people within the company. George wrote that it's Soenaryo Sampoerna (not Putera, nor Boedi) who invested in the newspaper (PT Media Nusa Perdana). Soenaryo's name is mentioned in various reports about PT Esa Kertas, who is in legal dispute with Bank Danamon. Our source said Soenaryo, known as Kian Soen, is the son of Boedi.

In the first two years of JURNAS, according to George, Sampoerna installed two representatives: Ting Anantan Setiawan and Rainerius Taufik. Ting's role has reportedly been replaced by First Lady Ani Yudhoyono's younger sister, who is also the wife of Gatot Suwondo (BNI CEO).

Nobody knows how much money Sampoerna already invested in JURNAS. George only pointed to print cost of the paper since 2006 has reached Rp90 billion. If that's true, JURNAS might have spent over Rp300 billion, because according to our experience in the media business, printing cost might be around 30% of total cost.

Still, nobody knows who gave what and how much for the operation of this newspaper. What's the connection between Sampoerna investment in JURNAS and Century bailout? George, in a talk-show with TVOne, said he made no connection between those two. Let people to draw conclusion? Well, what an unpleasant New Year gift for SBY and Demokrat Party.

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