Last updated at 15:07 GMT, Friday, 11 November 2011

SEA Games begin with corruption claims

Summary

11 November 2011

The 26th South East Asian Games begin in the Indonesian city of Palembang today.

Preparations for the Games have seen many allegations of corruption.

Reporter
Karishma Vaswani

SEA Games torch relay in Jakarta

The torch relay for the Games went through Jakarta

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Report

On the surface the sporting venues in Palembang look grand. But look a little closer, and you'll see that organisers are still trying to get things ready in time.

The roads are filled with dust, because of the unfinished work. Even the road signs need some fixing.

Allegations of graft have marred the Games from the start. Mohammad Nazaruddin, a senior politician from Indonesia's ruling party has been accused of taking bribes worth millions for awarding contracts to build the athletes' rooms. He's consistently denied the allegations but the scandal has cast an ugly shadow on the event.

Organisers admit the corruption scandal has impacted Palembang's ability to host a successful Games. But officials say this is the best they can do, and are optimistic Indonesia will deliver on time.

This is the first time Indonesia is hosting an event of this scale outside the capital city Jakarta. Hosting the games is a huge matter of pride for the local people in Palembang and for Indonesians around the archipelago.

But the event has been tainted by the all too familiar smear of Indonesian corruption.

Karishma Vaswani, BBC, Indonesia

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Vocabulary

On the surface

If you take a quick look

graft

the dishonest use of political power and influence in order to get money

marred

spoiled

awarding contracts

deciding which companies will be given a particular job

consistently denied the allegations

always stated that the things said about him were not true

has cast an ugly shadow on the event

has made the Games be seen in a negative way

impacted

had a negative influence on

of this scale

of this size

the archipelago

The group of small islands that make up a particular area

tainted by

made dirty by

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