Senior ministers overseeing Covid-19 response allegedly profiting from PCR tests

Source – November 1, 2021
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan – Undated (Antara)

Agung Sandy Lesmana and Stephanus Aranditio – Former Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) Publications and Education Director Agustinus Edy Kristianto has revealed the names of several ministers who are said to be affiliated with Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid Antigen test businesses.

Kristianto cited a number of names on his private Facebook account, namely Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Menko Marives) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and State Enterprises (BUMN) Minister Erick Thohir.

Both ministers were allegedly involved in establishing the Covid-19 test service provider company PT Genomik Solidaritas Indonesia (GSI).

Kristianto explained that GIS was born out of the companies PT Toba Bumi Energi and PT Toba Sejahtra, subsidiary companies of PT TBS Energi Utama Tbk (TOBA), of which a small number of shares are owned by Pandjaitan.

In addition to this, GSI was also established by PT Yayasan Adaro Bangun Negeri which is linked to PT Adaro Energy Tbk (ADRO), of which 6.18 person of its shares are owned by Garibaldi "Boy" Thohir who is none other than the older brother of Erick Thohir.

"Use common sense. The Menko Marives serves concurrently as the coordinator of the PPKM [Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities]. He is the top leader of both Covid-19 and investment policies. Then, the BUMN minister who serves concurrently as the head of the Committee for the Handling Covid-19 and National Economic Recovery (KPC-PEN). The health minister is the former BUMN deputy minister. But, this minister it turns out is affiliated (has a link) with PT Genomik Solidaritas Indonesia", wrote Kristianto.

Kristianto also gave a brake down of PT GSI share ownership: The Indika Untuk Indonesia Foundation (932 shares), the Adaro Bangun Negeri Foundation (485 shares), the Northstar Bhakti Persada Foundation (242 shares), PT Anarya Kreasi Nusantara (242 shares), PT Modal Ventura YCAB (242 shares), PT Perdana Multi Kasih (242 shares), PT Toba Bumi Energi (242 shares), PT Toba Sejahtra (242 shares) and PT Kartika Bina Medikatama (100 shares).

The Indika Untuk Indonesia Foundation is linked to PT Indika Energy Tbk (INDY) which is headed by Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) General Chairperson Arsjad Rasjid as the executive director.

Then, the Northstar Bhakti Persada Foundation which is linked with the Northstar Group headed by Patrick Walujo, a banker who is also the son-in-law of TP Rachmat and Glenn Sugita as administrators of the foundation.

Walujo is also a shareholder in Gojek-Tokopedia (Go-To), PT Blue Bird Tbk (BIRD), PT Bank Jago Tbk (ARTO), PT Sumber Alfaria Trijaya Tbk (AMRT), PT Centratama Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk (CENT) and PT Trimegah Sekuritas Indonesia Tbk (TRIM).

"These are all clearly businesses. The legal entities are limited companies (PT). The aim of a limited company is profit! Remember, it's not an issue of a person being prohibited from doing business but look first at the position of the person doing business. It's very immoral to use a public position as a way into business by taking advantage of a pandemic which has made things difficult for the ordinary people", asserted Kristianto.

Kristianto is asking the House of Representatives (DPR) to follow up on these allegations although he is pessimistic that they will because most of the DPR is part of the government coalition.

"Never mind post the revisions to the KPK [Corruption Eradication Commission] Law which makes the KPK part of the executive power. The KPK has been blunted and its activities changed to become just a bicycle club in between meetings at five-star hotels", he added.

Earlier, the Civil Society Coalition for Health and Justice also alleged that there is more than 23 trillion rupiah circulating through the PCR testing business in Indonesia, with total potential profits of around 10 trillion rupiah or more.

The Coalition is made up of the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), the YLBHI, the Lokataru Foundation and the volunteer group LaporCovid-19.

This figure will further increase in concert with the government's new policy of requiring PCR tests for all domestic flights which will be broadened to all forms of public transport during the end of year holidays.


Around the same time as these allegations became public the government announced that air passengers across Java and Bali will no longer be required to undergo PCR tests for Covid-19 but only be required to take an Antigen test. Passengers are also required to show proof that they have taken at least a single dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Luhut dan Erick Thohir Diduga Terlibat dalam Bisnis Tes PCR".]