ONE day in June, Riau Governor Rusli Zainal, along with four ministers, visited the presidential palace. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had been expecting them. That afternoon, Rusli was scheduled to provide the President with a detailed report on preparations for the 18th National Games (PON) in Riau, scheduled for September. Rusli complained about the unfinished construction work of various sport venues due to budgetary constraints. Although funding for the National Games was being taken out from the regional and the state budget, the unfinished construction of sports venues remained the chief problem, particularly as the date for the National Games was drawing nearer. "I give up," said Rusli, as quoted by a Tempo source with knowledge of that meeting.
The source also reported that in response to Rusli's comments, President Yudhoyono said that the central government would not stand quiet and do nothing particularly since PON was part of the national agenda. President Yudhoyono proceeded to instruct Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng, Coordinating People's Welfare Minister Agung Laksono, Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi, and Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto to help Rusli.
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