Tempo Reprints Mysteriously ‘Sold-out’ Edition


Cover of the latest edition

A very strange thing happened with the latest edition of Indonesia’s Tempo magazine.  It was a sell out!  Normally a publisher would be pleased to hear that every copy printed was sold.  But in this case, the circumstances of the sales were bizarre.  Shortly after 4am on Monday, groups of men who looked like police officers (but not in uniform) visited all 29 of Tempo’s agents in Jakarta and bought every copy.

The feature article is “Rekening Gendut Perwira Polici” (Fat Bank Account of a Police Officer).  It tells the story of an investigation into the affairs of certain police generals who have acquired vast amounts of wealth.  A check of their bank accounts reveals sums being deposited which greatly exceed their annual salaries.  The total amounts make Gayus look frugal:

Details of three of the generals

Corruption used to be so commonplace in Indonesia that many people on the take didn’t bother to cover their tracks.  Now everyone’s bank account is up for examination and questions are being asked about where these vast sums came from.

The Sunday edition of the Tempo newspaper advertises the main articles of the magazine to be distributed the next day.  So it seems one or more of the generals panicked and ordered his boys to buy up every copy.  Well, they succeeded in buying all the 30,000 copies to be sold in Jakarta, but not the ones that went to other cities, or to places just outside Jakarta, or those mailed to subscribers.  Even if they did succeed in buying the entire print run, the story was available online!

Anyhow, far from being discouraged by the strange events, Tempo went ahead and ran off another 30,000 copies which it distributed to its agents in Jakarta today.  Sadly, nobody was tempted to buy up all of those, so they will be sold one by one, in the usual way.

Tempo has a proud history of breaking stories which challenge the status quo.  Having been shut down for years by President Suharto and sued by Tomy Winata, it was unlikely that Tempo would be intimidated by someone actually handing them extra cash.

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2 Responses to “Tempo Reprints Mysteriously ‘Sold-out’ Edition”

  1. Updates on Recent Stories « Aboutindo's Blog Says:

    […] Tempo’s ‘Sold Out’ Edition […]

  2. Updates on Recent Stories Says:

    […] Tempo’s ‘Sold Out’ Edition […]

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