Jakarta – The People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) inaugurated on Monday three new speakers and deputy chairmen amid criticism that more speakers did not mean improved performance.
The new MPR's deputy chairmen are: National Awakening Party (PKB) chairman Muhaimin Iskandar, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) deputy secretary-general Ahmad Basarah and Gerindra secretary-general Ahmad Muzani.
MPR speaker Zulkifli Hasan said the decision was urgent to have stability in the political year, referring to the upcoming regional elections in June and 2019 presidential and legislative elections.
"I expect the three new deputies will improve the MPR's performance, which has been tainted in the public eye," he told legislative members and top country officials at the inauguration event on Monday.
Under the new Legislative Institutions (MD3) Law, going into effect on March 14, the House of Representatives should have six speakers (one chairman and five deputies) and the MPR eight leaders until 2019. Previously, each body only had five speakers.
New speaker Basarah said to the press after the inauguration he would work to promote the four pillars of MPR: Pancasila (Indonesia's founding five-point ideology), the 1945 Constitution, the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) and the state motto of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity).
He said the new leadership would ease the plan to reinstate the now-defunct state policy guideline known as the GBHN.
Previously, Lucius Karus, a senior researcher at the Indonesian Parliament Watch (Formappi), also criticized the additional speakers, saying adding more leaders wouldn't necessarily improve their performance. "Just take a look at the previous composition; what were their achievements?" he said on Sunday. (srs)