Freeport takeover deserves appreciation: lawmaker

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has been right in acquiring the majority stake in PT Freeport Indonesia, which has large copper and gold mine in Papua, a leading lawmaker has said.

Mukhamad Misbakhun, a member of the Commission XI of the House of Representatives said the decision of the government was in line with the law.

"It was a breakthrough and a big achievement that deserves appreciation instead of suspicion," Misbakhun said here on Friday, referring to a motion to set up an inquiry committee in the House to investigate possible irregularities in the takeover.

With the take-over of majority stake, Indonesia, represented by state-owned mining holding company PT Inalum, would be in control of the Indonesian unit of the U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoRan, Misbakhun said.

Last week, PT Inalum paid US$3.85 billion to raise its stake from around 9.36 percent to 51.2 percent ending 45 years of almost full control by Freeport of Papua copper and gold mines in Papua.

The Golkar politician said no need to see the process of acquisition with suspicion, on the contrary the country should be proud with the big coup.

"The takeover has gone through long business process, which was very accountable and transparent that everybody could see that it was an extraordinary achievement," he said.

He said there is no ground for suspicion that necessitates the setting up of an inquiry committee in the House.

He said he would oppose the motion and that he has strong argument to defend the governments decision in acquiring PT Freeport Indonesia.

"I will be against any motion to set up the inquiry committee for the take-over. The motion is only to draw political attention," he said.

He said it is time to show to the public the benefit of increasing non tax state revenues from taking control of PT Freeport instead of politicizing it.

Source: ANTARA News

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