Ahmad Faiz Ibnu Sani, South Tangerang – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has thrown his weight behind State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir's decision to fire the president director of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, I Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra or Ari Askhara.
Ari was discharged for smuggling a Harley Davidson motorcycle on Garuda's new aircraft.
"Do not repeat such misdeeds," said the President after inaugurating JORR II toll road in South Tangerang, Banten, Friday, December 6.
He underlined that the dismissal of Ari was a form of the government's stern action and called on SOEs employees to take the case as a lesson.
"The SOE Minister has been very assertive. That is a message for all: don't play around," the former Jakarta governor asserted.
When asked about the appointment of Ari's replacement, Jokowi balked at providing comments and asked the press to directly ask Erick.
The case came into the public spotlight when the Customs and Excise Directorate-General of Soekarno-Hatta Airport checked on the new aircraft of Garuda, Airbus A330-900 flown from Toulouse, France, last Sunday.
Customs officers found 18 boxes belonging to passengers; 15 of which filled with spare parts of a disassembled Harley Davidson motorcycle, and 3 boxes loaded with Brompton folding bicycles. Based on the audit committee report, Ari Askhara was suspected as the real owner of the high-end motorcycle.