Kharishar Kahfi, Jakarta – Being known for pushing his administration to become more efficient in using the state budget, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo tried to pass the same message to House of Representatives members by teasing them about their past overseas trips.
Upon delivering his State of the Nation address at the legislative complex in Central Jakarta on Friday, the President said officials and lawmakers should look more into whether a proposed piece of legislation met the interests of the nation and the people, rather than just trying to issue as many regulations as they could.
Jokowi added that he had instructed the executive branch of his administration to do their work more efficiently.
"Why do we have to go far away to other countries when we can obtain all necessary information right from our smartphones. The United States, it's accessible from here. Same goes for Russia and Germany," Jokowi said during his speech, while displaying each country on his smartphone to those in attendance at the annual event.
"I think this is also relevant for all ladies and gentlemen here in the House," the President quipped to the delight of most members of the audience.
The House has frequently faced criticism for allowing lawmakers go abroad on working visits given their lack of accountability. Lawmakers have also failed to impress the public with their performances despite the number of working visits overseas that were paid for out of taxpayers' money
In 2016, then-House speaker and Golkar Party politician Ade Komarudin decided to limit working visits abroad for lawmakers following public criticism. The decision, however, was overruled by his successor and fellow Golkar member Setya Novanto. The latter argued that working visits were the right of all House members, as they helped them to do their work better. (afr)