Keep Infighting In-House, Joko Tells Mouthy Ministers

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, right, and Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi. (Reuters Photo/Olivia Harris)

By : Carlos Paath | on 3:49 PM November 23, 2015
Category : News, Politics

Bogor. President Joko Widodo told his ministers to keep infighting and damaging remarks out of the public sphere in a bid to dismiss concerns of fractures inside his administration.

“Avoid clashes! No more creating rifts in public. Differences of opinion must be kept within [cabinet] meetings,” the president told his ministers at the Bogor Palace on Monday.

Experts have voiced their concerns of Joko's cabinet showing a lack of unity, with ministers negating, dismissing and at times publicly criticizing other ministers.

The bickering has sent mixed signals to investors who view it as a sign of the president's inability to lead and achieve his vision and policies.

Joko admitted that one year on since becoming president his ministers have indeed not always seen eye to eye, causing some of his key programs to stagnate.

“Planning and budgeting [between ministries] must also be in line with one another. There must be cooperation. There must be synergy. Because we face challenges affecting different sectors and different areas,” the president said.

The remarks came after Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Panjaitan openly criticized the move by Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said to report House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto to the House Ethics Commission over an alleged attempt to shake down the Indonesian unit of US mining giant Freeport McMoRan.

Speculation of an imminent second cabinet reshuffle continues to mount.

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