JAKARTA — Social Affairs Minister Idrus Marham resigned on Friday (Aug 24) after becoming the first member of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s Cabinet to be named a suspect in a graft investigation. Idrus, who is also a top Golkar Party politician, has been implicated in an embezzlement case related to the development of a coal-powered power plant (PLTU) in Riau.
Idrus delivered his resignation letter to the President on Friday, citing his ethical and moral obligation to step down. He acknowledged that he had received on Thursday an investigation notice issued by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
“First [my resignation] is to protect the dignity of the President, who is known for being a leader with a high commitment to eradicating corruption in Indonesia,” Idrus told the press at the Presidential Palace complex. “As a law-abiding citizen, I fully respect the legal process at the KPK and I want to concentrate on complying with legal procedures at the KPK in accordance with the law,” he added.
Idrus went on to say that he had told the President during the meeting to immediately find a better figure to replace him to continue programs at the ministry, including in poverty alleviation. The KPK previously named two suspects in the embezzlement case, Golkar lawmaker Eni Saragih and businessman Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo, for alleged bribery totalling at least 4.8 billion rupiah (S$449,780) in relation to contract signing for the Riau-1 PLTU construction.