Thursday, December 23, 2010
He Didn't Get The Memo
Queried about Koran Tempo's report that his company's assets were about to be seized by Indonesian anti-monopoly agency KPPU (Komisi Pengawas Persaingan Usha), his cavalier response was, "Temasek has not received official notification from the Supreme Court." Maybe he didn't get to read the memo, but everybody else is cognizant of the sequence of events:
November 2007 - KPPU ruled Temasek and its affiliates were in breach of Indonesia's anti-monopoly laws. As two of its subsidiaries had stakes in two major Indonesian telecommunication companies, Indosat and Telkomsel, it was in a dominant position to control of more than 50 per cent of the celluar market and allowed it to fix tariff rates. KPPU fined Temasek and the other parties 25 billion rupiah (S$3.7 million) each.
December 2007 - Temasek filed an appeal at Central Jakarta Court, claiming KPPU had no basis for the decision.
May 2008 - The court upheld the KPPU's judgment and ordered the stakes in either Indosat or Telkomsel be sold within two years and reduced the fine to 15 billion rupiah each. ST Telemedia sold its stake in Indosat to Qatar Telecom in June 2009, an act that can be construed as acceptance of the court ruling.
May 2010 - Indonesian's Supreme Court rejected Temask's appeal to overturn the ruling. A fine of 150 billion rupiah (S$22 million) was set, which includes 15 billion rupiah for each of 10 Temasek-linked companies involved in the case.
KPPU commissioner Erwin Syahril said that the competition watchdog is asking a Jakarta district court to "sequester Temasek's assets because there was no payment from it".
The Koran Tempo article has the subhead "Sudah 10 tahun lebih tidak membayar denda", meaning "more than 10 years, fine not paid" - our local equivalent is O$P$. KPPU chairman Tresna Soemardi explains their exasperation, "It (Temasek) always sends letters to say it does not have an office in Indonesia." If Yong's strategy is to act blur like sotong, as in Army days, or "buat bodoh" in Indonesian parlance, he should pay heed to what Muhammad Reza, the agency’s chief of investigations, had to say, “Once the company has been formally notified of the fine and doesn’t pay it, the Indonesian anti-monopoly commission may ask for a court order to seize the assets.” It doesn't get more official than that.