Jakarta – State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir has demoted senior officials in his ministry and moved them to various posts in state-controlled firms as the minister seeks to streamline bureaucracy in the notoriously labyrinthine ministry, media reports have said.
The demoted officials, known as deputies, found their current roles at odds with those of the deputy ministers, a once-common position that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has revived for his new cabinet.
Erick currently has two deputy ministers to help him manage more than 100 state-owned companies in Indonesia: Budi Gunadi Sadikin, the former president director of Indonesia Asahan Aluminium, a mining holding company, and Kartika Wirjoatmodjo, who was previously the president of Bank Mandiri.
Arya Sinulingga, a special staff for the minister, confirmed the demotions, saying that all the deputies, except for one, have received their reassignment letter.
"We will have new deputies in the next week or two," Arya said on Tuesday. He said the two deputy ministers will handle the business side of the SOEs, while the junior deputies will handle the administrative side.
Erick also plans to revive the inspectorate general post to oversee internal control of the ministry, Arya said.
"The problem with the old deputy posts was mostly about structure: what comes under the authority of the deputies and what comes under the deputy ministers," Arya said, while adding that the president is preparing a new regulation to address the issue.
Earlier on Monday, Antara news agency reported the demotions, quoting an unnamed source.
According to the source, Imam Apriyanto, the former ministry secretary, will now serve as the vice president director of Pupuk Indonesia Holding Company.
Gatot Trihargo, who was previously the ministry's deputy of financial, survey and consultant services, will become a vice president at the national procurement agency (Bulog).
Wahyu Kuncoro, the former deputy of agro and pharmaceutical industry, will be the vice president of Pegadaian.
Hambra Samal, the former deputy of infrastructure, will become a vice president director of port operator Pelabuhan Indonesia II.
Edwin Hidayat Abdullah, the deputy of field energy business, logistics, region and tourism, will become the vice president director of state airport operator Angkasa Pura II.
Fajar Harry Sampurno, the deputy of strategic industry, media and mining, will become the president director of Barata Indonesia.
Aloysius Kik Ro, the deputy of restructuring and business development, will become the president director of fund manager Danareksa.
Erick had hinted last week of an impending leadership overhaul in many state-owned companies.
"We need good people to help run the SOEs. It's not possible for the minister and the deputy ministers to oversee all day-to-day activities," Erick said.
Erick summoned Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, the former Jakarta governor, and Chandra Hamzah, a former commissioner at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), last week, leading to speculations of their appointments at an SOE.