Org Islamic Society of Algester
Org Al Zahra Muslim Association
Org Affinity Intercultural Foundation
Org Gallipoli Health Services (NATICCI)
Org The Islamic Da'wah Centre of Australia
Org Turkish Welfare Association
Org Islamic Society of Bald Hills
Org Building Identity and Resisting Radicalisation
Org Darulfatwa The Islamic High Council of Australia
Org PCYC Bankstown Jummah
Org Afgan Islamic Association Western Australia Inc
Org Al-Hidayah Islamic Education Admin INC
Org MEFF Multicultural Eid Fest.
Org Islamic Society of Ipswich
Org QUT Muslim Students Assoc.
Org Social Islamic Trust of Australia (SISTA)
Org Turkish Islamic Association
Org DAWA Centre
Org Global Islamic Youth Centre
Org Islamic Schools Association of Australia
Org Human Appeal International Melbourne
Org Centre for Muslim States and Societies (CMSS)
Org University of WA Muslim Students Assoc.
Org Australian Islamic Social Association Inc
Org The Fiji Islamic & Cultural Society Of Victoria
Org Islamic Society of Manly - Warringah
Org Imam Husain Limited
Org Australian Islamic House
Org jafaria Islamic society of Adelaide
Org Lockyer Valley Islamic Association (LVIA)
Org Gippsland Australian Muslim Community Inc
Org Islamic Society of Gladstone
Org AL Tadhkeer Society
Org Australian Arab Association
Org Muslim Women's National Network of Australia
Org Youth Association GYA Mosque
Org Griffith Uni Muslim Students Association
Org Islamic Cooloola Regional Association
Org Islamic Association of Australia, The
Org Islamic Trust Of Victoria
Org Independent Islamic Sisterhood Inc
Org Islamic Council of Qld
Org Muslim Students Association of QUT
Org Muhammadi Welfare assoc
Org Islamic Egyption Society
Org Aged Muslims Association
Org Australian Muslim Electoral Taskforce (AustMet)
Org Australian National Imams Council Limited
Org Australian New Muslim Association
Org Human Appeal International Australia
Org Islamic Youth Centre in Lakemba
Org Islamic Youth Association
Org Nahda: Sydneys Dynamic Muslim Youth Movement
Org Tripoli and Mean Association (TMA) Ltd
Org United Muslim Women Association Inc
Org Suburban Islamic Association Campbelltown
Org Global Islamic Youth Centre
Org Zakaat & Sadaqah Fund Inc
Org United Muslims of Brisbane (UMB)
Org Islamic Education Centre
Org Peel Islamic Cultural Association Inc
Org Muslim Association Sunshine Coast
Org Centenary Khilafat Hall
Org Muslim Business Index
Org The Islamic Council of Victoria
Org Islamic Information Centre of SA IICSA
Org Imam Ali Islamic Foundation Limited
Org Goulburn Valley Turkish Islamic & Cultural Society
Org Charity Australia International
Org Muslim Revert Network
Org Western Sydney Turkish Islamic Cultural Centre
Org Noor Al Houda Islamic College Pty. Ltd.
Org Islamic Association of Australia
Org The Islamic Association of Australia
Org Islamic Council of the Australian Capital Territor
Org Queensland Charity & Welfare Association Inc., The
Org Iranians Muslim Association of WA
Org Islamic Council of Western Australia
Org Australian Islamic Fund
Org Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth
Org Revesby Muslims Assoc
Org Bosnian Islamic Society
Org Islamic Society of Central Queensland
Org Riverstone Islamic Society
Org Islamic Welfare Centre
Org Islamic Women's Association of Queensland Inc
Org Austra Lanka Muslim Association
Org Sydney Muslim Youth
Org Centre for Islamic Dakwah & Education
Org Islamic society of Toowoomba Inc
Org Australia Light Foundation
Org iQraa Islamic Centre
Org Muslim Business Network
Org Warrnambool Islamic Society Inc
Org Islamic Council of South Australia Inc, The
Org Islamic College of South Australia, The
Org Islamic Society of West End
Org Islamic Council of Tasmania
Org Essence of Life
Org Islamic Association of Logan
Org Islamic Society of ACT
Org Australian College of Arabic
Org Newcastle Uni Faith Centre
Org Hume Islamic Youth Centre
Org Al-Faisal College Limited
Org Al Mabarat Benevolent Society
Org Australian Indonesian Ass of SA
Org Al-Tawaheed Assoc of WA Inc
Org Curtain Muslim Students Assoc CMSA
Org The Bald Hills Islamic Edu Org Ltd
Org Turkish Islamic Ass of Canning Inc
Org New Muslim Care Brisbane
Org The Trustee for Australian Islamic Education Trust
Org Islamic & Information Services Network of Aust
Org Southern Districts Islamic Inst. Building Foundati
Org Jafaria Islamic Society of Adelaide
Org Bosniak Islamic Centre of Qld Islamic Society of
Org Centre for Islamic Law and Society
Org Imam Ali Mosque and Islamic Centre of SA
Org Belmont Islamic Youth Centre
Org NSW Auburn Turkish Islamic Cultural Centre Inc
Org Noble Road
Org Australian Islamic Social Associantion Inc
Org Afghan Islamic Centre And Omar-Farooq Mosque Inc
Org Australian Turkish Islamic Federation & Foundation
Org Bosnia Herzegovina Sandzak Islamic Support Group
Org Global Islamic Youth Centre GIYC Mosque
Org Australian Islamic Forum Ltd
Org Belmore Islamic Centre Ltd
Org Brisbane Islamic Centre Ltd
Org Islamic Awe Foundation Ltd
Org Islamic Business Union Pty Ltd
Org Islamic Care Queensland PTY LTD
Org Islamic Charitable Organisation Pty Ltd
Org Jafaria Islamic Society Ltd
Org Melbourne Islamic Centre Limited
Org Moorooka Islamic Society Pty Ltd
Org Saarban Islamic Centre Pty Ltd
Org Islamic Education Consultants Pty Ltd
Org Al-Furquan Charitable Islamic Pty Ltd
Org El Ehsan Islamic Calendar Pty Ltd
Org AYCC Australian Youth Community Centre
Org Fatima Zahra Islamic Centre Limited
Org International Islamic Halal Organisation Pty Ltd
Org Islamic Museum of Australia
Org Islamic Path Radio Australia Limited
Org Islamic Radio and Communication Limited
Org Sydney Islamic Cultural Centre Pty Ltd
Org The Australian Islamic Education Board
Org Toowoomba Islamic Charitable Organisation Pty Ltd
Org Western Community Islamic Centre Ltd
Org Queensland Islamic Marriage Service Pty Ltd
Org Surfers Paradise Islamic Corporation Pty Ltd
Org Australian Islamic Society of Dandenong
Org Islamic Research and Educational Academy Ltd
Org Islamic Society of Northwestern Sydney Limted
Org Australian Sudanese Islamic Funeral Services LImit
Org Islamic Society of New South Wales Trust
Org Imam Hussain Islamic Centre of SA Ltd
Org Noor Al Houda Islamic College Holdings Ltd
Org Islamic Financial Services Council of Australia Li
Org Islamic Community Milli Gorus Australia Foundation
Org Luqman Centre for Islamic Education and Research P
Org International Islamic Halal Org Australia & NZ
Org Federation of Turkish Islamic and Cultural Centres
Org Int. Islamic Relief Org Australia NZ & South Pacif
Org Board of Imams Victoria
Org Campbelltown Youth Centre
Org Al Imaam Islamic Society
Org Moorebank (GIYC)
Org AIYC - Aust. Islamic Youth Centre
Org Islamic Shia Council of Queensland
Org Australian Muslim Women's Centre for Human Rights
Org Al Zahra Islamic Council
Org AL-ZAHRA MUSLIM WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION INC
Org Al Zahraa Hall Inc
Org Australian Islamic Cultural Centre Ltd.
