Awaiting ministers to walk talk over public’s developmental benefits

During his presidential inauguration address on October 20, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) gave an insight into his aspirations of seeing Indonesia become an advanced nation, achieve near-zero poverty, and avoid the middle-income trap.

To this end, the head of state has outlined five priorities for his second five-year term for the 2019-2024 period, notably human resources development, infrastructure development, regulation simplification, bureaucracy simplification, and economic transformation.

Indonesia must channel its efforts towards developing hardworking, dynamic, and skilled human resources that have also gained mastery over technology and sciences, he noted.

He also vowed to continue the development of infrastructure to connect production regions with distribution regions, offer better access to tourist destinations, create new job opportunities, and increase added value of the people’s economy.

Moreover, the president highlighted the need for simplifying regulations and deregulating to encourage micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and to offer more jobs.

To attract investment that can create job opportunities, he will also prioritize debureaucratization or simplification of bureaucracy.

The fifth priority concerning economic transformation aims to veer from dependency on natural resources to competitive manufacturing.

“We must transform from depending on natural resources into manufacturing competitiveness and modern services that have high added values for prosperity of the nation and for social justice for all Indonesian people,” he stated.

Jokowi also expressed hope that Indonesia would emerge as a developed nation, with calculated income of Rp320 million per capita per year, or Rp27 million per capita per month.

“Our goal is that in 2045, Indonesia’s gross domestic product can reach US$7 trillion. Indonesia has been listed among the world’s five-largest economies, with nearly zero poverty rate. We have to achieve our goal,” Jokowi stated.

To achieve the targets, Jokowi is seeking ministers that can not only implement his priority programs but are also capable of delivering the benefits of development programs to the people.

Jokowi spoke of scenarios when his ministers had updated him on the tasks they had conducted, though his on-field checks exposed the truth of the public yet to benefit from these programs.

The government’s development programs should not merely focus on process, but it must also be oriented towards tangible results.

Jokowi is expected to announce his new cabinet line-up on Oct 21, a day after he and Ma’ruf Amin took their oath of office respectively as Indonesia’s president and vice president for the 2019-2024 period.

Jokowi hinted at the cabinet members comprising several fresh faces and few old hands.

Few old hands would remain in the cabinet to carry forward their work for the subsequent period. However, several fresh faces, including professionals and millenials, will be seen in strategic positions, he pointed out.

The president revealed that professionals will occupy some 55 percent of the ministerial positions, while millennials under 30 years of age will also be included in the cabinet line-up.

Some reports speculated that the professionals might include Prof. Mahmud MD, GoJek founder Nadiem Makarim, and businessman Erick Tohir.

Jokowi also ensured that his cabinet will encompass women representatives and Papuan natives.

During the April-17 presidential elections, Jokowi and his running mate, Ma’ruf Amin, won 55.5 percent of the vote as against 44.5 percent secured by the pair of retired general Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno.

The 2019 election was a replay of the contentious 2014 presidential election that had exposed a deep national divide, as Jokowi and Subianto went head-to-head.

Jokowi was supported by 10 political parties grouped in the Indonesia Working Coalition (KIK) — the ruling PDIP, PKB, PPP, Golkar, Nasdem, PSI, Perindo, PKPI, Hanura, and the latest one, PBB — during the 2019 presidential election. Those 10 political parties most likely would be represented in the new cabinet line-up.

However, the Democratic Party (PD), Gerindra, and the National Mandate Party (PAN) that had supported Subianto might also likely join the cabinet.

The indications were separate meetings earlier held by Jokowi with PD Chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on October 10, Gerindra Chairman Prabowo Subianto on October 11, and PAN Chairman on Zulkifli Hasan on October 14, 2019.

The meetings between the head of state and the parties’ leaders centered on exploring the possibility of the three parties joining Jokowi’s coalition, but a decision is yet to be reached.

Another major Islam-based party — the Justice Prosperous Party (PKS) — has not met with Jokowi, though it appears that the sentiment is mutual since the PKS is neither keen to join the government’s coalition nor seek a ministerial post, as the party had decided to remain as a critical and constructive opposition.

Hidayat Nur Wahid, a PKS senior politician, recently noted that his party leader was ready to meet President Jokowi but was awaiting an opportune time, most likely after the announcement of the new cabinet line-up, as the party was keen to avoid any speculation of joining the cabinet.

This is because if democracy means that everyone joins the government, then who will exercise the system of check and balances? We are willing to become the one, who is upholding and saving the dignity of democracy by being in the opposition,” Wahid remarked.

Source: ANTARA News