Puan Maharani, Speaker of the House
“DPR will not be anti-criticism”
Puan Maharani Nakshatra Kusyala, popularly known as Puan Maharani. Born on 6 September 1973 to Megawati Soekarnoputri and the late Taufiq Kiemas, the granddaughter of Indonesia’s first President Soekarno, followed the inherited path of the politician. She has the distinction of becoming the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR) in Indonesian history. “It’s a pioneering step, for sure; this is the first time ever a woman becoming Speaker of the House since the 74 years of our independence,” Puan Maharani said in an interview.
Puan earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Indonesia in Mass Communications. She became involved in politics when she was appointed as Chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “DPP PDIP”) in Women and Community Empowerment in 2005. In the 2009 Legislative Elections, Puan submitted herself as legislative candidate from Central Java V Electoral Region, which includes Surakarta, Sukoharjo, Klaten, and Boyolali. She was voted in with 242,504 votes.
In the Parliament, Puan joined Commission IV of the DPR, which concerns itself with agriculture, food, maritime and forestry issues, as well as Head of the PDIP Faction since 23 January 2012. Puan’s career in the DPR continued to the next electoral term. She entered the elections again in 2014 in the same region and won 369,927 votes. Puan returns as a representative of the people in Commission VI of DPR, which includes industry, investments, and business competition.
Soon after her return to Parliament, Puan was appointed by Joko Widodo (Jokowi), the President-Elect in 2014, to enter the Working Cabinet as Coordinating Minister of Human and Culture Development. Despite Jokowi having reshuffled his Cabinet several times, Puan Maharani was the only Coordinating Minister who remained untouched until the end of her term. In the 2019 Legislative Elections, Puan returned to the same Electoral Region and won 404,034 votes.
Puan stated that the DPR under her leadership would not be anti-critic. “We will be open to all aspirations and inputs from the people,” she said.
Puan further stated that she wants to inspire Indonesian women in politics. According to her, politics is not taboo. It is a dynamic that keeps on growing, and by entering it, women can become more useful to their state and people. “Politics is not a taboo. It is a dynamic that keeps on growing, and by entering it, women can become more useful to their state and people.”
Aziz Syamsuddin, Deputy Speaker of the House
“Ready to heed the Call of Duty”
His capability, calm demeanor, and a long political experience are among the reasons why the Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party chose Aziz Syamsuddin as their representative Deputy Speaker of the House for 2019-2024. Aziz himself believes that he is ready for the position, and he accepted the mandate before the press on Tuesday (01/10/2019): “Bismillah, in the name of Allah. Yes, I am ready to carry out my duties,” he said. “Bismillah, we and the Speaker of the House, Puan Maharani, will coordinate in performing our duties as the leaders of DPR RI.”
Aziz completed his formal higher education with a double degree: he is a Bachelor of Economics graduating from Krisnadwipayana University, and a Bachelor of Law graduating from Trisakti University in 1993. He then practiced law at Gani Djemat & Partner Law Firm. To round up his skills, he took up a Master’s Degree in finance from Western Sydney University, Australia, at the end of the 1990’s, followed by a Master’s and a Doctorate of Law from Padjajaran University. Aziz also served as the General Chairman of the Indonesian National Youth Committee (Komite Nasional Pemuda Indonesia – “KNPI”) in his younger days.
Aziz then tried his luck in politics in 2004. Representing Golkar in Lampung II Electoral Region in the 2004 Elections, in which he obtained his ticket to Senayan. He obtained more votes that kept him in Senayan in the 2009, 2014, and 2019 Elections from the same Region.
Aziz is a distinctive legislative member. He was entrusted with the position as the Vice Chairman of Committee III, in charge of the law, among others, for 10 years (2004 to 2014). He became the Chairman of Committee III for a year (2014-2015), then was entrusted the position of Chairman of the Budgetary Body (Badan Anggaran – “Banggar”) for 2016-2019. In June 2019, DPR’s Golkar Faction rotated the positions among the Council’s Committees, and Azis became the Chairman of Committee III again.
