Budi Gunadi Sadikin, left, dan Kartika Wirjoatmodjo are set to become deputy ministers at the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Jokowi to Expand Cabinet With 12 Deputy Ministers


OCTOBER 25, 2019

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo summoned 12 seasoned politicians and business professionals to the State Palace on Friday, just as he did earlier this week before picking ministers for his new cabinet. The president is set to appoint the people he invited today as deputy ministers in his expanded cabinet, reflecting his desire to accommodate as many political factions as possible in his administration. 

Among them was Jerry Sambuaga, a Golkar party politician and the son of one of the most senior members of the party, Theo Sambuaga. Jerry is set to become the deputy trade minister. The 34-year-old holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Indonesia and served as a lawmaker at the House of Representatives (DPR) from 2014 to 2019. 


Zainut Tauhid Saadi, a United Development Party politician and deputy chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), will become a deputy to the religious affairs minister.

According to Zainut, Jokowi had asked him to improve the quality of graduates from Islamic boarding schools and to find a way to rein in provocative religious preachers.

The president also appointed as deputy ministers politicians from the Indonesian Unity Party (Perindo) and Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), two parties that threw their support behind him in the last election but did not win enough votes to secure a seat in the DPR.

Perindo's Angela Tanoesoedibjo, the daughter of media tycoon Hary Tanoesoedibjo, will take the post of deputy tourism and creative economy minister.

Angela said she would soon resign from her positions as directors and board members in several companies under her father's Media Nusantara Citra group.   

Surya Candra, a lawyer and politician from PSI, will become the deputy agrarian affairs and spatial planning minister. 

Jokowi also appointed Budi Arie Setiadi, the chairman of Projo, the largest volunteer network supporting the president in his reelection campaign, as the deputy villages, disadvantaged regions and transmigration minister.

The former student activist and journalist was a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). But in 2013 he supported Jokowi's run for the presidency against the wishes of the party's matriarch Megawati Soekarnoputri. 

Jokowi also appointed a deputy, Wahyu Sakti Trenggono, for his new defense minister, former arch-rival Prabowo Subianto. 

Wahyu is the co-founder of Teknologi Riset Global Investama, an investment holding company with interests in telecom tower operator Tower Bersama Infrastruktur and e-commerce JD.id, among others. He served as the treasury of Jokowi's reelection campaign team (TKN).

In keeping with the tradition to have a Papuan representative in the cabinet, Jokowi appointed John Wempi Wetipo, a PDI-P politician and former Jayawijaya district head, as the deputy public works and housing minister.

Among professionals filling in the deputy minister posts are Budi Gunadi Sadikin, the president director of state-owned mining holding company Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum), and Kartika Wirjoatmodjo, the president director of state-controlled Bank Mandiri.

Both Budi and Kartika will resign from their post immediately to serve as deputies to the state-owned enterprises minister. 

"The president wants our SOEs to be more competitive globally, to grow bigger and to work together more with the private sector," Kartika said. 

Mahendra Siregar, a veteran trade official and the current Indonesian ambassador to the United States, will become the deputy foreign affairs minister but serve in his specific fields of trade and economy. 

Mahendra said he was tasked with exploiting new opportunities that arise from the trade war between the United States and China, protecting the Indonesian palm oil industry and leveraging Indonesia's huge domestic market in bilateral negotiations. 

Alue Dohong, the construction, operation and maintenance deputy of the Indonesian Peatland Restoration Agency, will become the deputy environment minister. He is currently based in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan. 

Suahasil Nazara, the head of the Finance Ministry's fiscal policy division, is set to become the deputy finance minister. Jokowi asked Suahasil to help speed up investment in Indonesia. 

"I was directed by the President to help improve efforts to accelerate investment, employment and economic growth," Suahasil said.