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Tom Lembong talks of Jokowi's second-term curse

Tempo - January 29, 2024

Michelle Gabriela Momole, Jakarta – Economist Thomas Trikasih Lembong, popularly known as Tom Lembong, highlighted the second-term curse of President Joko Widodo or Jokowi's administration in a podcast with Novel Baswedan, a former investigator of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), released on Sunday, January 28. The podcast, titled 'Ahjussi Tom Lembong Bicara Soal Mental Penguasa', was released on January 28th.

Lembong, who served as the co-captain of the campaign team of presidential pair Anies Baswedan and Muhaimin Iskandar, was asked about the alleged corruption in the national strategic projects, illegal bleaching of palm oil plantations, and suspected illegal nickel exports and imports between China and Indonesia.

He did not deny the existence of the problems and estimated that the ratio of the corrupt programs was between 30-50% of the total projects. He also described the situation as a second-term curse.

"This is a legendary phenomenon called the second-term curse. So after being re-elected and having consolidated power, a tendency to use the last chance to reap money of the power arises," Lembong said.

The former trade minister during Jokowi's first term stressed that he, Anies Baswedan, and Muhaimin Iskandar have gathered ideas and solutions to overcome this issue. "Public dialogue and the participation of experts, professionals, civil society, and entrepreneurs are needed," he emphasized.

He also stressed the importance of a transparent system to monitor power, as transparency and corruption are correlated. "Pak Anies, I, and Pak Muhaimin are not gods. We are also human beings who must be watched by the system and civil society."

Before joining the Coalition for Change, which endorses Anies Baswedan and Muhaimin Iskandar in the upcoming presidential election in February, Tom Lembong had been a close associate of Jokowi since the latter was governor of Jakarta from 2012 to 2014.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1827038/tom-lembong-talks-of-jokowis-second-term-curs