Org NORTH SHORE ISLAMIC SOCIETY INCORPORATED
Org Dawat-e-Islami Australia
Org Sydney University Muslim Students Assoc SUMSA
Org Islamic Information & Support Centre of Australia
Org Muslim Student Association of Launceston (MSAL)
Org Islamic Centre Of Tasmania Trust Inc
Org Islamic Institute Of Education - Act Inc
Org Islamic Practice Association Canberra Incorporated
Org Islamic Society Of Central Queensland Inc.
Org Liverpool Islamic Association Of Australia
Org NSW United Turkish Islamic Centre Inc.
Org Queensland Islamic Education Charitable Trust
Org Queensland Turkish Islamic Cultural Centre
Org Somali Islamic Cultural Centre
Org Supreme Islamic Council Of New South Wales Inc.
Org My Home Respite Centre
Org Griffith University Musallah
Org Australian Muslim Voice Inc (AMV)
Org Nepean Islamic Association
Org Islamic Media
Org UMA CENTRE LIMITED
Org Zamzam Jaji Group
Org The Message Magazine
Org Islamic Media INternational
Org Muslim Welfare Centre
Org Lebanese Community Council
Org Islamic Mo
Org Bankstown Muslim Association
Org Islamic Cultural and Information Network
Org Amal Charitable Association
Org Islamic Society of Liverpool
Org Moslem Alamy Society
Org The Association of Bhanin Elminieh – The Australia
Org Auburn Diversity Services Incorporated
Org Auburn Youth Centre Inc
Org Assyrian Australian Assoc
Org Australian Afghan Hassanian Youth Association Inco
Org ALJAWAD ISLAMIC SOCIETY INC
Org Alsajjad Islamic Socieity Incorp
Org Australian Islamic Foundation Inc
Org Australian Islamic Services
Org Alghadeer Islamic Association Inc
Org Alrahman Islamic Centre Incorporated
Org Australian Islamic Mission Incorporated
Org Circles of Light Centre
Org Time Tick Pty Ltd
Org Australian Islamic Board
Org Bendigo Islamic Association Inc
Org Turkish Islamic Society of Victoria
Org Council for Islamic Dialogue Inc
Org El Zahra Islamic Community Limited
Org Global Islamic Mission
Org Hussaini Society of Victoria
Org Islamic Association of Katanning
Org Islamic Association of NW
Org Islamic Burial Services
Org ISLAMIC COMMUNITY SERVICES
Org Islamic Foundation Australia Inc
Org Islamic Institute of Australia Incorporated
Org Islamic of Hidayah and Ihsan Assoc Incor.
Org Islamic Society of Chermside Inc
Org Islamic Trust of Algester
Org Victorian Muslim Community Information Service Inc
Org Indonesian Islamic Association Incor
Org Islamic Community of Nepean Ltd
Org Islamic Council of Northern Territory Inc
Org Islamic Intellectual Front
Org Islamic Society of Palmerston Inc
Org Islamic Youth Organisation INC
Org Islamic Awakening Program
Org Islamic awareness association
Org Lakemba Islamic Association Incorporated
Org Melbourne Islamic Initiative Incorporated
Org Noorulhuda Islamic Association
Org Supreme Islamic Council of Western Australia
Org Halal Meat Board of Australia
Org Future Movement WA
Org Southwest Islamic Association Inc
Org Australian Islamic House Incorporated, The
Org Australian Islamic House Inliverpool area Inc, The
Org Islamic Arabic Centre, The
Org SHAHIN HOLDINGS PTY. LTD.
Org Perth Ummah Centre
Org Islamic Elderly Group Inc
Org Islamic Trust Fund, The
Org Islamic Association of South Australia, The
Org Islamic Society of Whyalla Inc, The
Org Progeny Islamic Publications Pty Ltd, The
Org Trustee for Zainabya Islamic Centre, The
Org Trustee for Toowoomba Islamic Centre, The
Org VUT Islamic Society
Org Wentworthville Islamic Centre Incorporated
Org Werribee Islamic Centre Inc
Org Woman's Islamic Association Incorporated
Org Ahul Bait Islamic Association Inc
Org Al Ghadeer Islamic Association Inc
Org Al Khair Islamic Society
Org Al-Ansaar Islamic Association (inc)
Org Al-Iman Islamic Society Inc.
