Indonesia: Jokowi seeks to address ‘poverty problems’ with Cabinet reshuffle
INDONESIAN President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has moved to tackle poverty with a new Cabinet line-up announced Wednesday.
Among the most significant changes is the appointment of reformist World Bank managing director Sri Mulyani Indrawati as the country’s new finance minister. The move sees Sri Mulyani returning to the post she held from 2005 to 2010.
“Approaching two years of my administration, the challenges we are facing are not easy,” Jokowi told reporters on Wednesday. “We have to confront our poverty problems, we need to decrease the economic gap between the rich and poor.”
Sri Mulyani, who has received praise for her handling of Indonesia’s economy during the 2008 financial crisis, turned down a Cabinet position in Jokowi’s previous reshuffle.
Coordinating Security Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan will be replaced by former Indonesian army general Wiranto when the new Cabinet is inaugurated later Wednesday.
Luhut will take over as coordinating minister for maritime issues, which could become a key role at a time of increasing tensions between some Southeast Asian nations and Beijing over its territorial ambitions in the South China Sea.
Wiranto’s appointment as chief security minister, however, could prove to be a controversial choice. He has been linked to human rights abuses in East Timor in 1999 when he headed the armed forces. Wiranto has consistently denied these accusations and has never faced trial.
New appointments were also announced to several economy-related ministries.
The new cabinet will also include a member of the Golkar party, which opposed Jokowi during his successful election bid in 2014.
Source: Asian Correspondent. Date: 27 July, 2016