Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Indonesia Cabinet Reshuffle Aftermath

No decisions could make everybody happy, that's for sure. No exception to president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's decision to reshuffle his cabinet. As for now, all I can do is summarize what people said last night and today. I leave it to readers to analyze.
Golkar Party, the largest party in the House of Representatives (DPR) clearly upset even though they secured one more seat in the cabinet. Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) is most likely upset too, because they demanded four cabinet seats including Attorney General post. But at least they keep three (some says four, including MSOE Sugiharto) ministers. Don't worry. There will be no political shakeup.
At the other side of the isle, the splinter National Awakening Party (PKB) cheered the decision as the appointment of Erman Suparno (treasurer for PKB Muhaimin Iskandar) and keeping Saefullah Yusuf (secretary general for PKB Alwi Shihab) could pave the way for a reconcilliation. What about PDI-P, the second largest party in DPR, led by former president Megawati Soekarnoputri?
Some says SBY is trying to soften PDI-P through Dr Boediono's appointment. Boediono was minister of finance under Megawati's administration. Imagine if the strategy works? With PKB, PDI-P, PKS, PAN, Demokrat, PBB, and PPP behind him, SBY could tell everybody that 'actually I am not in the position to serve Golkar's interest.'
But that is a mere speculation. We just have to see what's happen after the new team starts their regular policy discussions with DPR.
What people said in the media?
On Dr Boediono, the new coordinating minister for economy, replacing Aburizal Bakrie (businessman and politician). Why Vice President Jusuf Kalla (chairman of Golkar party) let Boediono's entry at the expense of Bakrie (a Golkar figure)? Two reasons, the party executives claimed. Nobody at Golkar with better quality in economy than Bakrie, and second to save Bakrie from conflict of interest accused on him. Kalla tried to save the day with appointment of another Golkar figure, Paskah Suzetta, as minister for national development planning.
Former Speaker of People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Amien Rais said Boediono could bring back the IMF-style of economic policies. He shared the view with National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman Sutrisno Bachir. PAN, in which Amien still the patron, is reportedly rents a seven floors building owned Aburizal Bakrie for almost zero paycheck. Economist and also legislator from PAN, Dr Drajad Wibowo said Indonesian economic policies might be more conservative under Dr Boediono.
Meanwhile economist Muhammad Ikhsan, one of expert staffs at the coordinating minister for economy and a close aide to Bakrie, said Boediono shared the same thoughts with Aburizal in managing the economy.
What the businessmen says? Overall they are optimistic about Boediono's capability to maintain macroeconomy stability and fiscal discipline, even though some doubted his capability to revive the ailing manufacturing sector.
People in the streets? Sorry, what's the hell is reshuffle? Why TV stations and journalists are so bussy asking people's comments? Would that change our life?
No more questions please. Let's move to other guy.
Paskah Suzetta, minister for national development planning/chairman of Bappenas. Oh, what a shame on economists. Where are the great Indonesian economists? I forgot what newspaper run this story. Rarely we have chairman of Bappenas as a non-economist. Mainly were PhD holders, right? But not all of them. Kwik Kian Gie for example. He is smarter than PhD. We had Ginandjar Kartasasmita, an engineer. But Paskah is a political scientist graduate with a master degree in business administration (MBA) (I am sorry, forgot the name of the university). His colleague at Golkar said Paskah's appointment is beyond the party's expectation. What did they expect? Minister of Finance. Well, it's happen already. Is that means Paskah would not able to chair the agency?
Well don't ever tell Paskah that he is not capable. He declared this morning that he knows every little thing about Bappenas and national development planning. Uh! Wanna have more? Paskah promised to reorganize the country's mount of overseas debts. Let's just see!
How about Dr Sri Mulyani Indrawati, minister of finance. This is her first statement: Next year, Indonesian economy would grow 6.2%. Is she talking about the economic prospec as a not-yet-swear-in minister of finance or an economist? Other comments are the same like on Dr Boediono.
Everybody is making business of comments at the moment. It would last for a week, if my experience proved right. I don't want to waste your time to read more on other comments as it would open more mouths to talk. Let's back to work!

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