A Competent Cabinet

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Dahlan Iskan former Minister of State-Owned Enterprises

IO – I must praise the composition of this new cabinet. That means I have to praise the compiler: President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo.

Certainly, its makeup does not satisfy everyone. Especially all the political parties. But it looks like President Jokowi can evade the pres­sure of many around him.

Indeed, Luhut Panjaitan still looks dominant. His old position has remained: Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs. In charge of Ener­gy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) and Maritime Affairs. Even added investment fields to that. But – from the President’s point of view – that’s the correct choice. Luhut can be a bumper for various pressures. From individuals and politicians. Including from Parliament.

He is the type of person who vol­unteered to be a fortress. For the sake of a President.

The Minister of Religion is also Luhut Panjaitan’s. Although official­ly a Hanura Party member. The ap­pointment of Fachrul Razi as Minis­ter of Religion can eliminate pressure from the right and left – Muhammad­iyah or NU.

He is a general. Kopassus. Re­tired. Religious. Also, from Aceh.Now the Minister of Religion is back in the hands of the Army. General Fachrul Razi is the third soldier to become the Minister of Religion. After Alamsyah Ratu Perwiranegara and Tarmizi Tahir.

The President also managed to keep the Ministry of Energy and Min­eral Resources (ESDM) in profession­al hands.

Of course, ESDM has become the target of many politicians. But the choice of Arifin Tasrif was quite ap­propriate.

His relationship with Japan is very good. He is currently still the In­donesian Ambassador to Japan. His managerial ability is extraordinary. He is Managing Director of Petro­chemical Gresik, and later became Managing Director of Indonesian Fertilizer Holding.

In his post, he purchased a for­eign company in order for it to be­come a national company. Without much fanfare. He excels in human­ izing humans. He knows the issue of national energy.

The magic is Sofyan Jalil. The old and new Minister of Agrarian Affairs. This Acehnese was twice a Minister in the days of President SBY. Twice also became a Minister in President Jokowi’s era.

What about the Minister of State-owned Companies (BUMN)?

Erick Thohir is the right choice. Young and meritorious – for Jokowi. He sacrificed his friendship with San­diaga Uno to become the leader of the Jokowi winning team.

At first, I doubted that Erick would become a Minister. He is not lacking in anything. From such a large group of companies: Adaro.

I pray that Erick will be safe. From bureaucratic traps. And from any­one’s revenge.

Erick who is good at leaving peo­ple unharmed. He is very good at em­bracing people. If he becomes a bu­reaucratic victim it would be a shame: we will lose a great businessman. One whose intentions are to serve but un­reciprocated.

Mahfud MD finally got a place as the Coordinating Minister for Poli­tics and Security. After failing to be a running mate. This is the first time the Coordinating Minister for Politi­cal, Legal and Security Affairs is not a soldier.

President Gus Dur has provided provisions in Mahfud MD’s curricu­lum vitae. So it is considered to have a suitable track record for his new position.

Gus Dur once appointed him Min­ister of Defense. The first civilian De­fense Minister. In the era of democra­cy, the Army must indeed be under civilian control. That is the dream of Gus Dur’s democracy.

And again the security challenges ahead are civilians. Extremists, eth­nicity, rich-poor inequality, non-en­forcement of the law.

That is the field controlled by Mah­fud.After all, his Defense Minister was already a ‘strong man’: Prabowo Subianto. The Coordinating Minister could focus more on the non-military security issues and the legal reform.

What about the election of National Police Chief Tito Kar­navian as the Interior Minister?The President can get around this post. Exempt it from political pres­sure. The PDI-Perjuangan must be very interested in this position. I also felt that the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-Perjuangan) felt it had a ‘right’ for the Ministry of Home Affairs. As the party that wins the election.

But the PDI-Perjuangan should not be disappointed either. Police General Tito has proven his political loyalty. Proven during the last elec­tion. PDI-Perjuangan should be able to hold Tito for the upcoming elec­tions. He can be a bulldozer. Even in the age of democracy, bulldozers were still needed

What about the Attorney General?

The president was also able to avoid the left-right pressure. Espe­cially from the two main figures in the coalition: Megawati and Surya Paloh.

Through social media we know: there was a kind of struggle for the position. So far, the Attorney Gen­eral is Surya Paloh’s person. Then the right is also his to maintain that position.

Megawati, on the contrary, did not want the Attorney General to return to Nasdem. Too many PDI-Perjuan­gan cadres moved parties. For fear of being a suspect.

The President managed to get out from under that pressure. Chose the third person: ST Burhanuddin. He was forced to return home to his alma mater.

What’s interesting is the post of Minister of Education. Mil­lennial held: Nadiem Makarim.His ability with a decacorn has proven extraordinary. The best in Indonesia. Now Nadiem is entering the bureau­cracy. The Minister of National Ed­ucation is the biggest bureaucracy. With the biggest budget. Even the range of control. Very broad.

In the hands of Nadiem maybe so much can be simplified. At least that’s the expectation of many people.We pray for Nadiem. To remain able to move swiftly. Amid bureaucratic barbed wire.

Of course, the field of education is new to him. But the Coordinating Minister for this was Muhajir Effendy. Who has been serving as Minister of Education and Culture.

There are indeed many ques­tions: why was the popular Susi Pujiastuti not appointed again? Of course, many people already know: she is considered difficult by the Coordinating Minister. The ru­mor was so strong: she would not come when invited to a meeting. Susi is known to be very principled. Nationalist. Also very accomplished. It can be said that fishing by foreign boats in Indonesia waters no longer exists. Fish have become plentiful in the sea.

But the fish center in Bitung screamed. They can’t get fish. Like­wise, other fish centers. Fish have indeed become plentiful. But what if they are not captured? Such was once a joke that spread.

What about the economic team? The Coordinating Minister is not an economist-technocrat: Airlangga Har­tarto from Golkar. His Trade Minister: Agus Suparmanto from PKB. Minis­ter of the industry: Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita from Golkar. Minister of Labor Ida Fauziah from PKB. The Agriculture Minister is Syahrul Yasin Limpo from Nasdem.

Only the technocrat Finance Min­ister: Sri Mulyani. But this is indeed not a year of economic expansion. These are years of consolidation.

Limpo, for example, is a hard worker. Also a breakthrough. He is re­sourceful. What also becomes a ques­tion: why is the idea of combining the positions of Foreign Minister and the Minister of Trade not being realized. The idea is very modern.

Also, why were the Research and Technology separated again with Higher Education? Did the experi­ment fail?

Higher Education is returned to the Ministry of Education. In terms of togetherness, this cabinet is like an even rain. Cohesiveness seems more important.

Is there any opposition left? PKS is certain. Will the oth­er parties – those not in the cab­inet – stand in opposition? Even if they are in opposition, it seems that they will walk on their own.