The new faces in the Cabinet are Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Minister Eko Putro Sanjoyo, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, Culture and Education Minister Muhadjir Effendy, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita, Trade Minister Airlangga Hartarto, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Archandra Tahar and Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Asman Abnur.
Who’s who in the new corridors of power
“An old soldier never stops fighting,” Wiranto once said. This sentence rings true as on Wednesday, the retired Army general, was appointed as coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister, replacing Luhut Pandjaitan.Wiranto is known as a military figure with a high-flying, but extremely controversial, career. Born to a poor family in Yogyakarta on April 4, 1947, Wiranto graduated from the National Military Academy in 1968.Twenty years later, he was appointed as a key aide to then president Soeharto from 1987 to 1991. This was a prestigious position during the New Order regime. Afterward, his career took off as he was picked to serve in many strategic positions in the military. Finally, he held the top position as the commander of the Indonesian Military (then ABRI, now TNI) from February 1998 to October 1999.At the end of the New Order and the beginning of the reform era, the country underwent a transition from presidents Soeharto to Habibie. At that time, Wiranto served as the defense and security minister concurrent with his role as ABRI chief.The reform era was a time of great turbulence in the country. Wiranto, as ABRI chief, was therefore implicated in kidnappings and other abuses conducted by the Army. He was also allegedly involved, at least indirectly, in human rights violations in the Trisakti and Semanggi I and II shootings of student activists in 1998.During the presidency of Abdurrahman Wahid he was dismissed from his position as defense and security minister in 2000 amid allegations of human rights violations in East Timor.Prosecutors say he played a key role in facilitating severe human rights abuses by the military during Indonesia’s violent withdrawal from East Timor (now Timor Leste) during which more than 2,000 Timorese died. However, he has repeatedly denied all charges against him.UN and domestic groups have accused Wiranto of committing crimes against humanity. He was also included in the list of suspected war criminals and was prohibited from entering the US.Despite his controversial history, however, he has sufficient charm and charisma to earn him a limited amount of electoral support. He has made several attempts to get into the State Palace, running in the 2004 presidential election, unsuccessfully, as Golkar’s candidate.After that, he formed the Hanura Party with several retired Army generals and has served as the party’s chairman. In the 2009 presidential election, Wiranto ran for vice-president as Jusuf Kalla’s running mate.In 2014, Wiranto tried to run for president again with running mate media tycoon Hary Tanoesoedibjo but failed to garner enough support from other political parties to nominate himself. Hanura later joined with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) to nominate then presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. His political efforts finally paid off, to a certain degree, on Wednesday when he was finally able to return to the Palace in his role as close aide of Jokowi, with his dark past presumably behind him. (win)
New Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati is not only the most senior woman at the World Bank, she is, according to Forbes magazine, one of the world’s most powerful women. She is also a mother of three.These facts speak louder than words about her qualities. The reform-minded “iron” lady, who calls herself “tough”, earned her reputation when leading the finance ministry from 2005 to 2010, during which she was known for instigating bureaucratic reforms, including at the deeply entrenched tax office by setting up a new code of ethics and set of sanctions.Sri Mulyani opposed calls for the closure of the Indonesian Stock Exchange to halt a nosedive in shares of Bumi Resources, partly owned by politically-wired tycoon Aburizal Bakrie. She also imposed a travel ban on a number of coal-mining executives after a dispute over the companies’ reluctance to pay government fees.Her efforts in pushing through reforms may have earned her enemies or yielded dislike in some parties. In 2010, she stepped down from her post amid a heated bailout scandal of Bank Century, in which she became the target of an opposition campaign accusing her and former vice president Boediono of abusing their authority during the Rp 6.7 trillion bailout. Sri Mulyani joined the World Bank in 2010. Prior to departing to Washington DC, in a public lecture at the RitzCarlton Hotel in Jakarta, she said in her speech: “I’ll be back.”And back she is. Six years on, she will be faced with challenges that include a weak economy that has grown less than expected and complicated state revenue collection efforts at a time when Jokowi’s administration needs a hefty amount of funds to push through infrastructure projects.At the World Bank Sri Mulyani was respected as someone whose understanding of clients’ needs shaped strategy for a better and bigger World Bank Group, said Jim Yong-kim, the Bank’s president. “I have personally come to rely on Sri Mulyani for her wise advice and insightful counsel, and I will greatly miss her voice on the Senior Management Team,” Jim wrote in an official farewell letter. (Prima Wirayani and Esther Samboh)
