Former Indonesian shuttler Taufik Hidayat condemned his Sports Ministry, calling them full of corrupt ‘rats’ after admitting his role as a middle man in a bribery case that rocked the country’s sport.
“No matter who the minister is, it will be the same. Half the building should be destroyed because there are so many rats inside,” said Taufik in a recent YouTube interview.
The former Olympic and world champion’s harsh words came after he testified in court last week to giving former Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi’s personal assistant Mifthahul Ulum just over RM300,000.
“I was asked to help through a phone call. I agreed to help, but I did not tell Imam that I had given the money to Ulum,” said Taufik at the court hearing.
The 38-year-old denied knowing the money was a bribe, but went on to claim it was common for ministry officials to embezzle funds through sports programmes.
Taufik, however, admitted he had no concrete evidence to back up his claims.
Youth and Sports Ministry secretary Gatot S. Dewa Broto debunked Taufik’s allegations, as quoted by the local media.
“We just need to prove [that he’s wrong] by doing our work,”Gatot was quoted as saying.
Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission said Taufik should file a formal complaint outlining his claims.
The six-time Indonesia Open champion also attracted further negative attention when Tommy Suhartanto – director of a national sports programme that was abolished in 2018 – claimed to have given Taufik RM242,000 for his help in a 2017 bribery case involving the 2018 Asian Games.
Taufik denied receiving any money from Tommy.
The case is ongoing as prosecutors are set to investigate further on Taufik’s claims by corroborating his statement with other witnesses.