The SOES Minister loses focus on managing SOEs:
Pertamina’s fuel depot fire is a slap in the face

Achmad Nur Hidayat
Achmad Nur Hidayat, Narasi Institute Public Policy Specialist

Jakarta, IO – State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir came under a spotlight after a massive fire broke out at the Pertamina Plumpang fuel depot. The Minister is said to have too many activities irrelevant to his duties as the SOEs Minister. 

Amid the news of the bankruptcy of many SOEs, the Pertamina Plumpang blaze only exacerbates the increasingly chaotic condition of Indonesia’s SOEs. The fire killed 15 residents in the neighborhood; what a tragedy. 

The fact that residents own houses around the Pertamina (state-owned oil and gas company) Plumpang depot indeed needs to be investigated. However, a thorough investigation must also be conducted to find the cause of the fire, because fuel storage is one of the state’s vital concerns. 

Pertamina’s officials, from the directors to the commissioners, must also be held accountable for this fatal incident. Those people receive handsome salaries and benefits, so this incident should not have taken place. 

The fire could have been prevented if Pertamina had maintained strict control over the security and safety of the Pertamina depot. The depot’s security and the safety of the workforce and residents around it should be Pertamina’s top priority.