Org Al-Madina Islamic Centre Incorporated
Org Burmese Muslim Organisation Incorporated
Org Alawi Islamic Association of Victoria
Org Alawi Youth and Recreational Centre, The
Org Alrissalah Islamic Association of Australia
Org Al_Eslah Islamic Association Incorporated
Org Annual Islamic Eid Show Incorporated
Org Ashabul Kahfi Islamic Centre Incorporated
Org Australian Institute of Islamic Culture Incorporat
Org Australian Islamic College Perth Inc Building Fund
Org Australian Multidimensional Islamic Centre Inc
Org Australian School of Islamic Information
Org Islamic Community Milli Gorus Adelaide Inc
Org Adelaide Islamic Education Centre
Org African Australian Islamic Association
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Org Ararat Islamic Welfare Association Inc
Org Australian Kurdish Islamic Centre Incorporated
Org Coffs Harbour Islamic Association
Org Australian Halal Development and Accreditation
Org Austraian Halal Authority and Advisers
Org Global Halal Trade Centre Pty Ltd
Org Trustee for Global Halal Trade Centre Unity Trust
Org Halal Australia Pty Ltd
Org Trustee for Halal Australia Trust
Org Halal Certification Authority-Australia
Org Halal Certification Council Pty Ltd
Org Halal Meat Board of Western Australia
Org Halal-Sadiq Services
Org Halal Supervisory Board of SA for the Kingdom of
Org Muslim Care Aust
Org Muslim Care Australia
Org Trustee for Muslim Outreach, The
Org Australian Muslim Media Inc
Org Australian Muslim Council Incorporated
Org Australian Muslim Lobby
Org Australian Islamic board
Org Australian Muslim Youth
Org Illawarra Muslim Aid Incorporated
Org Australia Ahl Al Bait Islamic Centre AABIC Inc
Org King Abdul Aziz College Building Fund Account
Org Muslim Community Radio
Org Muslim Foundation of Australia
Org Muslim Funeral Services Inc
Org Linking Hearts
Org Felicity House
Org Melton Muslim Community Inc
Org Muslim Assistance Worldwide Inc
Org Muslim Legal Network Inc
Org Muslim Legal Network MLN
Org Muslim Nation of Australia Incorporated
Org Sufi Society of Australia, The
Org Al-Ashraf Muslim Society of Australia
Org Muslim Society of Liverpool
Org Spears Sports Club
Org Muslim Students Assocation
Org Association of Islamic Da'wah in Australia (AIDA)
Org Muslim Information Service
Org Muslim Teachers' Association Pty Ltd
Org Muslim Youth WA
Org Muslim Youth of Truth
Org Perth Muslim Association
Org Tasmanian Muslim Association
Org Association of Islamic Dakwah Australia (VIC) INC
Org iDawah Australia Inc
Org Trustee for iDAWAH Australia Inc, The
Org Somali Dawah Centre
Org Al-Jammaj Da'wah Centre
Org Australian Community Dawah Centre
Org Dahwa.Co Pty Ltd
Org Street Dawa Australia Incorporated
Org Islam Project Incorporated, The
Org Australian Halal Development and Accreditation
Org Al-Iman Islamic Society Inc.
Org Islamic Association of Geraldton, The
Org Turstee for Australian Islamic Youth Centre, The
Org Madinah Welfare Inc
Org Mercy Mission
Org AlKauthar Institute Incorporated
Org New Muslim Care Melbourne
Org New Muslim Care Brisbane
Org Sister's House Services Inc
Org Mercy Mission Media Pty Ltd
Org Muslim Council of NSW Inc, The
Org Trustee for Muslim Sisters Aid Incorporation, The
Org House of Sadaqa
Org Young Muslim Association Inc
Org Youth Muslim Club Inc
Org Koori Muslim Association Inc
Org Adelaide Muslim Youth League Inc
Org Al Mahdy Muslim Association Incorporated
Org Australian Muslim Advocacy Network Ltd
Org Australian Muslim Doctors Association
Org Australian Muslim Janaza Services Incorporated
Org Australian Muslim Youth Network Limited (AMYN)
Org Australian Muslim Youth Network Limited (AMYN) QLD
Org Al sadiq Incorporated
Org Al Sadiq Wal Amana Incorporated
Org Al Sadiq Institute Pty Limited
Org Al Sadaqah Fisabilillah Foundation
Org Artarmon Muslim Community Association
Org Austra-Egyptian Muslim Society
Org Australian Indonesia Muslim Foundation Inc
Org Australia Muslim Sports Federation Incorporated
Org Burmese Muslim Sports Association Inc
Org Burmese Muslim Youths Organisation Inc
Org Burmese Muslim Youths Organisation Inc
Org Burmese Muslim Humanitarian Organisation Inc.
Org CANTERBURY BANKSTOWN MUSLIM ASSOC
Org Canberra Muslim Youth (CMY)
Org Fremantle Muslim Commnity Association
Org Gujarati Muslim Association of Australia
Org Hume Muslim Womens Association
Org Indonesian Muslim Centre of Queensland Ltd
Org Indonesian Muslim Funeral Services
Org Al Jannah
Org Malay-Muslim Welfare Victoria Inc
Org Merhamet Muslim Welfare Association
Org Muslim Womens Welfare of australia
Org Mbrace New Muslim Support
Org Multicultural Muslim You Orginisation Inc
Org Muslim Alawite Community Leaders Inc.
Org Muslim Legal Network Inc (NSW) Inc
Org Muslim Legal Services Victoria Inc
Org Muslim Professional Network (MPN) Inc
Org Muslim Students Association of Australia Inc
Org MSA Career Expo
Org MSA Katalyst
Org MSA Unigoal
Org Muslim Students' Association of New South Wales
Org Muslim Welfare Trust of Victoria
Org Muslim Women Revert Group
Org Muslim Women's Business Association (MWBA) INC
Org Perth Indonesian Muslim Society Inc
Org Polynesian United muslim Association
Org Queensland Muslim Welfare Association Incorporated
Org Strathfield Muslim Welfare Association Incorporate
Org Southern Metropolitan Muslim Association Inc.
Org Swan Hill Muslim Association Incorporated
Org African Muslim Association of South Australia Inc,
Org Tripoli Fayhaa Muslim Association
Org Australian Shia Muslim Assembly, The
Org Trustee for musim Cemetery Trust Necropolis, The
Org Towid Association
Org Freemantle Muslim Community Association
Org Aligarh Muslim University Alumni of Australia
Org Australian Tamil Muslim Association Sydney Incorp
Org Australian Indonesian Muslim Cultural Centre
Org Australian Muslim Social Services Agency Inc
Org Australian National University Muslim Association
Org Bosnian and Hercegovina Muslim Socieity SA INC
Org Fijian Muslim Ethnic School of SA INC
Org Hunters Hill MUslim Religious Association Inc
Org Indian Muslim Association of Australia Incorp
Org Melbourne Muslim Community Welfare Trust
Org Muslim Women's Association of North Queensland Inc
Org Muslim Youth Support Centre Western Australia Inc
Org MacquaieUniversity Muslim Students Association
Org Muslim Arbitration and Concilliation Centre of Aus
Org Muslim Cultural & Youth Association Sydney Inc
Org Muslim Family Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitrat
Org Muslim Social and Sports Association (WA) Inc
Org Muslim Youth Recreation and Education Centre
Org Richmond Muslim Community Cooperative RMCC
Org South Wollongong Muslim Women's Assoc Incorp
Org Shia Muslim Youth Council of South Australia
Org Somali Muslim Community in Victoria Inc
Org South Australian Muslim Communities Council incorp
Org Hizb Ut-Tahrir Australia (VV BAD)
Org United Sri Lanka Muslim Association of Australia
Org United Sri Lanka Muslim Association of Australia
Org Islamic Voice Radio
Org Trustee for NSW Sharia Funding Trust, The
Org Al-Jannah Da'wah Centre
Org Association of Islamic Da'wah in Sth Aus (AIDSA)
Org Daawah Association of Western Australia Inc
Org Supreme Halal Certification Services Inc
Thursday, July 13, 2017
On 10 July, Jokowi signed a Regulation in Lieu of Law (Peraturan Pemerintah Pengganti Undang Undang/Perppu) amending the 2013 Law on Societal Organisations (UU Ormas). In doing so, the president has mounted a serious attack on legal protections of freedom of association in Indonesia.
