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
KB Kee is the Managing Editor of the Moat Report Asia (, a research service focused exclusively on highlighting undervalued wide-moat businesses in Asia; subscribers from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing. KB has been rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as an analyst in Asian capital markets. He was head of research and fund manager at a Singapore-based value investment firm. As a member of the investment committee, he helped the firm’s Asia-focused equity funds significantly outperform the benchmark index. He was previously the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. KB has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy, value investing, macroeconomic and industry trends, and detecting accounting frauds in Singapore, HK and China. KB was a faculty (accounting) at SMU teaching accounting courses. KB is currently the Chief Investment Officer at an ASX-listed investment holdings company since September 2015, helping to manage the listed Asian equities investments in the Hidden Champions Fund. Disclaimer: This article is for discussion purposes only and does not constitute an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any investments, securities, futures or options. All articles in the website reflect the personal opinions of the writer.

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