PON Shooting Venue Not Yet Bulletproof
Pekanbaru. A wall in the shooting arena at the National Games (PON) in Pekanbaru, which was designed to be bullet-proof, has cracked, and is now pitted with a five-centimeter hole after shooters held practice on Wednesday.
Indonesian news portal tempo.co said a bullet penetrated the wall behind a target in the 25 meter arena and entered a worker’s barracks that was empty at the time the shoot was fired.
The broken wall comes just a week after the roof of PON’s tennis stadium partially collapsed under strong winds, reinforcing allegations that construction for the games was both graft ridden and shoddy.
Lawmaker Zul Fadhli, who is in Pekanbaru to monitor PON and its preparations, said the 25-meter shooting event might need to be postponed until the venue’s safety could be ensured.
“That [postponing] would be better than insisting on using the venue, which could lead to fatalities . . . How would athletes make achievements with these poor facilities?” Zul asked.
Sita Razni, the technical delegate for the shooting games at the 18th PON, admitted that construction at the shooting venue was not finished yet — a steel plate behind the targets will be installed later on Wednesday, she said, promising that no events would be held until the steel plate was installed.
The PON shooting arena is just one of several facilities at the center of an extensive graft case. Ten members of the Riau Council and several local officials have been named suspects for allegedly receiving bribes to “smooth” deliberations of a revision of a bylaw allocating an additional budget for the shooting range.
Just last week, the Pekanbaru Anti-Corruption Court sent Rahmat Saputra, a manager with state-owned construction firm Pembangunan Perumahan, to two-and-a-half years in jail for bribery.