In assigning sweeping powers to the Minister for Law and Human Rights to ban any organisation deemed to oppose the official ideology of Pancasila, or ‘national unity’, Jokowi has placed the legal existence of every NGO and civic organisation in Indonesia at the mercy of a unilateral executive decision.
The Perppu is required by law to be either made permanent or disallowed by the Indonesian parliament (DPR) within its next sitting period (within three months from 16 August). If confirmed by the parliament, the new legislation could be a formidable tool of political repression in the hands of any future authoritarian president. Indonesian civil society should collectively oppose this move, and support efforts to challenge its constitutionality. Political parties represented in the DPR should refuse to approve the Perppu.
Crackdown on Islamist activism
The government’s rationale for the Perppu was outlined in a statement by Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security, Wiranto. It read that the 2013 UU Ormas “is no longer sufficient as a means of preventing the spread of ideologies opposed to Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia”, and that the Law’s “understanding of teachings and actions that contradict Pancasila are narrowly formulated, i.e. they are only limited to teachings of Atheism, Marxism and Leninism, whereas Indonesian history proves that other teachings can also replace and contradict Pancasila.”
On that basis, the statement continued, the government was justified in exercising its power to enact Perppu in times of emergency or to fill a “legal void” or kekosongan hukum. The statement also included the reassurance that “it must be underlined that this Perppu is not meant to discredit Islamic organisations, let along the Muslim community, which forms the majority population in Indonesia.”
The last of these remarks undoubtedly alludes to the government’s recent announcement of its intent to dissolve Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI). On 8 May, Wiranto announced to the public that the Indonesian government proposed to ban HTI—a legally registered association—on the grounds that its mission is not compatible with the 1945 Constitution and Pancasila and is therefore in violation of UU Ormas.
There will certainly be plenty of analysis of the political background to the Perppu to come, and why the government was so eager to remove the legal barriers to banning HTI by issuing this Perppu. What’s important now is to highlight just how serious an assault on legal protections of freedom of association in Indonesia the Perppu represents.
Broadening the definition of ‘anti-Pancasila’ activity
The Perppu is essentially an amendment-by-decree of Law No.17/2013 on Societal Organisations (Undang Undang Organisasi Kemayarakatan/UU Ormas). UU Ormas requires that the basic principles of any registered civil organisation should not contradict Pancasila (Article 2). This provision itself is incompatible with the guarantee of freedom of association contained in Article 28E of the Indonesian Constitution, as well as Indonesia’s international human rights obligations as a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
What is alarming about Perppu 2/2017 is that its key provisions remove the legal checks on the executive’s power to sanction or proscribe organisations that existed in UU Ormas. The Perppu both expands the grounds on which an organisation can be declared to be at odds with Pancasila—and hence a candidate for dissolution—and strips out any role for the judiciary in overseeing a government’s decision to suspend a group’s activities or revoke its legal status.
Article 59 of the Perppu strengthens the grounds for dissolution of organisations, specifically allowing organisations to be dissolved if they are found to be:
- “using names, emblems, flags, or organisational symbols that have similarities, essentially or in part, with the names, emblems, flags, or organisational symbols of separatist movements or prohibited organisations” (Paragraph 4a)
- “engaging in separatist activities that threaten the sovereignty of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia” (Paragraph 4b)
This is on top of the existing provisions of Article 59(4) of UU Ormas, which prohibit organisations from “holding, promoting, as well as disseminating teachings or concepts which contradict Pancasila.”
In practical terms, the Perppu may reduce the space for political activists or dissenters in places like Papua and Maluku to peacefully advocate for referenda, independence, or political solutions in ways that do not involve incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence. Both these areas have a history of pro-independence movements where peaceful political activism is already severely restricted.
Removing checks and balances
Article 59(3) of the Perppu deletes the provision of UU Ormas that governments should “engage in efforts at persuasion before applying administrative sanctions upon organisations that commit violations as stipulated in Articles 21 and 59” as a first resort in disciplining an organisation thought to be in violation of the Law. Instead, under the Perppu, any organisation deemed to violate the terms of its Article 59 will be immediately subject to administrative sanctions.
Articles 62–80 of UU Ormas set out a lengthy legal procedure by which the government had to apply these sanctions. This began with providing multiple written warnings, followed by temporary suspension of public grant money, or temporarily freezing the organisation’s activities for up to 6 months. Under the elucidation to Article 61(c), “activities” specifically did not include internal activities such as internal meetings.
Depending on whether an organisation was operating at the regional or national level, governments also had to seek the legal opinion of the Supreme Court or local parliaments, police and prosecutors before suspending its activities. The final, most serious step of revoking an organisation’s legal status could occur only with a court’s approval (Article 68), and the government was required to provide evidence that it had exhausted all of the above administrative sanctions (Article 70 Paragraph 3 and 4).
Even at this final stage, according to the original UU Ormas, an organisation had the right to explain and defend itself from the threat of disbandment (Article 70 Paragraph 7), and an organisation had the right to appeal a lower court’s order to disband it in the Supreme Court (Article 73–78).
The Perppu strikes out every one of these articles of the UU Ormas in one fell swoop, dramatically simplifying the process by which the government can ban and dissolve an organisation, and removes any role for the judiciary in approving or supervising this process.
Under the Perppu’s provisions, the Minister for Law and Human Rights need only issue a written warning once to an errant organisation (Article 61 Paragraph 1). After a period of 7 working days, the minister can directly freeze its activities (Article 61 Paragraph 2). The Perppu also deletes the elucidation of UU Ormas Article 61(2) that excludes internal business from the freeze; under the Perppu, even internal meetings are illegal while an organisation’s activities are frozen.
If the organisation does not comply with such an order to suspend its activities, the minister may revoke the organisation’s legal status (Article 61 Paragraph 3). There is no provision in the Perppu for an organisation subject to sanctions to challenge the government’s decision at any stage.
It is possible that a Letter of Decision (Surat Keputusan/SK) issued by a minister to ban or disband an organisation could be challenged in the State Administrative Court (Pengadilan Tata Usaha Negeri/PTUN). But the basis of the challenge could only be whether the minister has followed the procedures for banning a group as laid out in the Perppu—it is not clear whether a PTUN could second guess the reasoning of the government in deeming an organisation to be “anti-Pancasila”.
UU Ormas made no mention of criminal penalties for any person for leading or being a member of an organisation banned under its provisions. It contained only a general provision (Article 81) that members of organisations who individually or collectively committed crimes should be prosecuted according to existing—by implication, other—laws and regulations. Until now, being part of a suspended or disbanded organisation has not in itself been a criminal offence.