While the condition of Indonesia’s oil and gas sector remains grim as a result of plunging energy prices, one long-time player may be able to spruce things up.Boasting degrees in mechanical and marine engineering, 45-year-old Archandra Tahar, served as president of Houston-based offshore technologies and consulting company Petroneering before being summoned by Jokowi to take on the mantle of energy and mineral resources minister.Archandra received access into Jokowi from his friend, PDI-P rising-star politician Darmawan Prasodjo -- a key member of Jokowi’s 2014 presidential campaign team.Archandra has spent more than 20 years in the oil and gas sector, with stints as principal at Horson Wison Deepwater and as principal and president of the Asia Pacific department for AGR Deepwater Development System. Furthermore, he holds several international patents in offshore fields.Archandra’s background is expected to be reflected in his commitment to bringing in new technology in order to increase oil and gas production, and to ensure energy security in the future.“Three things we hope to focus on in the energy and minerals sector is first, technology as the backbone, second, human resources and third, we must make the process more accountable,” he said after his inauguration ceremony. Oil and gas exploration in particular, has suffered under low commodity prices. Industry players await with bated breath the changes Archandra may bring with him. Executives of Pupuk Indonesia Energi (PIE), a subsidiary of state-owned fertilizer firm Pupuk Indonesia Holding Company (PIHC), for example, expect that the new energy minister could help reduce the high price of gas, which is the biggest expense of the fertilizer industry.According to Petroengineering’s website, Archandra’s company has worked with state oil and gas firm Pertamina, BP and ExxonMobil. (Fedina S. Sundaryani and Grace D. Amianti)
Budi Karya Sumadi
Spending his entire career as a professional, Budi Karya Sumadi has been brushing shoulders with Jokowi since the latter served as governor of Jakarta between 2012 and 2014.Prior to his appointment as transportation minister, Budi, 59, served as president director of state airport operator Angkasa Pura (AP) II for a little more than a year.He recently found himself in the media spotlight in regards to the high-profile expansion of Terminal 3 at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, the country’s largest and busiest airport. The operation of the terminal, initially slated to be launched in June, has been delayed after it failed to secure a greenlight from the then Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan due to a number of technical hurdles.After securing his degree in architecture from Gadjah Mada University, also Jokowi’s alma mater, Budi started his career as an architect at the Jakarta-based construction firm Pembangunan Jaya in 1982.Since then, he has dedicated himself to the property business for more than 25 years. He assumed the position of president director of publicly listed Pembangunan Jaya Ancol in 2004 and served in that position for nine years. Other companies where he has held board of director positions include Jaya Garden Polis, Jaya Real Property and Jaya Land.One of his career highlights was in the Jakarta provincial administration-owned Jakarta Propertindo (Jakpro), where he served as president director from 2013 to 2015. During his time in Jakpro, Budi supported Jokowi’s regreening and city park construction programs in Pluit Dam, North Jakarta, while the latter served as governor. Commenting on his new position, Budi said that his long experience as a professional would help his leadership at the Transportation Ministry.“We are talking about technicalities, like those related to human resources and finance, which I’m already familiar with,” he said. He also revealed that the President had asked him to improve the country’s connectivity and manage transportation operators. (Farida Susanty)
Born 64 years ago in the West Java city of Cirebon, Enggartiasto “Enggar” Lukita is a property businessman and a veteran politician, having served in the Golkar Party for over three decades.In 2013, Enggar jumped ship to the NasDem Party and has become a key member of the relatively young party. Following Jokowi’s inauguration as the country’s seventh president, Enggar was rumored to join Jokowi’s Cabinet as one of his economic ministers despite his alleged involvement in the 1999 Bank Indonesia liquidity support scandal.Lawyer Petrus Selestinus, coordinator of the Indonesian Democracy Defense Team, accused Enggar in 2014 of receiving funds from Bank Bali graft convict and fugitive Djoko S. Tjandra. Petrus still to this day maintains Enggar received the funds, which he said were detailed in Djoko’s dossier.“President Jokowi should review and reconsider Enggar. [The President] cannot be surrounded by people who are potentially involved in graft,” Petrus said. Others who were implicated in the case include former House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto, now Golkar Party chairman, who was quickly acquitted of all charges.Enggar has repeatedly denied the accusations and claims an audit by multinational service network PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) supports his position.Despite the accusation, Enggar has remained untouched and has been a NasDem Party lawmaker since 2014. Enggar, who graduated from the English department at the Bandung Teacher Training Institute (now the Indonesian University of Education), has built up a successful real estate and property business. He started his career in the industry in 1977 as a staffer to a director at PT Bangun Tjipta Sarana, where just two years later he was promoted as the company’s head of personnel.He continued to pursue his career in the company until he became president director in 1986. Enggar would continue his reign as president director in a number of companies, namely PT Supradinakarya Multijaya Group, PT Citrasari Inti, PT Kartika Karisma Indah and PT Kemang Pratama. In his capacity as Golkar politician, Enggar has served as lawmaker for four terms from 1997 to 2014, during which time he served on various commissions, including those overseeing defense, foreign affairs, agriculture, maritime affairs, forestry and transportation. (Dewanti A. Wardhani)
Eko Putro Sandjojo
National Awakening Party (PKB) politician Eko Putro Sandjojo was chosen to be the villages, disadvantaged regions and transmigration minister, replacing his fellow politician Marwan Jafar.Eko is no stranger to Jokowi’s administration. He had previously served in Jokowi’s transition team shortly after Jokowi was elected President in 2014. The team was tasked with preparing a smooth transition from then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Jokowi.Eko was born on May 21, 1965, in Jakarta. He graduated from the Polytechnic University of Indonesia and pursued a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, US, in 1991, majoring in electrical engineering. He received a Master’s of business administration from the IPMI International Business School in 1993. After graduating, he worked at PT Indonesia Farming from 1994 to 1997 as a general manager.Besides currently serving as a general treasurer of the PKB, Eko has also held strategic positions in various companies.In 1997, he joined a publicly listed agribusiness company PT Sierad Produce and became its president director from 2005 to 2006. Then he moved to PT Humpuss, a publicly listed shipping firm owned by former president Soeharto’s youngest son Hutomo “Tommy” Mandala Putra. He became the company’s president director in 2007. Next, he went back to Sierad and served as the firm’s president director in 2009. (win)
