Rieka Rahadiana and Arys Aditya – An Indonesian parliamentary commission gave its nod for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's nominee to lead the armed forces as the country seeks increased security to reopen its economy following the pandemic, and as maritime territorial disputes heighten.
General Andika Perkasa, 56, will oversee the army, air force and navy, including the marines. His father-in-law, retired General A. M. Hendropriyono, is a former head of the state spy agency and a Widodo loyalist since he took office as governor of the capital, Jakarta.
As chief of staff, Perkasa will be responsible for defending the world's most populous Muslim country, which has been the target of a string of terrorist attacks. Preventing such threats will be key to the success of Widodo's plans to boost the economy by hosting international events, such as MotoGP, L'Etape Indonesia by Tour de France, and the G-20 next year.
The commission will submit the results for immediate approval by the plenary meeting, Chairman Meutya Viada Hafid said in a statement on YouTube Saturday.
The approval also means that Perkasa must ensure security for the general election in 2024 and increase military and defense capabilities in the Natuna Sea, a stretch of gas-rich waters bordering the South China Sea, with a planned budget of more than 12 trillion rupiah ($837.3 million) over the next five years.