Editorial: Jokowi Administration Is Its Own Worst Enemy

JANUARY 19, 2015

President Joko Widodo’s administration could fail sooner rather than later if it goes on to make arbitrary and ridiculous decisions. Many of us were afraid of the opposition’s maneuvers. But now we know they don’t have to do anything if the current idiocy continues. Joko and his ministers shoot themselves in the foot every day.

Two recent cases highlight how unprofessional and unprepared the administration is.

The saga of graft suspect Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan being nominated by Joko as police chief defies common sense. While Joko could have withdrawn Budi’s nomination to end the unnecessary complication, he dragged his feet because the three-star general is proposed by the Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and its chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Only after realizing the public anger, did Joko delay Budi’s inauguration. But he only postponed handling the problem. He’s now in a situation of “damned if I do, damned if I don’t. If he doesn’t inaugurate Budi, the opposition — probably with the help of his own party — would use it to launch an impeachment effort. If he does inaugurate Budi, then he will face the wrath of his constituents.

We call on Joko to stand by the very people who voted for him, and oppose anybody forcing him to make poor decisions.

And then the administration was brought to a new low when the attorney general — a politician from Surya Paloh’s National Democratic Party — in an apparent move to distract people’s attention from Budi’s case, announced the execution of six inmates for drug trafficking. How could killing people be used as a tool for distraction?

These questionable decisions distract the administration from its priorities as its resources have to be diverted toward dealing with the fallout.

For the main story, go to: Jokowi Stumbles in Interim Police Chief Debacle