It seems that Tempo Magazine has got under the skin of the Coordinating Minister of Bakrie Welfare (AKA People's Welfare) with a few special reports that it has done on the financial woes of the Bakrie Group. These woes do not seem to be getting any better if the press conference of yesterday is anything to go by. This press conference ended with a call for the attendees to pray for a successful outcome. The reality is that the Group is manoeuvring to put itself in a position to obtain alternative financing and / or to ensure that it does not lose majority control of Bumi Resources.
Bakrie had his lawyers send a letter demanding that Tempo give the Coordinating Minister of Imploding Welfare the right to respond or if Tempo was unwilling to grant a right to respond then they should just print a retraction and an apology. Generally, when the attack dogs (AKA lawyers) come into the frame it means that things are getting a little too hot and hitting a little too close to home.
There is a threat of criminal action which is kind of interesting as this would suggest that Bakrie is prepared to go to court and have Tempo prove the truth of their claims. According to the Bakrie lawyers the claims to date are untrue, false, slanderous, and damaging. I would have thought defaming would have been in the mix as well.
It seems that Bakrie's biggest beef with the articles in Tempo is the alleged campaign donation Bakrie made to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Jusuf Kalla during the 2004 election campaign. The implication is that this secured his cabinet post. I am not sure that Kalla needed the funds as he is a pretty wealthy fella in his own right.
Bakrie's other beef is with a 17 November cover of Tempo that depicts a forehead with 666 on it. The lawyers for Bakrie feel that the forehead belongs to their client and the suggestion that he is the devil is unfair. For this perceived slight the lawyers for Bakrie are demanding that the magazine run an apology in seven consecutive editions. If they refuse then the lawyers have suggested that they will file both a civil and criminal complaint.
Let the fun and games begin.