New Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno at the State Palace, Jakarta, on Dec. 22, 2020. (JG Screenshot)

Jokowi Appoints Former Rival Sandiaga Uno As Minister in Cabinet Shake-Up

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

DECEMBER 22, 2020

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has appointed former presidential election rival and businessman Sandiaga Uno as the new Tourism and Creative Economy Minister in a recent cabinet shake-up, which also sees a former top banker become the new health minister.

Jokowi announced a revamp for his Indonesia Onward cabinet by introducing six new ministers, including Sandiaga, at the State Palace on Tuesday.

"I would like to introduce, but I believe all of us already know him, Sandiaga Salahudin Uno. He is the former deputy Jakarta Governor and the chairman of Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs Associations (HIPMI). He will take the responsibility of heading the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry," Jokowi said.

In 2018, Sandiaga withdrew from his deputy governor position to step in as the vice president candidate for the 2019 presidential election. But Sandiaga, along with his former running mate and now Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, lost in votes. Since his defeat, Sandiaga has been focusing on empowering micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Also in the revamped cabinet is the State-Owned Enterprise Deputy Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin to replace Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto. Prior to his ministerial position, Budi was once the president director of Bank Mandiri. He also oversaw Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum), a state-owned mining holding company.

Terawan's replacement comes as no surprise. Since the Covid-19 pandemic dawned in Indonesia, Terawan had been under fire for his handling of the virus outbreak. As of Monday, Indonesia has a total of 671.778 confirmed Covid-19 cases. On Sunday, Indonesia broke their record of daily deathtoll with 221 coronavirus-related deaths.

Furthermore, Jokowi announced the replacements for his two ministers who have been arrested over corruption.

Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini, better known as Risma, will replace the former Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara who was recently caught in a Covid-19 aid graft case. The current Defense Affairs Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono will be in charge of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, replacing the disgraced Edhy Prabowo.

Jokowi also appointed the Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, the head of Islamic youth organization Ansor Youth Movement to replace Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi. Last but not least is former Indonesia ambassador to Japan and the US, M Lutfi, who will take the place of Agus Suparmanto as the Trade Minister.

"The inauguration will take place tomorrow morning," Jokowi said.

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