What would the Buddha do about Hartati?

Interesting to see the Indonesian Buddhists, or people claiming to represent them, being so worked up about the KPK’s investigation into their benefactor and SBY’s, Hatarti.

Earlier, one of the priests had said that the Buddhists in this country would be psychologically disturbed if Hartati was arrested. The authorities should therefore let her go.

Religion is a convenient vehicle for mortals to use to serve their vested interests. One wonders how much of a benefactor, financially, Hatarti has contributed to the buddhist associations? And if she had not done that would the putative Buddhists be so worked up over the arrest of yet another tycoon with dubious ties with officials?

But the remarkable thing here is that the aim of Buddhism is to free themselves from the affairs of this world, so that they may focus on being aware and hopefully achieve enlightenment.

So won’t all these lobbying and demonstrating efforts detract one from the Middle Path? Is there Right Intention and Right Action here? If not, would they be better of if they just say their Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhus and let this go?


Hailed as Hero, Hundreds of Buddhists Pray for Hartati | The Jakarta Globe

Hundreds of Buddhists gathered on Wednesday in front of the Corruption Eradication Commission’s (KPK) office to pray for graft suspect Siti Hartati Cakra Murdaya Poo.

The prayer, led by monk Tadisa Paramita Mahasthavira, begged for the KPK leaders to attain enlightenment on the issue and petitioned them to not cave into pressure from people that dislike Hartati.

Hartati is the chairwoman of the Indonesian Buddhist Council known as Walubi

“They should not impose their will and charge our chairwoman,” the secretary general of Walubi, Gatot Sukarno Adi, said on Wednesday.

Hartati, a wealthy associate of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, faces charges that she paid Rp 3 billion ($318,000) in bribes to Buol district chief Amran Batalipu in exchange for favorable land concessions needed to extend Hardaya Inti Plantation’s palm oil operations in Central Sulawesi.

Gatot maintains that Hartati is not guilty.

Not long after the Walubi prayer ended, a civil organization called the People’s Alliance Against Extortion (AMAN) protested in front of the KPK office as well to show support for Hartati.

The coordinator of AMAN, Kevin Wu, asserted that Hartati is a symbol of the Indonesian people’s struggle against extortion.

“Hartati Murdaya is a businesswoman, an investment pioneer and a hero that has brought development to Buol. She is the victim of the Buol district chief’s extortion in this case,” said Wu.

According to Hartati, Amran extorted her, asking for money in order to solve a problem that arose between the company and the local people. She has denied that she ever bribed Amran.

Amran’s lawyer, however, claims that Hartati also bribed other candidates for district chief.


One thought on “What would the Buddha do about Hartati?

Add yours

  1. Hi Mr. Ong,

    I was in the search, then one of the link brought me to your blog and this topic raise my curiosity.

    Well actually the case of religion’s icon being arrested or caught in humiliating act is not a new issue to this world, especially Indonesia. But for Indonesian Buddhist, probably because they are long hidden under those old regime, mix culture, etc, then just started to show out, this became a big issues and annoyed some of the Buddhist public. Unfortunately they are all not enlightened yet.

    All those you mentioned about middle path and right intention are all true and definitely remind us again to the real practice rather than just wearing those religion labels.

    PS. I like your point of view in seeing issues. Kinda provoke our mind to think further the other way around.



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