As a cadre of Golkar, Azis maintains the new tradition of keeping a moderate stance towards various issues. Therefore, he nearly never involved himself in controversial narratives, whether when leading Committee III or Banggar DPR.
Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, Deputy Speaker of the House
“The Parliament’s function is for check and balances”
Sufmi Dasco Ahmad was born in Bandung on 7 October 1967. He has two degrees: A Bachelor of Engineering from the Faculty of Electronics in Pancasila University in 1993, and a Bachelor of Law from the Faculty of Law of Jakarta University in 2009. He then took a Master’s Degree from the Faculty of Law of Jakarta’s Islamic University in 2015.
Before entering politics, Dasco was a businessman who led several companies, such as PT Pasopati Indorisk, PT Omerta Cipta Securita, and PT Randika Dwa Perkasa as Director and President Director. He was also directly involved with the establishment of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”) Party. He is the Deputy Chairman of Law and Advocacy in Gerindra Party.
Dasco started his political career by participating in the 2014 Elections as a legislative candidate for DPR from Gerindra Party representing the Banten III Electoral Region. He was elected and appointed as DPR member for the 2014-2019 term. He is a member of Committee III of DPR, which deals with law, human rights and defense. He was also the Chairman of DPR RI’s Council of Honor (Mahkamah Kehormatan Dewan – “MKD”) soon after his appointment.
Dasco returned as a legislative candidate in the 2019 elections, representing Gerindra in Banten III Electoral Region as the previous time around. He won more votes in his second term, from 56,323 votes in 2014 to 99,002 votes in 2019.
Gerindra Party General Chairman Prabowo Subianto appointed him to a leadership seat in the DPR for 2019- 2024. In the previous term, the DPR leader from the Gerindra Faction was Fadli Zon. Gerindra Party General Secretary Ahmad Muzani announced this appointment in the Parliamentary Complex in Senayan recently. Muzani stated that Dasco’s appointment as Deputy Speaker of the House was merely a rotation of leadership, which is important for the legislative counsil. Dasco was selected due to his position in Gerindra Party as Vice General Chairman and a senior cadre.
As the Deputy Speaker of the House from Gerindra faction, Dasco is in charge of economy and finance. He stated that the determination of scope was made according to a mutual agreement and from the votes obtained by the Party. The Parties with the highest vote counts get to make first selection of the scope of work that they want their representative to work on. “The selection mechanism is based on Saint Lague’s method, wherein the first winning party gets first priority in selecting work, the second winner gets second priority, etc. Golkar as the second-place winner gets the right to make second choice chose to place a representative in politics, law, and defense,” Dasco stated in Senayan Parliamentary Complex, Jakarta, on Tuesday (08/10/2019).
Dasco believes that DPR RI will cooperate well with the government in making policy decisions for the 2019- 2024 term. This is because political party support for the Government has increased. However, he believes that checks and balances will be maintained, as it is part of DPR RI’s primary duty and function. As a representative of the people, Dasco believes that the fellow members of the house will not forget their duties. “The Parliament’s function is to maintain checks and balances on the Government. Its other duties and functions are legislation, monitoring, and budget setting. I think that for the purpose of checks and balances, the Parliament must provide constructive criticism to the Government and the Government must accept such criticism in stride,” he said.
Rachmat Gobel, Deputy Speaker of the House
“Encouraging education for skill and expertise”
Rachmat Gobel, fifth child of tycoon couple Thayeb Mohammad Gobel and Annie Nento Gobel, born in Jakarta, 3 September 1962. His name is a familiar one in Indonesia’s politics, even though he started his career as an entrepreneur. He is known as a successful entrepreneur who inherits part of the Panasonic Gobel Group throne from his parents. His fame started when he successfully led PT Gobel International, which has been partnering with Matsushita Industrial Electrics (now Panasonic Corporation) since 1960.
Before becoming a cadre of the National Democrat (“Nasdem”) Party, Gobel was a Minister of Trade in the Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla Cabinet. He was appointed by President Jokowi as a non-party minister on 27 October 2014. However, he was replaced by Thomas Lembong after only 10 month in office.
