Awaiting Jokowi's new cabinet, the capable and competent ministers

id cabinet line-up, Joko Widodo, coalition parties,age

President-elect Joko Widodo outlined priority programs for 2019-2024 term at the Sentul International Convention Center (SICC) Babakan Madang, Bogor District of West Java on Sunday (14/7/2019). (ANTARA/M Fikri Setiawan)

Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - The new Indonesian cabinet will have members from different political parties and various professional backgrounds, President-elect Joko Widodo has hinted.

Political elites may take 60 percent of the cabinet posts while those from the professional backgrounds would fill the other 40 percent, the incumbent president, who is commonly known as Jokowi, has revealed.

Speaking to journalists after attending the opening of Karya Kreatif Indonesia, a small and medium enterprises (SMEs) craft exhibition, in Jakarta on July 12, 2019, he said the blueprint of his upcoming cabinet line-up had also existed.

Many of those who had been his cabinet members in his first term would be retained, Jokowi also hinted.

Jokowi and Ma'ruf Amin have officially been declared by the General Elections Commission (KPU) as the president-elect and vice president-elect following the Constitutional Court's ruling on the presidential election result dispute on June 27, 2019.

On Sunday evening, as the president-elect, Jokowi had also highlighted his five priority programs for his second presidential term (2019-2024) when speaking at an event called "Indonesian Vision".

Related news: Jokowi outlines five priority programs for 2019-2024 period

He would continue infrastructure development, intensify human resources development, invite investment that can generate job opportunities, reform the structural bureaucracy, and optimize budget utilization, he stated.

The five priority programs that his administration will ensure for the next five years are expected to be able to respond to Indonesia's internal and external challenges.

Considering all the challenges the nation has been undergoing, including the impact and demands of the disruption era, and Indonesia's economic growth rate which remains at below six percent, the upcoming cabinet line-up should be filled by competent people.

Jokowi's future cabinet members must be capable and competent because they will have to deal with huge challenges, according to H. Sariat Arifia, the General Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Toy Manufacturers and Importers (P3IMI).

Before the cabinet members is the challenge to resolve problems and drive the bureaucracy within their ministries as the machines of government.

Age is not a factor as long as the ministers are capable and competent. "We do not care whether they are young or old. As long as they are capable and competent, they are eligible for sitting in the cabinet line-up," Arifia opined.

He referred to Mahathir Mohammad's reelection as the Malaysian prime minister regardless of his age because a majority of his people believed in his capability, competence, and track record of his past leadership.

Hence, in the Malaysian case, age has not been perceived as an important factor, he said, adding that testing the potential figures' capability, competence, credibility, and eligibility is also easy.

The president could ask them to resolve the real problems the nation is undergoing, he said.

Incumbent President Joko Widodo had earlier hinted that his upcoming cabinet should be relevant to the demands of the current era. Hence, young professionals will be appointed in his next cabinet.

In response to Jokowi's goodwill and intention to appoint young talent to occupy ministerial posts in his upcoming cabinet line-up, Indonesian Employers Association's (APINDO's) Deputy Chairperson Shinta Widjaja Khamdani made a suggestion.

Capability and not age should be the consideration for appointing potential ministers, she suggested.

Khamdani underscored several key pre-requisites by the president-elect for the selection of youngsters with credibility to become his cabinet members.

"Professionalism ranks high on the list. The candidates must also possess a good track record. They should be able to walk the talk and have a solid understanding of what is really taking place on the field," Khamdani stated.

Hence, those selected by Jokowi and his deputy, Ma'ruf Amin should possess sound leadership skills, which is paramount for leading a ministry, she emphasized.

"If they do not possess a good sense of leadership, how can they lead the ministries? This cannot be a trial and error. They must be able to work," she affirmed, adding that Widodo's upcoming cabinet members should have begun working.

Members of the business community are willing to offer the government insightful inputs to tackle issues plaguing the nation, she added.

Related news: APINDO welcomes Jokowi's plan of a young Cabinet

Several coalition parties of the Jokowi-Amin pair have shown their stance with regard to the cabinet line-up issue.

As the runner-up of the 2019 Parliamentary Elections, the Golkar party, for instance, does not want to rush in and demand ministerial posts in Jokowi's upcoming cabinet.

But, the National Awakening Party (PKB) and National Democratic Party (Nasdem) have revealed their demands.

For Golkar, the president-elect will be allowed to decide how he intends to proportionally accommodate Golkar's cadres in his cabinet, Chairperson of the Golkar Party's Central Executive Board Meutya Hafid recently said.

Related news: Golkar lets Jokowi decide on cabinet line-up

Golkar leader Airlangga Hartarto was mandated to discuss this ministerial post issue with Jokowi, she told a radio station's talk show highlighting a controversy surrounding Jokowi's coalition parties' struggle for gaining ministerial posts.

"We let our party leader discuss this matter with the president-elect," Hafid said, adding that from the beginning, along with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) and several other coalition parties, Golkar has supported Jokowi's candidacy.

Therefore, the Golkar Party trusts the president-elect to provide proportional berths to his coalition parties in the cabinet. "Mr. Jokowi also does know his needs regarding his cabinet line-up for his second presidential term," she added.

Meanwhile, PKB leader Muhaimin Iskandar has proposed 10 names from his party to Jokowi but was unaware of who had been nominated to the cabinet, the PKB politician, Daniel Johan, said.

The names that Iskandar had proposed were different from those who might have been proposed by the Nahdlatul Ulama's (NU's) Central Executive Board despite the fact that the real supporters of both PKB and NU were relatively similar.

Related news: PKB leader expresses keenness to be MPR speaker

In response to this issue, the PDIP affirmed that it had no objection to the Nasdem's and PKB's demands for a certain number of ministerial posts.

As revealed by PDIP Deputy Secretary General Eriko Sotarduga, PDIP is a Jokowi-Amin pair's prime supporter so that it will support Jokowi's decision.

As the president-elect, it is Jokowi’s prerogative to decide who he picks in his cabinet, and all coalition parties could merely propose. The PDIP itself, would not beg for ministerial posts, he added.

Apart from different strategies that each of Jokowi-Amin pair's coalition parties applies in obtaining the cabinet posts, the people at large are keen to see Jokowi selecting capable and competent figures.

Appointing the capable and competent ministers is an important endeavor by Jokowi to provide Indonesia with a valuable and unforgettable legacy in 2024.

Related news: Jokowi urged to recruit capable cabinet ministers: PKS

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Editor: Budisantoso Budiman
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