Alarmingly, the Perppu introduces the possibility of criminal penalties for members of organisations judged to have engaged in activities deemed illegal according to the UU Ormas as amended by the Perppu.
For example, the Perppu’s Article 82A sets out the penalties for membership of ormas deemed to violate various provisions of Article 59 (see our discussion of this above). For instance, members and administrators of ormas which commit “acts of hostility” or blasphemy can be imprisoned for between 5–20 years, or even for life. Significantly, “acts of hostility”, according to the Perppu’s amendments of UU Ormas’ elucidation of Article 59(3), include any “speech, statement, attitude, or aspiration, either verbal or written, via electronic or non-electronic media, that causes hate, either against certain groups or any person, including state administrators.”
Meanwhile, Article 82A stipulates that membership or leadership of organisations which commit acts of violence, vigilantism, or vandalism may be imprisoned for only 6–12 months.
Such harsh penalties merely for being a member of an organisation deemed to violate Article 59 are deeply concerning on human rights grounds, given the apparent ease with which the Perppu will allow the government to sanction and proscribe organisations. Moreover, it is not clear from Article 82A of the Perppu whether an organisation must be formally sanctioned under Articles 60, 61, 62, or 80A before its members are liable to be prosecuted criminally. Nor is it clear who determines whether an organisation is in violation of Article 59 for the purposes of applying criminal penalties under Article 82A.
A threat to Indonesian civil society
It is important to stress just how wide-ranging an effect this Perppu has on the legal rights of Indonesian civic organisations. The definition of an ‘Ormas’ under Chapter IV of UU Ormas includes basically every civic organisation in Indonesia—from Amnesty International to Nadhlatul Ulama to the supporter groups of many political parties.
Consider the possible scenarios if the Perppu is converted to permanent law by the DPR. What if a future government deems an NGO campaigning for LGBT rights to be a threat to “values of religion, culture, morals, ethics, and norms of decency” under Article 21 of UU Ormas? What about a think tank advocating on Papua issues that a minister deems to be promoting separatism? There would be no meaningful legal roadblocks for the executive to declare such organisations illegal, and possibly seek to imprison their members.
One option that is being pursued by Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia is a challenge to the constitutionality of the Perppu in the Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi/MK). Such a challenge may raise the issue of whether the Perppu was a genuine response to an emergency situation (which the MK has previously ruled has to be present for the decision to issue a Perppu to be valid), or whether its contents violate the Indonesian Constitution’s protections of freedom of association (Article 28E).
There are many ways for the Indonesian government to combat radicalism and defend social cohesion. Removing almost all meaningful legal protections of freedom of association is not the way to do that. Indonesia’s pluralist politicians and civil society are understandably deeply antagonistic towards the anti-democratic mission of groups like Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia. So are we. But we should recognise that the same laws that protect HTI from arbitrary state action are the ones that protect the forces of democracy and human rights as well.
Usman Hamid is the Director of Amnesty International Indonesia. He holds a law degree from Trisakti University and completed an MPhil at the Department of Political and Social Change in the ANU’s Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.
Liam Gammon is a PhD Candidate at the ANU’s Department of Political and Social Change, and is the editor of New Mandala.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
If Syria’s Bashar Assad was warning citizens of impending gas bombing while selling gas masks to the poor bastards, it would be analogous of Al Gore’s current climate warnings while making a carbon credits killing.
In 2007, following an investigation of Gore’s extremely dishonest “floods and famines” XXX movie, a London High Court judge, Sir Michael Burton, (above) ruled against it being shown in secondary schools if it wasn’t accompanied by "guidance notes for teachers to balance Mr Gore’s 'one-sided' views".
Judge Barton pointed out that Gore's movie "An inconvenient Truth" was an “apocalyptical vision” and was politically partisan, and not an impartial analysis.
Now there’s some unusual wisdom from a High Court judge for you.
Ex US Vice-President and failed Presidential candidate, Gore is described by many as a limousine liberal, a tiresome pedant and a climate alarmist who lives a jet-setting, carbon-promiscuous lifestyle while preaching frugality for everyone else.
Gore stood to benefit personally from the energy and climate policies he was urging Congress to adopt, but now, as a private citizen, Mr Gore does not have to disclose his income, assets or his interests, as he did in his years in Congress and the White House.
However, as he soldiers toward hundreds of millions more profit from his fraudulent global warming hoax, he is now a founder of "Generation Investment Management Plc”, based in London and run by his partner, David Blood, a former head of Goldman Sachs.
This makes for the attractively named partnership of, “Blood and Gore”.
This Al Gore bastard is competing with Al Capone and Hillary and Bill Clinton to gain the title of America’s biggest crook in the past two hundred years.
He even outdid our Rene Rivkin and friend when his Generation Investment Management company warned in their Wall Street Journal feature of a couple of years back that a “Coming Carbon Asset Bubble” meant that everyone should get out now while they can.
Gore and Blood argued that carbon investment strategies posed three broad risks which would cause carbon assets to become “stranded” and lose their economic value.
Well “goodness me”, I thought, “the carbon kid was finally feeling guilty about his global warming hoax”. But no, I should have known better. Gore and Blood were driving the price down, because Gore was planning on yet another attack on the gullible public with yet another “Inconvenient Truth” movie... and here it is now!
Gore and his mate Blood were planning on another buying foray into the market to capitalise at the lowest possible price before they lurched into this, another profitable scare. They had already wrung the life out of their last lot of carbon investments in their 2007 scare.
Of course normally that little scheme would get you ten years in the slammer, but this all happened under Obama’s and the Clintons’ watch, and now Trump is none the wiser and now Gore has departed politics he doesn't have to reveal anything.
Luckily for Gore America's west has just reported the highest temperature since 1831. Hmmm, that must mean it was hotter there prior to 1831. He of course will ignore the northern hemisphere's five years of record cold temperatures.
Naturally our dear Menzies'-chanelling "Centrist" leader, Malcolm Turnbull, is enchanted in the global warming hoax, but that's no reason for us to fall for it, I mean we aren't all Global Warming Socialist crooks.
So if you feel compelled to go see this new Gore movie, replete with copious new piles of smelly bullshit, you should be aware that Mr Gore is not interested in global warming at all,
…he is simply still busy making a fortune out of it!
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
On Sept.20, 2014, agents of the Shanghai State Security Bureau of the Ministry of State Security first contacted me in a bid to recruit me as a spy, requesting I pass US state secrets to them in exchange for cash payments, write reports mining my “Washington DC social network” preferably “in the State Department and the National Security Council” on contentious issues of US “government strategic thinking.”
That began a flirtation that lasted more than two years as I attempted to lure the Chinese into committing themselves to my active recruitment as a spy.
This is not something to play with, especially as Edward Snowden’s massive release of National Security Agency data demonstrated. The US closely watches transmissions from suspicious foreign nationals and in some cases can watch attempts to recruit spies even before they’re recruited.
