Thursday, May 12, 2005

Cabinet Hall of Shame!

While too early to conclude, president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono already shown signs that he might reshuffle cabinet lineup. In fact former minister Kwik Kian Gie, a close friend of Mrs Megawati Soekarnoputri (former president), had proposed cabinet restructuring to President Yudhoyono. Kwik claimed Yudhoyono warmly welcome his proposal for smaller number of ministers, say around 20, very much downsized from the current 34.

We don’t know exactly when he might do that or who might be kicked out. If newspaper articles could be considered valuable source of backgrounds, several ministers surely under public scrutiny and might be the target. Below could be some of them.

Hamid Awalludin (minister of justice and human rights affairs). Hamid might be inflicted by corruption scandal at General Election Committee (KPU) where he is accused of getting US$105,000. Hamid denied the allegation.

Rahmat Witoelar, minister for environment affairs. House Committee on waste materials import accused Witoelar of inadequate response to solve the increasing influx of dangerous waste materials to the country.

Aburizal Bakrie, chief economic minister. Some economists attacked his incapability in handling economic team under SBY’s cabinet. Besides, one company called PT Bakrie Telecom, a subsidiary of Bakrie & Brothers (Aburizal is the owner), is under investigation of loan irregularities at Bank Mandiri. Aburizal denied any wrongdoing on the loan. Aburizal was one of the largest bad debtors in the country with about US$500 million.

Yusril Ihza Mahendra, minister of state secretary. He is the leader of Partai Bulan Bintang (Crescent Star Party). Rumors said investigation on Bank Mandiri’s loan to PT Domba Mas might disclose relationship between Yusril and Susanto (owner of Domba Mas). Susanto is rumored to be major financier for Crescent Star Party.

Adhiyaksa Dault, Minister for sport and youngster affairs. He was missed a discussion on sport conducted by journalist as he was sleeping beauty and awoke late. It was late October 2004, just weeks after his appointment as minister by SBY.

Sugiharto, Minister of State Owned Enterprises. He installed two of his friends at Sharia Economic Society (MES) as expert staffs at the ministry. Sugiharto was treasury of MES. He also appointed chairman of MES as president director of Jamsostek while the man is accused of put Jamsostek into financial loses when he was director of Danareksa. Jamsostek losses were US$8 million, but no investigation ever conducted. Sugiharto also wrote a letter to Vice President Jusuf Kalla regarding names to be promoted as directors of SOEs.

Muhammad Mar’uf, minister for internal affairs. He installed four Makassar-born officers out of 11 newly appointed first echelon staffs at the ministry. Makassar is hometown of Jusuf Kalla. He denied ethnic-based appointment, saying it just a coincidence.

The list of Cabinet Hall of Shame could be longer in the next few weeks.

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