Monday, August 29, 2005

Cabinet Reshuffle: Confirmed, but…

Do you agree on cabinet reshuffle and Golkary Party will have seven ministers in the new cabinet?
This is the question of a survey conducted by Golkar Party in its website ( The result so far is 51% respondents said no. I don’t know whether the party is serious on this survey. But seven ministers from Golkar? Isn’t that just too much?
While President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono might reject the idea to have seven ministers from Golkar where his deputy Jusuf Kalla is the chairman, he had confirmed such reshuffle in two months period today.
President Yudhoyono seems uncomfortable with the situation. This morning, after a meeting with journalists from Europe and Asia, Yudhoyono promised to review his cabinet in the next two months.
“I keep my promise to review performance of my ministers. We need ministers that capable and solid in teamwork. I have to admit after listening to many observers that I have to improve coordination between ministers and communicate better with Central Bank,” he said as quoted by few hours ago.
What’s remain unclear is whether VP Jusuf Kalla supported the idea. While no formal regulation, Jusuf’s side always argue that he is the CEO of Indonesian economy, while Yudhoyono is the chairman of commissioners.
“Any efforts to reshuffle the economic team, especially chief economic minister Aburizal Bakrie, could put the president in an open conflict with the vice president. This is a big test for the two. Jusuf might see reshuffle as a no-confidence vote his position as the economic affairs CEO,” said a political analyst today.
While rumors on cabinet reshuffle has started few months ago, the fall of Indonesian rupiah against US dollar, increasing international oil price and further domestic fuel price hike, and pressure on the state-budget are seen as the good reasons to do it sometimes in October this year.
Last week all of a sudden some economists and politicians drummed up the reshuffle issue. Almost all national newspapers, including those published in Makassar, South Sulawesi (hometown of Jusuf Kalla) run articles and editorials asking for President SBY to reshuffle his cabinet.
Drajad Wibowo, parliament member from PAN, said reshuffle is not the best solution for current crisis, but it is a must. It is not clear whether Drajad’s argument is in line with his party.
National Mandate Party (PAN) recently moved its headquarter in Jakarta to a new building with a rent fee of ten cents US dollar per year. The building is owned by Aburizal Bakrie, the chief economic minister and dear friend of Sutrisno Bachir, PAN Chairman and businessman. PAN denied any cabinet deal or support with Aburizal regarding the building.
Economists like Fadhil Hasan from Indef, a think-tank where Drajad was one of its members, meanwhile believe reshuffle, especially the economic ministers, is the only way. Currency expert Farial Anwar went further with a possibility of continuing depreciation of rupiah toward 12,000 against US dollar if no immediate action including cabinet reshuffle.
Political scientist from Gajah mada University Professor Riswanda Imawan said reshuffle is a necessary to prevent further collapse of the economy.
“President Yudhoyono is seen indecisive. He should pick capable candidates and no political deals anymore,” Riswanda said.
But his colleague Professor Ichlasul Amal said it is not easy to reshuffle the cabinet and no guarantee that new members could solve the problems.
Yudhoyono’s main supporter, Democratic Party, meanwhile didn’t make strong and clear statement on reshuffle. While criticizing economic team’s performance, Darwin Zahedy Saleh, chief of economy and finance section at Democratic Party said reshuffle is President’s sole authority.
The second largest political party in parliament, PDI-P, has split view on cabinet reshuffle. Emir Muis, chief of House’s Budget Committee and member of PDI-P rejected reshuffle, while PDI-P Secretaary General Pramono Anung supports the idea.

Again, for the time being, Aburizal Bakrie is in the top list to be replaced. Finance Minister Jusuf Anwar also seen incapable to secure the state budget. State-owned enterprise minister Sugiharto was in the list few months ago, but he might survive this time as he got firm support from Prosperous Justice Party (PKS). Sugiharto installed three PKS members/leaning to PKS as his deputy. They are Aries Muftie, Helmy Lubis, and Lendo Novo. PKS is main supporter of Yudhoyono.
How about ministers in the other portfolios?
Internal conflicts at National Awakening Party (PKB) led by former president Abdurrahman Wahid, had demanded cabinet reshuffle to kickout two cabinet members, Alwi Shihab (coordinating minister for social affairs) and Saefullah Yusuf (state minister for East Indonesia Development). Both guys are seen as dissident PKB leaders despite efforts by Jusuf Kalla to settle the conflict.
Investigation on corruption at General Election Committee (KPU) might put Hamid Awaluddin, a former executive at KPU, in the list. But Jusuf Kalla might try hard to keep him especially with Hamid’s recent ‘success’ as government’s chief negotiator in Aceh Peace Deal.
State Secretary Minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra might also in the list pending investigation on corruption charges at the ministry.
Again, the problem is whether Yudhoyono is decisive enough this time.

Labels: , ,



Post a Comment

<< Home