House should be ashamed asking for extra business class seats for Haj: ICW

Source – June 14, 2023
DPR Secretary General Indra Iskandar speaking in parliament – Undated (Jurnas)

Singgih Wiryono, Jakarta – Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) Coordinator Agus Sunaryanto says it's inappropriate for House of Representatives (DPR) members to ask for business class seats from Garuda Indonesia Airlines to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the Haj.

He thinks that that the DPR should be ashamed because many other people have to queue for a long time to perform the holy pilgrimage.

"Members of the DPR should be ashamed asking for business class seats to go on the Haj. Ashamed before the people who may be their constituents. Many of them have to queue for a long time and even dozens of years in order to get on the quota to go on the Haj", said Sunaryanto on Wednesday June 14.

Sunaryanto said the DPR should have sensitivity over the issue of the long queue, not instead asking to be facilitated for personal gain, which should be allocated to the general public.

"Don't ask for special treatment from Garuda as a BUMN [state-owned enterprise]", he added.

Earlier, Garuda Indonesia's President Director Irfan Setiaputra revealed that the DPR has asked to be provided with as many as 80 additional business class seats for members of the DPR departing for the Haj to the holy land.

Setiaputra said the request was made by DPR Secretary General Indra Iskandar from the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

The DPR's request was leaked by Setiaputra when he was attending a public hearing with the DPR's Commission VI at the parliament building in Senayan, Jakarta, on Tuesday June 13.

"But, the other day we were contacted by the DPR secretary general to ensure that [we could accommodate] around 80 additional DPR members to be able to leave for Haj", said Setiaputra.

Setiaputra said however that Garuda could not confirm additional aircraft for the DPR members because it requires permission from the Saudi Arabian General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA).

"So stay tuned, we cannot promise additional aircraft. Because this is indeed a matter of permission from the Saudi Arabia GACA, which actually requires that the 22nd is the last day for flight for the Haj", he said.

Nevertheless, said Setiaputra, Garuda will still try to provide business class seats for DPR members who want to go on the Haj.

"Hopefully we can provide the seats, especially business classes in accordance with the expectations of the ladies and gentlemen in the DPR", added Setiaputra.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Soal DPR Minta Kursi Kelas Bisnis untuk Haji, ICW: Malu dengan Masyarakat yang Antre Belasan Tahun".]