Ratu Atut Chosiyah

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Hj. Ratu Atut Chosiyah, S.K.
3 Governor of Banten
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 11, 2007
Acting: October 10, 2005 - January 11, 2007
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Deputy Mohammad Masduki
H. Rano Karno
Preceded by Djoko Munandar
Personal details
Born (1962-05-16)16 May 1962
Ciomas, Serang, West Java, Indonesia
Nationality Indonesian
Political party Golkar Party
Spouse(s) Deceased Drs H. Hikmat Tomet
Children Andika Hazrumy (eldest son)
Parents H. Tubagus Chasan Sochib (father)
Residence Serang, Indonesia
Occupation Politician
Religion Islam

Ratu Atut Chosiyah (born Ciomas, Serang, Banten, 16 May 1962) is the current governor (gubernur) of the province of Banten, Indonesia. She has held office for several terms. Before her election as governor in 2006 she was the deputy governor under Djoko Munandar from 11 January 2002. Djoko became involved in a corruption case and was suspended from office in October 2005.[1] President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appointed Ratu Atut as caretaker governor to take over Djoko's administrative duties and she later became governor.[2] She is the first female governor in Indonesia. She is currently under investigation by the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission for alleged corruption.

Political career[edit]

Deputy Governor[edit]

Atut firstly took office as deputy governor under governor Djoko Munandar in 2002 making her the first woman deputy governor in Indonesia. In 2005 Djoko Munandar was removed from office for corruption. Atut was sworn in as acting governor until Djoko's term ended in January 2007.

2006 Election[edit]

As caretaker governor she was responsible for the preparations for the 2006 provincial election. She decided to nominate and selected Mohammad Masduki as her running mate in the deputy governor (wakil gubernur) slot. She won the election held on 26 November 2006 and became governor for the 2006-2011 period. She was sworn into office along with her deputy governor, Mohammad Masduki, by the minister of interior Muhammad Ma'ruf on 11 January 2007.

Governorship (since 2007)[edit]

Activities as governor[edit]

As governor, Ratu Atut has been active in building links between political and business circles in Banten. She has supported plans for large investments to expand the Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta international airport located within Banten province. She has also involved the Banten government in active support for the proposed Sunda Strait Bridge megaproject which would be likely to cost over $US 20 billion if plans for the construction of the bridge go ahead.

2011 Election[edit]

Ratu Atut stood for election again in the 2011 provincial elections with Rano Karno as her running mate for deputy governor.[3] She was supported by two of the largest political parties in Indonesia, Golkar and the PDI-P (Partai Demokrat Indonesia-Perjuangan), and won the election comfortably with 49.6% of the vote.[4] Initially, the vote was challenged by the losing candidates.[5] However in November 2011 the Constitutional Court rejected the challenges clearing the way for Ratu Atut to became governor of Banten for a second time.[6] She was sworn into office for a five-year term 2012-2017 by minister of the interior Gamawan Fauzi on 11 January 2012.[7]

Corruption allegations[edit]

2013

On 3 October 2013 Ratu Atut was forbidden from travelling overseas by the Indonesian Immigration authorities on account of a number of corruption investigations in which her family was suspected of involvement.[8] The imposition of the travel ban, and the reports that her brother Tubagus Chaeri Wardana (often known as "Wawan") was involved in a case of bribery involving the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, encouraged some Banten residents to stage a protest outside the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi or KPK) about her activities as governor of the province.[9] On Friday 11 October 2013 Ratu Atut, in response to an official summons, attended a session at the KPK to answer questions about the bribery case involving her brother.[10]

Issues of possible corruption surrounding Atut's family widened significantly in late October when the KPK announced that an investigation had been launched into matters under the administration of Atut's sister-in-law, Tangerang Mayor Airin Rachmi Diani. The investigation, into alleged irregularities in the procurement of medical equipment in South Tangerang, were said to be into matters entirely unrelated to the bribery investigation concerning Airin's husband, Tubagus Chaeri "Wawan" Wardana.[11]

