Lots of Pledges, Little Show Of End to Officials’ Fuel Use
Markus Junianto Sihaloho& Bayu Marhaenjati
As one of the state institutions subject to a ban on using subsidized fuel for its vehicles as of the start of this month, the Jakarta Police say they are complying fully.
“We are converting to non-Premium [non-subsidized fuel],” Jakarta Police Chief Insp. Gen. Untung S. Rajab said on Friday.
“We began doing that [on Thursday night] at midnight.”
However, he declined to talk about how the new rule would affect the police department’s budget.
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Saud Usman Nasution said that all police cars were barred from using subsidized fuel and that violators would face disciplinary sanctions.
“Based on the order of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on fuel and electricity savings, the National Police chief has stressed that as of June 1, police vehicles in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi are not allowed to use subsidized Premium gasoline,” he said.
He added that patrol cars had a quota of 30 liters of fuel per day. Official cars for officers are limited to 7.5 liters per day, while those with engines larger than two liters would get 12.5 liters per day. Buses get 15 liters per day and motorcycles, two liters.
“For the other cities in Java and Bali, this rule will take effect on July 1,” Saud said. “For cities outside of Java and Bali, it is still being discussed.”
Earlier this week, Yudhoyono unveiled a national drive to save electricity and fuel energy. The program includes a prohibition on all state cars, including those from state-owned enterprises, from using subsidized fuels. Also subjected to the ban are vehicles that belong to mining and plantation companies.
Although legislators are under no obligation to switch to non-subsidized fuels, many said they would abide by the ban.
“We do not use official cars,” Teguh Juwarno, from the National Mandate Party (PAN), said on Friday.
“We were only given financial assistance by the state for the purchase of a car, and because we have no officials cars, we are not subjected to the ban.”
However, he said he was certain that most legislators had “high morals” and would therefore not use subsidized fuels.
“Surely, all will opt to empathize with the people,” he said.
Leaders of the House of Representatives, the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) and the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), have the right to an official car, but most preferred to use their own.
Meilani Leimena, an MPR deputy speaker, is one of the few exceptions, but her driver, Supri, said that her official car, a Toyota Crown Royal Saloon, had always used non-subsidized gasoline.
“If it used subsidized fuel, it would certainly not run well. From the beginning, this car has always used Pertamax,” he said referring to the high-octane, non-subsidized gasoline.
But a photo circulating online showed the Lexus LX460L used by Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah filling up on subsidized fuel at a gas station on Wednesday.
Atut expressed surprise when shown the photograph by reporters.
“What, Premium? Just wait, I have to ask the driver about it,” she said.
But she also claimed that her government administration still waiting for the central government to enforce the ban in the province.
“Until now, the official instruction has not yet been issued,” she said.
Muhyi Mohas, a legal observer from Banten’s Tirtayasa University, said officials found filling up with subsidized fuel should be “morally sanctioned” to shame them.
Additional reporting from BeritasatuTV