Muhadjir Effendy officially replaced Anies Baswedan to become the culture and education minister. Muhadjir was born on July 29, 1956, in Madiun, East Java. The former rector received his bachelor’s degree from IKIP Malang in 1982.Afterward, he earned his master’s degree from Gadjah Mada University (UGM) majoring in public administration in 1996. In 2008, he received his PhD in military sociology from Airlangga University, in Surabaya, East Java.He has also done a short course in military and defense studies at the Pentagon, the US, and a short course on higher education management at Victoria University, Canada.Muhadjir started his career at the Muhammadiyah University in Malang (UMM) as an intern. He rose slowly in his career to become a lecturer and later assistant to the rector in 1984.In 1996, he was elected as UMM’s vice rector before finally being appointed as rector in 2000. Muhadjir has served as rector for three periods from 2000 to 2004, 2004 to 2008, and from 2008 to February this year. Besides having worked as a lecturer for the School of Social and Political Sciences in UMM, he was also a lecturer for the School of Education at the State University of Malang (UM).Not restricting himself to the education field, Muhadjir was also known as an active columnist who often wrote on topics related to religion, education, politics and the military in mass media, scientific journals and books.Books that Muhadjir has written about educational or military affairs include University and Students Life in 1989, The State of Education in 1992, Equilibrium Society: Walking the Changes in Balance in 2002, Humanity Paedagogy: A Multidimensional Reflection in 2004, Military Professionalism in 2008, and Military Character and Profession: A Phenomenology Study in 2009.Muhadjir has also been active in the management of several institutions such as serving as the chairman of Muhammadiyah, chairman of the Central Agency for Private Islamic Universities Cooperation (BKS-PTIS), chairman of the Association of Families of Indonesian Islamic Students (KB PII) in East Java, and vice chairman of the Indonesian Association for the Development of Social Sciences (HIPIIS).Muhadjir was also a member of the expert council of the Indonesian Association of Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI) and a member of the board of the East Java Regional Research. (win)
An engineer by training, Airlangga has successfully paved his way through Indonesian politics as a part of the Golkar Party, the country’s oldest and second-largest political party.Airlangga, 53, is the son of Hartato Sastrosoenarto, who served as a minister for former president Soeharto for three consecutive terms, 15 years in total. His father, also an engineer, served as industry minister for two terms and then later became the coordinating production and distribution minister. Airlangga was undertaking his third consecutive term as a Golkar Party legislator before his appointment as Industry Minister. Earlier this year, it was thought by many that the father of eight would run as a candidate for the party’s chairmanship. Ultimately, the chairmanship was won by former speaker of the House of Representatives, Setya Novanto.In his second term as a legislator in the 2009-2014 period, Airlangga chaired House Commission VI overseeing industry, trade, investment and state-owned enterprises. During his tenure, he introduced the 2014 Industry Law.Airlangga received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Gadjah Mada University in 1987. Although he failed to complete his master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania, Airlangga later went on to receive two master’s degrees from Monash University and Melbourne University.Airlangga is the first and currently only Golkar Party representative in Jokowi’s Cabinet. House Speaker Ade Komaruddin, a Golkar Party member, said Airlangga was “the right man for the job”. (Dewanti A. Wardhani)
Asman Abnur, a senior National Mandate Party (PAN) politician, has replaced Yuddy Chrisnandi as the administrative and bureaucratic reform minister, with the main task of reforming bureaucracy and managing civil servants. Asman was born in Pariaman, West Sumatra, on Feb. 2, 1961. He completed his primary and secondary education in Riau province and moved to Padang to study for his undergraduate degree in economics. After finishing his bachelor’s degree, he moved to Surabaya, East Java, to pursue a master’s degree at Airlangga University until 2004.Asman is a prominent businessman. He has experience developing a wide range of businesses including several gas stations, a number of restaurants, pharmacies, fitness centers, banks and money changers.Given his business background, he has been entrusted with various positions, including chairman of the Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs Association (HIPMI) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) in Batam. Currently, he manages his business activities in Batam, Singapore and Jakarta.Asman started his political career in 2001 as a city councilor in Batam. A few months later, he was elected deputy mayor of Batam from 2001 to 2004. He chaired the investigation team of the Batam Free Trade Zone (FTZ) from 2000 until 2004.Asman was elected to the House of Representatives, representing Riau, in 2004 and was appointed vice chairman of House Commission XI for the period of 2004 to 2009. At the same time, he served as general treasurer for PAN. Since 2014 he has served as deputy chair for House Commission X for education and sports. The Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said that Asman was well experienced to deal with the bureaucracy.