Prabowo’s salute on being named Minister of Defense

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Jokowi announces the names while sitting on the steps of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday (23/10/2019). (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo has just announced the names of the ministers who will be supporting him within the next five years. Unlike what other presidents did, Jokowi announced the names while sitting on the steps of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday (23/10/2019). The Cabinet, called the “Onward Indonesia Cabinet”, has 34 ministerial positions and 4 positions that are at the same level to the ministers. 

A heart-warming moment occurred when President Jokowi announced a newcomer in his second term at the Government: when he announced that his former rival in the 2019 Elections, Prabowo Subianto, is to hold the position of the Minister of Defense, Prabowo immediately stood up, smiling, and saluted. This gesture earned the longest round of applause from the other ministers and the staff of the Palace. Furthermore, when he stated that Prabowo is to assist him in national defense, Jokowi did not say what his duties will be. “Minister of Defense, Mr. Prabowo. Good morning, Sir. I think I don’t need to tell you what your duties might be, you know it better than me,” Jokowi said to the general laughter of the other ministers. 

Before introducing Prabowo as the Minister of Defense, Jokowi announced the names of four Coordinating Ministers and their respective duties: Coordinating Minister of Politics, Law, and Defense Mahfud MD, Coordinating Minister of the Economy Airlangga Hartarto, Coordinating Minister of Human and Culture Development Muhadjir Effendy, and Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investments Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. 

Prabowo was seen to have chatted with some of the other ministers before his appointment was announced, such as Minister of the Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar and Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani. 

Prabowo was officially named Minister along with 33 others, while 4 officials with positions equal to that of a minister were named by the President that day. He is one of two representatives of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”) Party in the Advancing Indonesia Cabinet, the other one being Gerindra’s Vice General Chairman Edhy Prabowo as Minister of Marine and Fishery Affairs. 

After the appointment, Prabowo stated that he will be visiting the Ministry of Defense and meet with the officials there. He would also undergo the handover process with the previous Minister of Defense, Ryamizard Ryacudu.