Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Rizal Ramli is tipped to lead new economic team

Rumors said Dr Rizal Ramli, former chief economic minister under Abdurrahman Wahid administration, is tipped to replace Aburizal Bakrie, while Dr Boediono, former finance minister under Megawati Soekarnoputri presidency will resume his position to replace Jusuf Anwar.
“Mr Ramli has intense communication with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, but it is not clear whether it has something to do with a possible appointment as chief economic minister,” said one economist close to Ramli this morning.
The problem with Ramli is strong resistance from Vice President Jusuf Kalla who want to keep Aburizal in his post. “Aburizal himself will fight hard to keep the job,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Boediono, a credible figure in the market, also seen as the best candidate to replace Aburizal or Jusuf Anwar. “But it’s almost impossible for Boediono and Ramli in a team. President has to choose,” said other economist.
Who is Ramli?
Dr. Ramli was born in Padang, West Sumatra, May 10, 1953. He was imprisoned in the 1970s as a student activist and staunch critic of former President Soeharto. He majored in Physics at the Bandung Institute of Technology, completed graduate coursework at Sophia University Tokyo and earned his M.A (1982) and Ph.D in Economics (1990) at Boston University.
Prior to his government posting, Dr. Ramli headed the ECONIT (Advisory Group in Economics, Industry and Trade) think tank and consultancy. Shortly before President Soeharto's downfall, he led a protest with human rights groups against the World Bank, saying the Bank was aware of widespread corruption in Indonesia and closed its eyes to it. Appointed by Gus Dur as Chairman of the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) in April, 2000, Dr. Ramli was named Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs August 23, 2000. Ramli was at odd with International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank due to his policies and public comments.
He was appointed finance minister at the end of Gus Dur’s administration but out of cabinet since Megawati Soekarnoputri appointed President in 2002. He then criticized Megawati’s economic team as fake reformists and claimed himself as the true reformist.
Presidential candidate general (retired) Wiranto appointed Dr Ramli as economic advisor with promise to restore his old job. Wiranto failed in the first phase of the election and Dr Ramli then moved to Yudhoyono’s camp and tipped as one of candidates to be economic minister.
Dr Ramli was there when Yudhoyono defended his dissertation to earn PhD from Bogor Institute of Agriculture in early October 2004. “He has strong vision on people. I was amazed with quantitative method in his dissertation,” lauded Dr Ramli on Dr Yudhoyono.
As mentioned by noted economist Dr Sadli, Yudhoyono favored Dr Ramli as chief economic minister but Kalla insisted to have Aburizal. Kalla won, and Dr Ramli completely out of the cabinet.
In early November 2004, President Yudhoyono summoned Dr Ramli to State Palace for undisclosed agenda. Rumors that time said he will chair National Economic Council that gives economic advise to president. He denied the rumor, no such council established and Yudhoyono appointed Dr Sjahrir (Harvard alumni) as advisor instead. Dr Sjahrir has close relationship with Aburizal.
Last week, Dr Ramli made a strong statement that chaos over unrealistic 2006 State Budget is mainly due to wrong input given to President. Could Dr Ramli, or Dr Yudhoyono to be precise, win the race this time against VP Kalla and Aburizal?

Labels: , ,



Post a Comment

<< Home