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In Indonesia, Graft Alleged In Koran Buying

Indonesia’s independent Corruption Eradication Commission has named a member of the national legislature in a corruption case related to the procurement of Korans by the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Legislator Zulkarnaen Djabar has been asked to step down by officials of his Golkar Party during the investigation.

But according to the Jakarta Post, an official in the Ministry of Religious Affairs has ‘accused the media of blowing up the case and insinuated that certain interested parties were trying to discredit the ministry.’

There have been other allegations of corruption directed at the Ministry of Religious Affairs. In 2009, Indonesia Corruption Watch uncovered evidence suggesting money set aside for the hajj pilgrimage had been misappropriated, the Jakarta Post said.

In a letter to the newspaper, Yohanes Sulaiman, a lecturer at the Indonesian Defense University (Unhan), asked: ‘Is nothing sacred anymore? . . . This entire scandal again feeds the perception of our politicians being so out of touch with ordinary people and having such self-importance that they think themselves to be above the law — not only the law of the state but also the law of the divine.’

About 85% of Indonesia’s 240 million people are Muslim.

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