Jokowi urged to rearrange second term cabinet of ministers

The discussion “Figuring Out the Faces of Jokowi’s Second-Term Cabinet” held in Cikini, Jakarta, on Thursday (26/09/2019). (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – A number of ministers in Jokowi’s First Working Cabinet remain under the spotlight: the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Trade, the Minister of Finance, and the Defense Minister are taking a lot of criticism due to unsatisfactory economic growth and failed national security. “I will not mention names, but our evaluation concludes that most of these ministers, especially in the economy-related fields, will not be reinstated. They have failed to perform the mandate given to them,” said Republik Merdeka Online (“RMOL”)’s R & D researcher Faisal Mahrawa in the discussion “Figuring Out the Faces of Jokowi’s Second-Term Cabinet” held in Cikini, Jakarta, on Thursday (26/09/2019). 

Similar to Faisal, KedaiKopi Survey Agency analyst Hendri Satrio stated that 70% of Jokowi’s previous Cabinet has failed to perform the mandate entrusted to them. The fall in the value of the Rupiah, political instability, and disruption to national security are among the failures of First Working Cabinet Ministers. 

Meanwhile, Clean Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Bersih – “GIB”) Coordinator Adhie Massardi stated that most of Jokowi’s ministers in the First Working Cabinet do not seem to be on the people’s side. “In the Cabinet, the primary issue is one of partiality. Let me give you one example: Minister Enggar (Minister of Trade). He was not partial to the people at all. Enggar’s policies destroyed farmers from various sectors,” he said. 

Adhie reiterates that unless the situation is resolved by finding replacement options, it would be likely that new problems will occur when the Second Term Cabinet is being organized. “This is an issue of social distrust, whether in terms of politics, law enforcement, economic policies, or investment – everything is problematic,” he said. 

Faisal stated that in order to improve the Cabinet’s performance in the second term, Jokowi must dare to make changes by ensuring that the new Cabinets are comprised of professionals able to resolve economic issues. He stated that most small and medium businesses do not grow much because production and transportation costs have increased. “The setup may work at macro level, but people at the grassroot level scream because of the high price of basic necessities,” he said. 

Furthermore, the Government’s slow response to the situation of the Papua conflict is also a red mark of shame of these ministers’ failure. Even now there is no clear resolution for the conflict. Even now there are still talks of a Constitutional Referendum concerning Papua, which is a threat to NKRI’s sovereignty. “Who actually won the election anyway? Jokowi-Maruf’s victory centers – Papua, Yogyakarta, North Sumatra – are actually rife with resistance against them. I actually would prefer that resistance would be felt not against the results of the Elections, but against policies being made,” Faisal said. Political Student Association (Himpunan Mahasiswa Politik – “Himapol”) Indonesia Chairman Febri Rahmat stated that how the Second Term Cabinet is formed will be the answer for Indonesia’s current problems. “Therefore, we are hoping on President Jokowi’s considerations when he establishes his new Cabinet: will it be ideal or not?” Febri asked. However, he is also aware that the process of forming a cabinet would be inseparable from political considerations. “A consequence of having elections is that at the end of the day, the pie must be shared. In other words, the placements will be made according to political considerations. Whether they will be an ideal configuration or not, we will leave it to Mr. Jokowi to decide.” 

Hendri Santrio suspects that some core members of Jokowi’s team during the 2019 Elections are changing course nearing the presidential inauguration on 20th October. He thinks that this is new homework for Jokowi when determining the composition of his cabinet. As he has previously stated, Jokowi plans to form a Cabinet containing of 45% political party cadres and 55% professionals. Using simple mathematics, Hendri concludes that the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”), Jokowi’s party, will get 6 seats. According to their contribution to votes, the Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party will get 3 seats, National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa – “PKB”) and National Democrat (“Nasdem”) will get 2 seats each, then the United Development Party (Partai Persatuan Pembangunan – “PPP”) getting 1 seat. There might be 1 seat for Great Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”) Party if Jokowi wants to embrace the opposition. 

However, massive protests and suspicion that some of Jokowi’s core members during the 2019 Elections are changing directions are some political dynamics that might obstruct him in forming his new Cabinet. “If such protests occurred a year ago, Mr. LBP (Luhut Binsar Panjaitan) would have said something about it. But where is Mr. LBP now?” Hendri asked. (Dan)