Between 2008 and 2011, the US Justice Department arrested and prosecuted at least 57 people for espionage working in the service of the Chinese passing classified information, sensitive technology or trade secrets to intelligence agencies, state-sponsored academic or ‘think tanks’, private individuals, or fake businesses in China, according to the Associated Press. Most are now in federal prisons.
“In recent years, the Justice Department has handled an increasing number of prosecutions involving sensitive American weapons technology, trade secrets and other restricted information bound for China,” said Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. Some cases have involved individuals operating on behalf of the Chinese government or intelligence. Many others have involved private-sector businessmen, scientists, students, or others collecting sensitive U.S. technology or data that is routed to China, another source told me.
My first inclination, which turned out to be wise, was to contact US spooks after the Chinese reached out to me. Look no further for a reason than the case of Kevin Patrick Mallory, 60, a contractor for the CIA and other U.S. government agencies, who was arrested last week for “gathering and delivering defense information to aid a foreign government” and “making material false statements” to the U.S. government, according to his arrest affidavit filed in Virginia federal court last week. He potentially faces the death penalty.
“The people who recruited Mallory are the same people who tried to recruit you,” said Peter Mattis, an analyst for the Jamestown Institute who specializes in the Chinese intelligence services. “The Shanghai State Security Bureau of the MSS are particularly aggressive towards recruiting Americans,” he said during several interviews in recent days. “The MSS comes to people like you. You said no, a friend of mine said no, but Mallory said yes. They have a high-volume model of casting a wide net to see whoever they can reel in. If they get one in 10 or one in 20 to bite, that works for them.”
“One of the things that I have been struck by about a number of Chinese espionage cases is the emphasis on maintaining a relationship,” said Mattis, the Chinese intelligence analyst. He is the author of Analyzing the Chinese Military: A Review Essay and Resource Guide on the People’s Liberation Army. “This comes up even before they get into their interest in specific subjects or anything else. At the very least, a “let’s keep the conversation going” kind of attitude in their emails. Not much subtlety in all of this. But what are we expecting from people who probably have lived inside China most of their lives with limited contact with foreigners and limited contact with the business community that uses these kinds of requests?”
One of those who apparently established such a relationship was Mallory, who in March and April “visited Shanghai to meet with an individual (hereinafter PRC1) who represented himself to Mallory as working for a PRC think tank, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS),” wrote special agent Stephen Green of the FBI Counterintelligence Division in a June 21 affidavit and arrest warrant for Mallory filed in Virginia federal court.
“Since at least 2014, the FBI has assessed that the Shanghai State Security Bureau (“SSSB”), a sub-component of the Ministry of State Security (“MSS”), has a close relationship with SASS and uses SASS employees as spotters and assessors,”
“FBI has further assessed that SSSB intelligence officers have also used SASS affiliation as cover identities,” wrote FBI special agent Green. “The MSS can be described as an institution similar to the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency (“0CIA”) combined under one intelligence directorate responsible for counter-intelligence, foreign intelligence, and political security,” said FBI counterintelligence division agent Green.
On the day I received my first message from Chinese intelligence agents from the Ministry of State Security, they, of course, didn’t say they were Chinese spies. The note was from “Frank Hu,” a “project assistant” from Shanghai Pacific & International Strategy Consulting Co, saying he had found me on the Internet and was writing to “seek potential cooperation opportunities.”
It sounded innocent enough, but it raised red flags. His company, he said, “is a Shanghai-based consulting firm, specializing in independent policy analysis and advisory services. We strive to help our clients properly assess political dynamics, risks and opportunities in countries and regions they operate in.”
Frank called me a “renowned investigative journalist” who “has written lots of in-depth investigative political reports.” Therefore, he said, “we wonder if you are interested in becoming a part-time political consultant for us and using your wide social network to provide us with insightful consultations. Look forward to your reply. Regards Frank Shanghai Pacific & International Strategy Consulting Co.”
The only online reference to the company was an obscure one that linked back to two well-known Chinese intelligence front groups – the “Chinese Peoples Friendship Association with Foreign Countries” and the “Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences,” (SASS), the latter a known operations center for the MSS which was the formal cover for the Chinese agents who paid Mallory $16,500 in cash which he attempted to smuggle back into the United States in May.
Mr. “Frank Hu” and the “Shanghai Pacific & International Strategy Consulting Co”, in fact, do not exist.
Who were these people? Why did they contact me? I am a journalist who, while having written on Asian affairs for more than two decades, doesn’t focus on China. So I responded that I would be “most interested in hearing more details about how I could be useful for your company’s services to see whether my own skills and expertise and areas of knowledge would be a good fit.”
I wanted to fish to see how I could identify who “Frank Hu” and his non-existent “Shanghai Pacific & International Strategy Consulting Co.” actually were. Five days later, “Mr. Hu” got back to me thanking me and saying one of their geographical priorities is Asia, and asking for “authoritative and practical assessments from the US on political and economic developments across Asia.
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Behind the fall of Ahok, Islamists are minor players in a bigger game
Although the fall of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who lost the April gubernatorial election and was subsequently jailed for blasphemy, has been laid to the rising power of Islamic hardliners, it fits into a bigger picture. It appears to be a long-standing feud between former military strongman Prabowo Subianto and a secular faction of the military called the ‘red-and-white’ faction.
The Islamists were only able to topple the former governor, known universally as Ahok, the candidate of the red-and-white faction, through alliance with Prabowo. After losing the 2014 election to Joko Widodo, Prabowo has resurrected his political career. Suharto era generals remain far more powerful in Indonesian politics than Islamic hardliners.
Hardliners minor players in long-standing feud
Feuding between the two military factions began in the Suharto era. Retired generals of the red-and-white faction who serve as ministers in Jokowi’s cabinet are Wiranto, Ryamizard Ryacudu and Luhut Panjaitan. Other retired generals who retain influence are Hendropriyono and Sutiyoso, who are both former heads of the national intelligence agency. Their enemy, Prabowo, remains powerful through his party, Gerindra.
In the early post-Suharto period, the red-and- white military faction was able to keep Islamic hardliners subdued. The best known Islamic hardliner today is Riziek Shihab, who rose to prominence in the post-Suharto era as leader of the Islamic Defenders Front (known by its Indonesian acronym, FPI). One of Riziek’s earliest run-ins with the red-and-white military faction was in 2003, when the government under then Intelligence Chief Hendropriyono and his ally President Megawati had Riziek sentenced to seven months I prison for inciting his supporters against the security forces.
While it was Riziek who brought Ahok to trial for blasphemy in 2017, he did it with clear support from Prabowo. Prior to Riziek’s Nov. 4, 2016 rally against Ahok, the FPI had only very narrow public support. Then Fadli Zon, the Gerindra deputy chairman, announced that he would join the rally and that Ahok should be brought to court. Riziek’s larger Dec. 2 rally was joined by another Prabowo ally, retired General Kivlan Zein.
