A cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday, triggered by the arrest of two ministers for graft allegations and prolonged criticism over several ministers' poor performance – in particular Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic – has brought six new faces to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration.
But Widodo's appointment of Sandiaga Uno – who was presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto's running mate in the 2019 presidential elections – as the new Tourism and Creative Economy Minister has caused more than a few people to raise an eyebrow. Widodo had already appointed Prabowo as his defense minister soon after being sworn in for his second term last October.
The 2019 presidential election was marred with intense enmity between their die-hard supporters. The partisan camps even earned the pejorative nicknames cebong (tadpoles) for Widodo's supporters and kampret (bats) for Prabowo's. Social media was filled with endless bickering, which continues to this day.
So with both Prabowo and Uno now ministers in an administration that just over a year ago they told voters had to be thrown out in order to save Indonesia from becoming a failed state, many have been left asking why so much time and money (and public animosity) was wasted on the 2019 presidential election in the first place.