Jokowi asked to reevaluate Bengkulu infrastructure projects

Bengkulu (ANTARA News) – Bengkulu Civilian Community Group has asked President Joko Widodo to reconsider and reevaluate all infrastructure projects in that province.

The call came after the arrest of Bengkulu Governor Ridwan Mukti by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Most of the major infrastructure projects have been proposed by the governor and are already approved by Jakarta.

Ridwan Mukti and his wife Lily Martiani Maddari were arrested by KPK after being caught red handed receiving bribe from the contractor of road infrastructure.

“We ask the Central Government to evaluate all Bengkulu infrastructure projects including access road to and from Bengkulus neighboring provinces,” Director of Bengkulu Walhi Beny Ardiansyah said here on Thursday.

Beny said the highway projects planned by the Bengkulu regional administration to link the province with its neighboring provinces West Sumatra, Jambi, South Sumatra and Lampung should be considered based on urgency and the need of the people.

There are at least five new roads to be built through conservation forests under the program of the provincial administration.

“Whereas, there are already roads although the condition is saddening. The roads are badly battered and need repairs. Rather than opening new roads by damaging the forest, it would be better for the government to repair the ones existing,” he said.

He said the infrastructure projects are not yet a priority for the province, one of the poorest in the country.

Chairman of the Alliance of Bengkulu Traditional Community Deff Tri Hamdi said the priority in Bengkulu is elimination of poverty.

Meanwhile, people grouped in “Community Concerned with Bengkulu (MPB)” asked the regional legislative assembly to process the replacement of Ridwan Mukti, who have declared resignation after he was named corruption suspect by KPK.

MPB spokesman Melyansori said a new governor is necessary to ensure that development process would continue after the resignation of Ridwan.

“The development program to be financed by the Central Government may not continue before there is definitive governor,” he said.

However, chairman of the provincial legislative body Ichsan Fajri said the people should not push for immediate replacement governor as it could open opportunity for certain group with vested interest.

Ridwan Mukti and his wife have been named corruption suspects and held in KPK detention house.

Source: Antara News