Another Prabowo ally, media tycoon Hary Tanoe, is said to be the top supporter of Riziek’s FPI, through direct aid and by means of his TV stations. FPI leaders’ praise for praise for Hary Tanoe, even though his Chinese ethnicity and Christian religion were at odds with FPI’s use of ethnicity and religion to topple Ahok, suggests they felt dependent on him.
By January 2017, Gerindra’s gubernatorial candidate Anies Baswedan was visiting FPI headquarters in a public show of support for FPI. By early April 2017, Prabowo himself was joining in, criticising Ahok for “slandering other groups”. As election results were being counted, Prabowo expressed gratitude to FPI leader Rizieq for “saving Indonesia’s democracy.” It was the alliance with Prabowo that had allowed FPI to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people.
Newcomers minor players in long-standing feud
Many political newcomers were only able to advance their careers by aligning with Prabowo or the political parties of the red-and-white faction. This shows the power of Suharto era generals.
Jokowi needed a powerful political party to back his presidential campaign in 2014. He chose PDIP, the leading party of the red-and-white military faction. Having won the presidency, three of his ministers are old generals from the red-and-white military faction: Ryacudu, Luhut Panjaitan and Wiranto.
Ahok only became deputy governor of Jakarta in 2012 by joining Prabowo’s Gerindra Party. In early September 2014, Ahok withdrew from Gerindra, citing disappointment with the party’s support for a bill to end direct elections for regional leaders. Within two weeks, Prabowo’s allies FPI launched a rally against Ahok, seeking to block Ahok’s promotion from deputy governor to governor. To improve his prospects in the 2017 gubernatorial election Ahok was, by July 2016, openly courting PDIP, the key party of the red-and-white faction.
Anies had sided with PDIP’s coalition during Jokowi’s presidential campaign in 2014 and was subsequently appointed as Education Minister. However, he fell out of favor with Jokowi in July 2016. He was able to re-emerge politically by switching allegiance to Prabowo. This required cozying up to some of Prabowo’s more controversial allies, like FPI and Suharto era crony Aburizal Bakrie, but he couldn’t have succeeded alone.
Younger police and military personnel are also being pressured to choose sides. Jokowi’s chief of police, Tito Karnavian, has been dragged into the feud. As political tensions rose following FPI’s mass rallies in November 2016, Karnavian was pushed to arrest two key members of Prabowo’s alliance: retired general Kivlan Zein and FPI leader Habib Riziek. He will now be viewed by Prabowo as allied to the red-and-white military faction.
Earlier this year, Kivlan claimed that Jokowi’s Armed Forces Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo was secretly plotting with other military officers to overthrow Jokowi. General Nurmantyo was forced to publicly deny these accusations. If the politically ambitious Nurmantyo has not yet taken sides, he must soon do so. He is set to retire from the military in 2018 and if he does not take sides in the feud by then, he will have no influence in the 2019 presidential election.
The real powers behind the politics
In the democratic era, Indonesian politics could have evolved into rivalry between left-wing and right-wing parties. Instead, it has evolved into personal rivalries between Prabowo and other Suharto era generals. Jokowi, Ahok, Baswedan, and Islamic hardliners remain heavily dependent on patronage from Suharto era elites.
Prabowo knows that Islamic hardliners are still not as powerful as Suharto era elites. In May, despite FPI having allied with him to bring down Ahok, Prabowo declared that “radical Islam will never win in Indonesia.” Surveys in June 2017 suggested that hardliners were not so popular at the national level. According to one survey, only 17.2 percent of 1,350 respondents favor FPI ally Prabowo for the 2019 presidential election, while 53.7 percent support secular candidate Jokowi. According to another, not even one in 10 Indonesians is willing to replace democracy with an Islamic caliphate.
Islamic hardliners may have made minor gains in Indonesian politics by toppling Ahok. But far more influential in Indonesian politics today are Suharto era generals and their Suharto era feud.
Terry Russell worked as a teacher and aid practitioner in Indonesia for 15 years.
Friday, June 30, 2017
Kerry B. Collison Asia News: Japanese Firm Got Almost a Free Indonesian Bank - ...: Japanese Firm Got Almost a Free Indonesian Bank - Outgoing government didn’t want incoming Jokowi government to see what was in Bank Mut...
Japanese Firm Got Almost a Free Indonesian Bank - Outgoing government didn’t want incoming Jokowi government to see what was in Bank Mutiara
Japanese Firm Got Almost a Free Indonesian Bank - Outgoing government didn’t want incoming Jokowi government to see what was in Bank Mutiara
A scandal-plagued Indonesian bank, now in the hands of a controversial Japanese company, was sold to its new owners for virtually nothing, adding another layer of intrigue to the long saga of what was once the notorious Bank Century. It is now doing business as PT Bank J Trust Indonesia TBK.
The result, since Century’s founding in 1989, is the disappearance of the equivalent of more than US$1 billion from Indonesia’s treasury – including the equivalent of US$245.2 million paid and forgiven to J Trust to take over the bank, with the potential for criminal action against officials all the way up to the top of the government.
Bank Century virtually collapsed almost nine years ago, its demise and bailout ensnaring cabinet ministers, with hundreds of millions of dollars stolen and moved overseas, and leading to questions of impropriety directed against the government and Yudhoyono.
Clouds over the operation
When it became Bank Mutiara in 2009, the clouds did not lift. By then it was under the administration of the Indonesian Bank Insurance Corporation, a quasi-autonomous government organization more widely known by its Indonesian acronym LPS. Indonesian sources say concern was growing among Yudhoyono’s allies about the rat’s nest that would be found inside Bank Mutiara once a new administration came into office, and they were determined to get it off the books of the agency before President Joko Widodo took office.
The LPS went in search of buyers in 2014. Although it was offered to 18 would-be purchasers, it found few takers and the bank was eventually sold Tokyo-based J Trust Co. in a transaction that appears to have been anything but arms-length. The sale in fact appeared to be structured so that J Trust was the only bidder, with preferential, pre-determined terms. The Japanese concern renamed it Bank J Trust after supposedly agreeing to pay US$368.0 million in cash under Indonesian Financial Services Authority law.
But the records make it look like J Trust actually paid only 6.8 percent of that amount, or US$24.14 million upfront, and that was 33 days after the alleged sale date. According to an exhaustive examination of both J Trust’s books and LPS records, it appears that the LPS, Bank Sentral Republik Indonesia – the central bank – and several other government agencies were complicit in the transaction.
CEO with a checkered past
J Trust Group is a Japanese financial services provider headed by Nobuyoshi Fujisawa, who, among other things, had been an executive with various subsidiaries of Livedoor, a Japanese Internet service provider that went belly-up spectacularly in 2006 amid charges of market manipulation, securities fraud and false accounting procedures.
