JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or also familair called SBY and his family has emerged as one of the key political elites of late. This is not only because of the political acumen of the family’s patriarch but also a network of strong financiers behind the family’s political ambition.
Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY), the heir apparent of the political dynasty, is touted to be a running mate of Presidential aspirant Prabowo Subianto in the next presidential election in 2009.
Before entering politics, AHY was one of the most promising military officers in Indonesia. He exited the military services after 16 years with the rank of Major to contest the Jakarta gubernatorial election in 2016. He came out last in the three-candidates contest but analyst said the election was merely a platform to boost his popularity nationwide.
AHY, 40 years old, graduated from military academics in 2,000 as the best of his class, which gave him the Adhi Makayasa Medal. In July 2006, he graduated from Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, Singapore with a master’s degree in strategic studies. He then continued his studies at Harvard University.
At the Jakarta 2017 election, AHY disclosed his personal wealth to the Corruption Eradication Commission. Back then, his personal wealth was amounting to Rp15.29 billion and US$511,332, which is quite large for retired major.
His wealthy probably came from his father SBY who, before serving as Indonesia’s President for 10 years, had a long career as high-ranking officials and military officers. A list of his job before became the president of Indonesia are Mining and Energy Minister, the Coordinating Minister for Politic and Security Affairs.
This, along with SBY’s long military career, brings him closer to a network of rich individuals who later became financiers of his personal political aspiration or his Democratic Party.
In 2010, George Junus Aditjondro wrote a controversial book detailing SBY’s financial dealings. Aditjondro earned his reputation by writing a book exposing Soeharto’s family corruption.
The book, which is updated again in 2011, is titled ” the Cikeas octopus”, a reference to Cikeas village in Bogor, West Java, where SBY’s family house is located. It is a comparison to the so-called Cendana family, that is the name of the street of Soeharto’s family residence.d.
In the book, Aditjondro reported that SBY family has close ties with some people in Indonesian business clites that contributed to his reelection campaign in 2009.
At the top of the list is Siti Hartati Moerdaya Poo and here husband Moerdaya Widyawimarta Poo, who according to Forbes, had amassed wealth totaling $1 billion. Their business interests come mainly from real estate, timber, plantation, consumer goods and engineering.
The jewel of the crown is the Jakarta International Expo, which is a premier meeting and exhibition venue in Jakarta. Madame Poo is a devout Buddhist and has been leading the Indonesian Buddhist Council since 1998.
Next on the list is the Sampoerna family, whose wealth come mainly from tobacco business. The family is currently lead by third generation of Boedi Sampoerna and Putera Sampoerna. The founder is Liem Seng Tee, who established the company in 1963 along with his wife Tjiang Nio.
The couple then inherited the company to their son Aga Sampoerna who then gave the company to his two children Boedi Sampoerna and Putera Sampoerna. In 2005, Sampoerna family sold their cigarette business to Philip Morris International for $2 billion. After the selling of the cigarette company, Putera Sampoerna handed control of the family business to his son Michael Joseph Sampoerna that develop a holding company Sampoerna Strategic to many countries and sectors including insurance , casino and palm oil.
Third financier mentioned in the book is Syamsul Noersalim. Nursalim is the owner of Indonesia biggest tyre company PT Gajah Tunggal Tbk (IDX: GJTL). According to Forbes, his fortune also was built on property, coal and retail sectors. He has a stake in Singapore listed Tuan Sing Holding which develops and owns a variety of properties, a stake in listed retailer PT Mitra Adiperkasa Tbk (IDX: MAPI), which operates Zara, Topshop, Steve Madden and other brands. According to Forbes, he has total wealth of around $830 millions.
Based on Aditjondro report, SBY family has close ties to Nursalim through his accomplice Artalita Suryani, a businesswoman involved in a bribery scandal for a prosecutor.
Beside those names, there are other businessman that was mentioned to support SBY family like the owner of CT Corps, Chairul Tanjung. CT Corps has a broad range of business including banks, television, online media, and grocery stores . According to Forbes he has total wealth around $3.9 billion. Chairul Tanjung served briefly as coordinating minister for the economy during the last leg of SBY’s presidency.
There is no clear information wether the business elites will support SBY’s son AHY in 2019 election. But, here in Indonesia, businessmen usually put their moneys in rivaling candidates as a safe measure in case as election could go both ways.
Written and Compiled by TIS Intelligence Team