APSN Banner

Trade minister nominates Jokowi ally as inspector general

Jakarta Post - June 13, 2024

Jakarta – Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan has nominated Central Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Ahmad Luthfi as inspector general at the Trade Ministry, pending a final review and a presidential decree.

"Since [inspector general] is an echelon I position, it is awaiting a decision from the Final Assessment Team [TPA] and a presidential decree," Insp. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo, the National Police chief's human resource assistant, said on Monday, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.

Luthfi's potential new role has drawn public attention, as it is the latest in the long list of high-ranking police officers filling civil service positions.

Although such appointments are permitted under Law No. 20/2023 on Civil Servants, the law has been criticized for allowing active police officers and military personnel to hold positions in various state ministries and agencies.

Andi Muhammad Rezaldy, a researcher at the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), suspects the practice is part of the government's strategy to consolidate power.

"I suspect the government's move of dragging [members of] security forces, both military and police, into [civil service] positions can be interpreted as a form of political accommodation," Andi said on Monday, as quoted by online media Tirto.id.

"This strengthens the security apparatus' grip on power, enabling [their] control over various aspects of peoples' live in the [ruling government's] interest."

Zulkifli, who chairs the National Mandate Party (PAN), is also a vocal supporter of Luthfi potential candidacy in the Central Java gubernatorial election.

"I requested that Luthfi be presented at the regional coordination meeting for a decision. PAN supports, endorses and aims for Luthfi's victory as the Central Java governor for the 2024-2029 period," the trade minister told reporters on Saturday, as quoted by Detik.com.

Responding to the controversy surrounding Luthfi's potential gubernatorial bid, Drajad Wibowo, chairman of PAN's experts council, begged to differ.

"Chairman Zulhas did mention Luthfi for the Central Java gubernatorial election," Drajad said on Monday, as quoted by Tempo.co, referring to Zulkifli by his nickname.

"However, the position of ministerial inspector general requires [a candidate] to be an active civil servant or a member of the Indonesian Military [TNI] or the police," he added.

"If [Luthfi is] appointed inspector general, it would disqualify him from running for governor."

Luthfi is among several TNI and police personnel whose careers advanced after they built close ties with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo during his tenure as Surakarta mayor in 2005-2012.

In 2011, Luthfi was deputy chief of the Surakarta Police, and in 2015, a year after Jokowi was elected president, he was promoted to Surakarta Police chief with the rank of senior commissioner.

Three years later in 2018, he was promoted to brigadier general and appointed deputy chief of the Central Java Police and then in 2020, he was promoted to his current position of Central Java police chief and elevated in rank to inspector general.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/06/13/trade-minister-nominates-jokowi-ally-as-inspector-general.htm