Gobel joined Nasdem in 2016. Nasdem Party General Chairman Surya Paloh immediately appointed him as a member of the Council of Deliberations. Even though he has not been its cadre for long, Nasdem Party submitted him as Deputy Speaker of the House for 2019-2024 in a Plenary Meeting held in the Parliamentary Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, on Tuesday (01/10/2019). His entry to Senayan was assured when he earned 146,067 votes.
Rachmat talked about his vision as a member of the DPR leadership member for the 2019-2024 term: to turn Indonesia into a strong industrial country within the next five years. He admitted that so far, some ministries still have overlapping functions. “These overlapping ministries ironically hinder each other. This is just one of the challenges we face in order to turn Indonesia into an industrial country within the next five years,” he said. “In order to make this dream come true, Indonesia must improve its domestic products. From experience, I learn that the surefire path to success, especially in the globalization era, is to provide added value.”
In order to improve added value, it is important to build up quality domestic HR. “This is why it is important for us to improve the quality of education in our homeland, and to provide them with strong skill sets. Such skill sets are not seen from a diploma alone. We need to make sure that our education not only provides students with diplomas, but more importantly with skills and expertise that they can directly apply at work,” he said
Muhaimin Iskandar, Deputy Speaker of the House
“Appointed for his experience”
Muhaimin Iskandar, or more familiarly known as “Cak Imin”, started his career with his seniors from the Nahdlatul Ulama (“NU”) and participating in the establishment of the National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa – “PKB”). After he was appointed as PKB’s General Secretary, Muhaimin became the Chairman of PKB’s Tanfidziah (Daily Administrative Execution) Council, 2002-2007, before finally serving as head of the PKB faction in DPR.
Cak Imin’s career continued to advance after he became PKB’s General Chairman. He was re-elected as a member of DPR in 2004, and he again served as a Deputy Speaker of the House in 2004-2009. In the next Elections, he succeeded in becoming a member of DPR for the third time. This time, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appointed him as Minister of Labor and Transmigration for the 2009-2014 term. At the end of his term in 2014, he was unanimously re-elected as PKB’s General Chairman. He is now a Deputy Speaker of the House from the PKB Faction for 2019-2024.
Chairman of PKB’s DPP Cucun Ahmad Syamsurijal stated that PKB appointed Muhaimin Iskandar as its General Chairman for his experience of serving in the Parliament for two terms. “This experience of working with DPR will help him and his fellow DPR members to take it to the next level, even though DPR is quite good so far,” he said. Cucun further stated that Cak Imin’s experience will help him adapt and understand his duties and functions in DPR. “It does not take him long to adapt – he is familiar with his duties and functions there.”
Unfortunately, as a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Muhaimin Iskandar is rarely seen in the Parliamentary Complex. It seems that he has been busy taking care of his party, the PKB.
As the current Head of the PKB Faction in DPR, Cucun confirms that Cak Imin is busy with a lot of activities in the DPP PKB office in Jalan Raden Saleh, Senen, Central Jakarta. His time is taken up by meetings and coordinating activities in preparation for the upcoming Regional Elections of 2020. “There are so many things that he needs to prepare as our General Chairman. DPP PKB has been holding a Muktamar or Assembly. He needs to make all sorts of decrees, in preparation for the Regional Elections, while still keeping up with DPP meetings. He has been busy with the DPP,” Cucun stated to the press in the Parliamentary Complex.
This is not the first time: During his stint as an Additional Deputy Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat – “MPR”) in 2014-2019 for revising the Law Concerning the MPR, DPR, Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah – “DPD”), and Regional House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah – “DPRD”) in 2018, Cak Imin was also rarely seen in the Parliament.
Cucun responded by saying that Cak Imin will now work more actively than when he was Deputy Speaker of the MPR in the previous term. He believes that as a Deputy Speaker of the House who coordinates issues relating to the people’s prosperity, Cak Imin will continue to monitor and communicate with Committee leaders under him. “MPR is not as busy as DPR after all. Now it is clear that Cak Imin is functioning for the people’s prosperity, he would definitely monitor the committees in the field and discuss what items that these subordinates should achieve,” he said.