The row over issues of possible corruption in Atut's family continued to attract close media attention during November 2013. On 17 December the KPK took the significant step of formally named Atut as a suspect in connection with her alleged role in the suspected bribery of the chief justice of the Constitutional Court.[12] On 20 December, in the midst of considerable publicity, she attended a formal session at the KPK to answer questions relating to her alleged involvement of corruption. According to press reports, around 1,000 police were mobilised to ensure order in the streets near the KPK and around 40 busloads of her supporters gathered to protest the investigation into her activities.[13] Later in the day, the KPK formally arrested Atut and placed her under detention.[14] Media reports quickly highlighted the sharp change in her personal fortunes, noting the contrast between her lifestyle as governor of Banten when she had lived in relatively lavish surroundings and conditions in the detention centre where she had been placed in Jakarta.[15]

2014

In early January 2014, the KPK widened investigations into Atut's family dealings in Banten. The KPK decided to charge Ratu Atut with extortion in connection with charges that she attempted to bribe for former chief justice of the Constitutional Court, Akil Mochtar, and it was announced that her brother, Tubagus Chaeri "Wawan" Wardana, would be charged with money laundering over his alleged involvement in a medical procurement program in Banten.[16]

Corruption in Banten[edit]

Allegations about corruption within the Banten administration are made more sensitive by the fact that there are well-known historical overtones to the issue of corruption in the area. Severe local poverty has long been a marked feature of some parts of the Banten region. Areas near the provincial capital, Serang, and south of Serang in Lebak and Pandeglang, are known for their high levels of poverty.[17] Extensive poverty in the Lebak area, and the failure of government policies to address the issue, stirred up an international furor when the controversial novel 'Max Havelaar' by Multatuli was published in The Netherlands in 1860. Much of 'Max Havelaar' is set in the Lebak region where the protagonist, young Dutch colonial official Max Havelaar, is presented as battling against a corrupt local Dutch government system.

Family political links[edit]

Ratu Atut's family is well-connected in political and government circles in Banten. Her father, Haji Tubagus Chasan Sochib (often known as Haji Hasan) who died in mid-2011, was a widely known and somewhat controversial business entrepreneur and community leader in the Banten area.[18]

At the time of Ratu Atut's reelection in 2011 it was reported that her husband, Hikmat Tomet, was member of Golkar in the Indonesian People's Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or DPR), her younger sister, Ratu Tatu Chasanah, was the deputy district head of Serang Regency in Banten, her step-brother, Tb Haerul Nurjaman, was deputy mayor of Serang, her son, Andika Hazrumy, was a member of the Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah or DPD) in Jakarta, and her daughter-in-law, Adde Khairunnisa, was the deputy speaker of the Serang regional council.[19] In addition, governor Atut's step-mother, Heryani, is the deputy regent (wakil Bupati) of the Pandeglang regancy, part of Banten province. Her sister-in-law, Airin Rachmi Diany, ran for election as head of the South Tangerang regency, a position she was subsequently elected to after some controversy.[20]

In late 2012 Ratu Atut's brother-in-law, Aden Abdul Khalik, unsuccessfully ran for the position of head (bupati) of the Tangerang Regency in Banten province. Aden was supported in his bid by a range of small political parties including the United Development Party (PPP), the Indonesian Nahdlatul Ulama Party (PNUI, the Concern for the Nation's Function Party (PKPB) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) but not by the major Golkar party which both he and Ratu Atut belonged to at the time.[21]

The detention of Ratu Atut in December 2013 for alleged corruption triggered a contest for leadership within the Banten branch of Golkar. There was some discussion within Golkar ranks at the national level as to the advantages of choosing a regional leader who was not closely linked to Ratu Atut's family.[22] In the vote to decide who would become the regional Golkar chair on 27 December 2013 however, her sister Ratu Tatu Chasanah was selected as the local Golkar leader and the family continued to maintain a highly visible role in political life in the province.[23]

