JAKARTA - Indonesian President Joko Widodo has appointed a businessman close to the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the former treasurer for his successful run for president as well as his recent re-election campaign as deputy to Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto.
Mr Sakti Wahyu Trenggono runs several companies which provide mobile phone towers in Indonesia.
Mr Joko, popularly called Jokowi, was re-elected in April and sworn into office for his second and final five-year term on Sunday (Oct 20). Mr Prabowo, a former army general and chairman of opposition party Gerindra, mounted a fierce challenge to him in both the 2014 and 2019 presidential polls.
A presidential statement said Mr Joko has also appointed deputies to help other ministers holding strategic positions or heavy portfolios. Eleven of the 34 ministers in the new Cabinet will have deputy ministers.
Former deputy trade minister Mahendra Siregar was appointed as deputy to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.
“I have set a target for the deputy minister to complete negotiations with 14 to 15 countries with whom we need trade pacts, especially with the European Union,” Mr Joko told a news conference where he introduced Dr Mahendra and the other deputies following an inauguration ceremony which was broadcast live on Wednesday (Oct 25).
State mining holding company Inalum’s chief executive officer Budi Sadikin and state-controlled Bank Mandiri CEO Kartika Wirjoatmodjo were appointed as deputies to State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir.
PDIP-P politician Budi Arie Setiadi, who founded Projo, a main volunteer group which supports Mr Joko, was appointed as deputy to Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration minister Abdul Halim Iskandar.
Mr Budi told reporters after his inauguration that he would focus on boosting the village economy.
“We have a huge 77 trillion rupiah (S$7.5 billion) annual budget allocated to villages in Indonesia, meaning per village would get 1 billion rupiah on average. I will help make sure these funds would effectively help village economy,” he said.
Mr Joko unveiled his new Cabinet on Wednesday (Oct 23) which comprises a mix of politicians from mostly all the political parties as well as professionals, including the co-founder of ride-hailing company Gojek.
More than a third of the ministers were from his previous government, with politicians accounting for more than 40 per cent of the Cabinet.
Observers said the line-up reflected his desire to balance stability with competence as well as the need to inject new blood into the government as he aims to modernise and grow the economy.
Indonesia needs to preempt a possible economic recession by making sure it has political stability, amid mounting external pressures from the global economic weaknesses, triggered by a protracted trade war between the world’s largest economies China and the United States.
Seasoned politician Airlangga Hartarto, chairman of Golkar, the party with the second-largest number of parliamentary seats, has been appointed as the chief economic minister.