A former school committee member of senior high school SMA 70 in Jakarta was reported to police after writing on his blog of alleged corruption at the school.
Musni Umar, who is also a member of Parents Concerned About Education (APPI), was questioned by the Jakarta Police on Monday. He wrote on his blog about corruption at international-standard schools (RSBI) including SMA 70, alleging that some RSBI principals received very high salaries compared to the heads of other schools.
The Indonesian Teachers Federation (FSGI) and Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) joined Musni at police headquarters on Monday to show their support.
“Musni should be defended,” said Febri Hendri, coordinator of public service monitoring with ICW. “If we let this happen, it could stop public criticism of public money’s usage at schools. We don’t want it to happen. We’re collecting ‘sapu lidi’ [broom made from palm fronds] as a symbol of support and cleansing, [to show] schools should be free from corruption.”
According to Febri, ICW is also suspicious of the financial management at SMA 70. She claimed that the principal received Rp 20 million ($2,100) per month on top of a normal salary.
“We saw [the evidence] that the principal gets Rp 20 million monthly in addition to the salary,” Febri said. “There are receipts as evidence given [to us] from the [previous] school committee. In fact, civil servants are prohibited from receiving money aside from salary.”
Febri said ICW would gather more evidence, after which it would consider reporting the principal for corruption.
Musni was reported to police by Ricky Agusiady, the head of SMA 70’s school committee, on June 15. Ricky filed a defamation claim against Musni for writing about alleged embezzlement of committee funds totaling Rp 1 billion.
“He spread slander and lies via mailing list,” Ricky said recently, as quoted by Tempo.co.
Prior to Musni’s blog post, titled “Learn from the Honesty of the Prophet Muhammad,” he had made the embezzlement allegations in February 2011. Police investigated the claim then, but later issued a letter to terminate the investigation (SP3), citing a lack of evidence.