These sorts of extensive family linkages within the political system have led to discussion in recent years in Indonesia about the dangers of 'political dynasties' forming at the local level.[24] The current arrangements in Banten are often cited in the Indonesian and international media as an example of the evolving role of some prominent Indonesian families in politics.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Multa Fidrus, 'Banten governor passes the baton;, The Jakarta Post, 22 October 2005.
  2. ^ 'Banten Governor gets two years for corruption', The Jakarta Post, 22 December 2005.
  3. ^ Rano 'Si Doel' Karno is Banten's Incumbent Governor's Running Mate, The Jakarta Globe, 15 July 2011.
  4. ^ Hans David Tampubolon, 'Atut declared winner in Banten gubanatorial election', The Jakarta Post, 31 October 2011.
  5. ^ 'Atut-Rano set to be inaugurated', The Jakarta Post, 22 November 2011.
  6. ^ Pasangan Atut-Rano menangkan Pemilukada Banten (Atut-Rano Kano team win 2011 Banten Election).
  7. ^ 'Ratu Atut installed as Banten governor for a second time', The Jakarta Post, 11 January 2012.
  8. ^ 'Ratu Atut prevented from travelling overseas'. Kompas daily, 3 October 2013.
  9. ^ Hans Nicholas Jong, 'Banten rises up against House of Atut', The Jakarta Post, 8 October 2013.
  10. ^ Hans Nicholas Jong, 'Banten Govenor questioned over Akil bribery scandal', The Jakarta Post, 12 October 2013.
  11. ^ Hans Nicholas Jong, 'Another member of Atut's dynasty implicated in graft', The Jakarta Post, 23 October 2013.
  12. ^ Hans Nicholas Jong, 'House of Atut on edge after bold KPK move', The Jakarta Post, 18 December 2013.
  13. ^ Rizky Amelia, 'Ratu Atut Appears at KPK Building as Jakarta Police Guard Against Jawara Protest', The Jakarta Globe, 20 December 2013.
  14. ^ 'KPK arrests Banten governor.', The Jakarta Post, 20 December 2013.
  15. ^ Hans Nicholas Jong, 'Dark days ahead for Atut in detention', The Jakarta Post, 22 December 2013.
  16. ^ 'The $8 Million Mayor: "My Wealth Comes From God" ', The Jakarta Globe, 15 January 2014.
  17. ^ 'Students occupy Ratu Atut's lavish official residence', The Jakarta Post, 24 October 2013.
  18. ^ 'Ini dia sumbangsih Chasan Sochib untuk Banten' (This was the contribution of Chasan Sochib to Banten), and 'Dinasti Rau kehilangan Chasan Sochib' (The Rau dynasty loses Chasan Sochib), both in Republika Online, 30 June 2011.
  19. ^ Ronna Nirmala and Markus Junianto Sihaloho, 'A Banten political dynasty rolls on, with a little help from a TV star', The Jakarta Globe, 24 October 2012. See also the additional details provided in 'Editorial: In with the family ...', The Jakarta Post, 25 October 2011.
  20. ^ Ulma Haryanto, 'Court Orders New Vote in S. Tangerang After 'Massive' Poll Violations', The Jakarta Globe, 11 December 2010; Ulma Haryanto, 'No disqualification for election rigging Indonesian politicians', The Jakarta Globe, 13 December 2010; and 'Banten governor installs yet another relative', The Jakarta Post, 20 April 2011.
  21. ^ Multa Fidrus, 'Ratu Atut family stumbles in Tangerang', The Jakarta Post, 10 December 2012.
  22. ^ Haeril Hailim, 'Golkar divided over Ratu Atut dynasty', The Jakarta Post, 27 December 2013.
  23. ^ Hasyim Widiarto, 'Atut clan keeps grip on Golkar', The Jakarta Post, 28 December 2013.
  24. ^ Bagus BT Saragih, 'Ratu Atut's political dynasty is boon for Golkar, says Aburizal', The Jakarta Post, 21 October 2013.
  25. ^ Berly Martawardaya, 'Toward fair competition, an end to political dynasty', The Jakarta Post, 25 March 2013. See also Ben Bland, 'Indonesia's clans fall foul of bribery probes ahead of 2014 poll', The Financial Times, 20 October 2013, and 'Political dynasties produce negative consequences: observers', The Jakarta Post, 23 April 2013.