Keep in Mind Next President’s Powers; surveys suggest that we may see many familiar faces in the new govt, whoever wins. There’s a general acceptance of ministerial posts being awarded to people in exchange for political support

Editorial: Keep in Mind Next President’s Powers

By Jakarta Globe on 10:08 pm Jun 12, 2014

Indonesia’s president, as head of state and head of government, has significant powers, including the right to name and remove ministers. This is an important aspect to keep in mind ahead of the election, because not only will we select our top leader for the next five years, the winner will also have to form a functional government.

The campaign teams for both presidential hopefuls, Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, may already give us some clues about what can be expected on this front. Spokespeople for the candidates are understandably reluctant to confirm possible candidates for cabinet posts and they hold their cards close to their chests.

But surveys suggest that we may see many familiar faces in the new government, whoever wins next month. The names of ministers and former ministers such as Dahlan Iskan, Gita Wirjawan and Chairul Tanjung are being mentioned, for instance, just like academic Anies Baswedan and former Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud M.D.

Disturbingly, however, there seems to be a general acceptance of ministerial posts being awarded to people in exchange for political support. This may be common practice even in long-established democracies all over the world, but that doesn’t make it right. Of course the leader of a political party supporting a particular candidate may be the best person for the job. But the latter characteristic should be the principal determinant when putting together the next government — not the former.

Thus on July 9, what matters a lot more than the names of possible ministers is which presidential candidate we trust more to make the right call based on the right considerations. Right now, it’s all speculation, but one thing is certain: either Joko or Prabowo will have the final say.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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