JAKARTA, GESAHKITA COM–: Indonesian President Joko Widodo reshuffled his Cabinet on Wednesday (Jun 15) for the third time during his second term in office.
There are two new ministers. Zulkifli Hasan is now the Minister of Trade while Hadi Tjahjanto has been appointed as Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning.
Mr Hasan is the head of Partai Amanat Nasional (PAN). He was previously Minister of Forestry from 2009 to 2014 under former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Mr Tjahjanto served as the country’s military chief from December 2017 to November 2021. The Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning, which oversees land reforms among other things, is separate from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, also appointed three new deputy ministers. They include John Wempi Wetipo as Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Afriansyah Noor as Deputy Minister of Manpower and Raja Juli Antoni as Deputy Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning.
The president was accompanied by leaders of the major political parties as he announced the reshuffle.
Commenting on the reshuffle, Mr Widodo said that the new ministers have been appointed based on their capabilities.
“We look at their track record, and also especially their managerial skills because they don’t only have to work on macro (issues) but also micro,” said the president.
Mr Widodo said that he had considered Mr Hasan’s experience and track record before he was appointed.
“Because currently, food affairs related to the people require field experience, fieldwork that is directly involved and related, especially to the needs of the people,” he said.
“In terms of exports, I think it is also the matter of the Minister of Trade, but what is more important is the basic needs (of people) in the country, which we have to take care of.”
On Apr 28, the government imposed an export ban on crude and refined palm oil products after months of cooking oil shortage domestically.
The scarcity had resulted in the prices of the commodity ballooning and affected the prices of food in Indonesia. The government lifted the ban on May 23 as the average price of cooking oil began to decrease.
Mr Widodo added that he has tasked Mr Tjahjanto to resolve matters related to land disputes and land certificates as soon as possible.
When asked if this would mean issues related to the new planned capital city in Borneo, Mr Widodo replied: “This includes land related to the new capital city.”
The Indonesian leader has said several times during his tenure that he wants his government to solve land ownership problems, including how people have seized land parcels illegally.
Indonesia’s Jokowi reshuffles Cabinet ending months of speculation
According to the Indonesian constitution, Jokowi can only serve for a maximum of two terms, which will expire in 2024.
Indonesia’s next presidential election will be in February 2024. The electoral process kicked off on Tuesday, with the election commission holding a ceremony to mark the occasion.
Jokowi’s second term in office started in October 2019. He carried out the first reshuffle in December 2020, after stating that some of his ministers had not done enough to fight COVID-19 and were working as though things were normal.
At that time, he replaced the health minister. He also appointed a new social affairs minister and a new fisheries minister after both their predecessors were embroiled in corruption cases.
In April 2021, the Indonesian leader reorganised several agencies and created a new investment ministry.