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Luhut tells Prabowo to be careful when picking his ministers

Jakarta Globe - May 3, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Chief Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on Friday that he had told President-Elect Prabowo Subianto to avoid bringing "toxic people" into his incoming administration.

Election winner Prabowo will officially rise to power this October, replacing the incumbent Joko "Jokowi" Widodo who has led the country for a decade. Prabowo – who has picked Jokowi's son Gibran Rakabuming Raka as his vice president – is set to reveal the incoming ministerial cabinet after he is in office. In a forum, Luhut revealed that he had spoken with Prabowo about his hopes for the next government.

"To the president-elect, I said 'don't bring toxic people to your administration'. Because it is going to hurt us very much. I'm a strong believer that the president-elect can do a lot of things for this country to be better in the future," Luhut told the Jakarta Futures Forum, without mentioning Prabowo's name.

The transition to the new government should be an opportunity to bring down corruption, according to Luhut. To illustrate, Indonesia scored 34/100 on the 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index. The index uses a 0-100 scale with 0 meaning "highly corrupt", while 100 means that a country's public sector is perceived to be "very clean" from corruption. Indonesia has been witnessing a rush of politicians being caught by the anti-graft commission (KPK).

Luhut talked about how he had known Prabowo for decades as they both were retired army generals. He added: "I'm pretty confident with the president-elect. I have known him for 40 years. He has a very good drive, so don't hesitate about this. Indonesia will be much better in the near future, and we will be the world's fourth-largest economy by 2045."

The minister told the forum what the government had done to boost transparency and efficiency. This includes embracing digital transformation by having an e-catalog system for government procurement, among other things. The government also has a digital app – titled Simbara – to keep a close watch on the mining sector.

"The government is working on regulations to improve our ease of doing business. After working in the government for the past 10 years, I have discovered that the problem is created by our own people. We create regulations against our own interests. So I have fixed a lot of these [problems]. ... And I don't know how many regulations I have adjusted [to meet] the interests of our country," Luhut said.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/luhut-tells-prabowo-to-be-careful-when-picking-his-minister