NGOs say new cabinet unable to make any substantial change

Source – October 22, 2004
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono chair cabinet meeting (Tempo)
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono chair cabinet meeting (Tempo)

Jakarta – The structure and makeup of the Indonesian United Cabinet of newly inaugurated President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will not effect any substantial changes because its members are lacking in professionalism, integrity and ability.

This view was expressed in a joint statement by 13 non-government organisations which was received by on Thursday October 21. The thirteen NGO’s include the Policy Research and Advocacy Institute (ELSAM), Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial), the International NGO Forum for Indonesia Development (INFID), the Coalition of Alternative Education for Women (Kapal Perempuan), the Indonesian Women’s Coalition, Migrant Care, the Indonesian Legal Aid Association (PBHI), the think thank group ProPatria, Rumpun, the Bina Desa Secretariat, Women’s Solidarity, the Indonesian Environment Forum (Walhi) and the Civil Society Alliance for Democracy (Yappika).

In their assessment around 80 per cent of the ministers who were appointed have not been placed in appropriate positions and this will create difficulties for the new government in formulating its programs and fulfilling the promises it has made to the public.

Yudhoyono’s cabinet, according to the NGOs, it too cumbersome with several cabinet posts which do not represent any real needs but instead positions which were crated merely to accommodate people who assisted Yudhoyono’s election campaign. There is little hope that the cabinet’s economic team can achieve sustained economic recovery.

The NGOs are calling on Yudhoyono to be serious in making sure that his cabinet works in accordance with the policies and promises he has made. This include agrarian reform, law enforcement, upholding human rights, rehabilitating and improving the quality of education, eliminating all forms of violence and discrimination, alleviating poverty and reforming the TNI (armed forces) based on the supremacy of law. They also warned the public not to hold too much hope in the new cabinet and to monitor its performance.

On Thursday October 21, Yudhoyono appointed 36 ministers to his new cabinet comprising three coordinating ministers, 18 departmental ministers, 12 non-departmental ministers and two ministerial level posts assigned under the cabinet. (rif)

[Translated by James Balowski.]