According to records in Japan, Fujisawa was the President of Livedoor Credit Co Ltd, Livedoor Services Co, Livedoor Factoring Co Ltd and Kazaka Services, now Partir Services Ltd. J Trust purportedly specialized in buying up distressed bankrupt concerns like Takefuji Corp., another consumer lending company that went under in 2010 with the equivalent of US$5.1 billion in liabilities. J Trust has emerged as a rebranded Southeast Asian vulture fund.
The Tokyo-based group shares a bewildering pretzel palace of cross shareholdings with APF Financial, Showa Holdings Ltd, Wedge Holdings Co., Ltd, Group Lease PCL, PT Bank J Trust Indonesia TBK and the Thailand-based Group Lease. Mitsujo Konoshita, the chairman and chief executive of Group Lease was recently fined the astonishing equivalent of US$37.1 million by Japan’s financial regulator for stock manipulation of Wedge Holding shares in 2013.
US Commerce chief among shareholders
Other major shareholders include Taiyo Pacific Funds, Invesco, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), Saikyo Bank and WL Ross CG Partners. The W L Ross is Wilbur Ross, the secretary of commerce in the Trump administration.
As Asia Sentinel reported on April 10, it was publicly announced by the Indonesian government that J Trust had bought Bank Mutiara and paid the equivalent of US$368 million for 99.996 percent of it. But no mention of cash payment of that amount has appeared in any of J Trust’s financial statements over the past three years. Under Financial Services Authority and LPS law, J Trust was required to pay the US$368 million in cash in full at the time of purchase. However, LPS records show that J Trust paid only the equivalent of US$24.14 million down with a promise to cover future losses for a set period of time.
Bank Indonesia then arranged for a sharia loan promissory note through the Deposit Insurance Corporation for the remainder. In 2016, according to LPS records, the insurance corporation wrote down Rp3.065 trillion (US$230.65 million) on the sharia promissory note. That means the note was never paid and J Trust was virtually given Bank Mutiara in exchange for covering the flailing bank’s losses from Nov. 20, 2014 onward, up to a capped amount within three to five years. Those losses amounted to US$151.8 million as of December 31, 2016.
No record of the payment
There is no record, either in J Trust’s annual reports, or in the LPS’s records, that the sharia loan or the upfront US$368 Conditional Share Purchase Agreement (“CPSA”) purchase price proceeds have ever been paid by J Trust in cash. Over a period of weeks, Asia Sentinel has asked the LPS in a series of emails for the details of the sale, without ever receiving an adequate explanation of what happened. After a series of emails that produced no substantive responses, the editors of Asia Sentinel decided to go ahead with the story.
Asia Sentinel has also repeatedly sought to get J Trust to provide details of its payment for the bank. After three emails to J Trust’s international public relations representative Keiko Nishihara, J Trust’s lawyers Nishimura and Asahi of Tokyo delivered an unusual response:
“Your inquiries in your said emails are pertaining to matters that may relate to the pending disputes in which J Trust has been involved; therefore, J Trust has no intention to answer your inquiries regarding any details.”
That was followed up on May 26 with a letter from J Trust’s Hong Kong-based lawyers Linklaters threatening libel action.
Subsequent emails to Linklaters as well as, Nishimura, Asahi and the LPS have been met with silence. There has also been no response from J Trust or the LPS on when the Conditional Share Purchase Agreement with J Trust expires.
In the meantime, J Trust Group has been hemorrhaging cash flow, pouring US$217 million into what is now Bank J Trust Indonesia, continuing into March 2017. That is after allegedly agreeing on paper to pay what was said to be the highest multiple on a book value basis in Southeast Asian history for a bank in a non-competitive and non-transparent and seemingly fraudulent LPS sale process.
Major paper loss
The cumulative book value write-down for J Trust indicates a 65.2 percent paper loss on investment so far. That raises questions why J Trust bought the Bank in the first place. The silence by the group and Fujisawa leaves no answers to that or a long string of other questions.
For instance, in its March 31, 2017 Annual Report, J Trust says that in October 2016, the board of directors passed a resolution to acquire the shares of DH Savings Bank, based in Busan, South Korea.
“After six months since we entered into a share acquisition agreement, the (sic. South Korean) Financial Authority was still not ready to accept the company’s application for becoming a major shareholder. The company accordingly cancelled the agreement and aborted the share acquisition plan.”
No record of Korean acquisition attempt
However, as Asia Sentinel reported on May 4, a spokeswoman for South Korea’s financial authority said the agency had no record of an application to take over DH Savings, and DH Savings refused any comment. That raises the question whether the whole DH Savings exercise was merely an attempt at window-dressing to inflate J Trust’s less than impressive earnings and operating losses from FY2014 through FY2017.
Then there is the matter of J Trust’s accounting standards. In the same report announcing the mysterious cancellation of the DH Savings transaction, J Trust announced it was switching from the Japan Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or J-GAAP, to International Financial Standards, or IFRS, which is generally looked upon as a sensible move because it standardizes J Trust’s accounting with a single set of standards developed and maintained by the International Accounting Standards Board on a globally consistent basis.
But fortuitously for J Trust, switching over to IFRS eliminated the three-month timing difference in account closing for its two Indonesian subsidies, Bank JTrust Indonesia and J Trust Investments, reflecting 15 months of operating revenue rather than 12 months and increasing operating revenue by 25 percent. It has also substantiated J Trust’s attempts to write off massive goodwill numbers over an extended period. Shades of Takefuji resound.
According to its adjusted Fiscal Year 2017 reports, J Trust lost the equivalent of another US$13 million on its Thailand-based Group Lease motorcycle lending operation after a US$11.5 million gain on the sale of shares of the Indonesia-based Bank Mayapada. Along with previous losses, Group Lease has an implied total stock price loss of 38.4 percent on J Trust’s US$220 million investment in Group Lease since May of 2015.
Accounting legerdemain documents profit
Nonetheless, through a series of accounting adjustments, Group Lease managed to document US$ 28.98 million in net income for 2016, or did until the global accounting firm, E&Y, qualified its FY2016 accounts, causing its market capitalization on the Stock Exchange of Thailand to nosedive by US$2.2. billion in 90 days, from THB69.75 per share to THB12.40, a decline of 82.22 percent. In its own non-audited reports, J Trust said the qualifications “are not material” but its share price along with Wedge Holdings, Showa Holdings and APF Holdings has plummeted since February 14 in a Japanese version of a Valentine’s Day massacre.
None of this has managed to bolster J Trust’s stock price on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, falling from ¥14000 on Feb.16 to ¥809 on June 9, a 42.2 percent drop and the biggest including 2013, when the shares fell by 53.8 percent after J Trust’s ¥97 billion rights offering. The J Trust saga continues through today as Fujisawa’s accountants continue to adjust book losses.