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Former agriculture minister sues Tempo for ‘inaccurate’ news report

Former Indonesia agriculture minister Amran Sulaiman has sued Indonesian weekly magazine Tempo for a news report about the ministry’s efforts to make the country self-sufficient in sugar. According to a filing seen by Marketing Interactive, Sulaiman is demanding Tempo to retract the news report and issue an apology in at least 10 mainstream print and digital media outlets.

The lawsuit claims that the report is “inaccurate, misrepresented and misleading”. Published in September, the report is titled “Investigation on Amran’s and Isam’s sugar self-sufficiency”. Isam refers to businessman Andi Syamsuddin Arsyad, who is better known as Isam.

According to Jakarta Post, Tempo wrote that Jhonlin Group, was one of the 10 business entities selected to invest in developing sugar factories, a solution proposed by the government to reduce imports and reach self-efficiency in sugar by 2024. The article said owner of the group is reportedly Isam, who is also Sulaiman’s cousin. Tempo also reported that Sulaiman had held talks with local officials to ease investment permit issuance for Isam’s company to establish a sugarcane plantation and sugar factory.

At the time of publishing, the magazine was overseen by Tempo‘s then-chief editor Arief Zulkifli. He has since been replaced by Wahyu Dhyatmika and Tempo’s managing editor for investigative reports, Bagja Hidayat, according to Jakarta Post.

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