TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Presidential candidate number 01 Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated during the fifth presidential debate on Saturday that a super holding comprising state-owned enterprises is a necessary move to strengthen Indonesia’s economic sector.
In the fifth debate, which is the last prior to the presidential election on April 17, Jokowi said that a firm super holding of the state-owned enterprises will stimulate the country’s private sector to grow.
“I think in the future we must transform our state-owned enterprises into holdings that are based on each sector, namely construction, oil, and gas, as well as agriculture and plantation. These holdings later led by a single super holding,” Jokowi said answering a question from the vice presidential candidate number 02, Sandiaga Uno.
Jokowi further mentioned that the country’s state-owned enterprises had been flourished, as some of the companies had penetrated their businesses to Middle East countries.
“Our companies have built bridges, highways overseas. One of our state-owned enterprise, INKA (state-owned train manufacturer) has exported a large number of trains to Bangladesh,” Jokowi remarked while highlighting state-owned enterprises' contribution to the increase in the country's national income last year.
In 2018, Indonesian state-owned enterprises had a higher contribution to the national income, generating Rp422 trillion from Rp354 trillion in 2017.
Responding to Jokowi’s answer, the opposition presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto said that some of the state-owned enterprises had not performed well. He mentioned that the state-owned flag carrier Garuda Indonesia had troubles to compete with foreign competitors such as Japan-based airways, ANA.
However, for the incumbent presidential candidate, the issue could be dealt with by improving the management's quality of Garuda Indonesia.
The fifth debate dealt with economy and social welfare, finance and investment, and trade and industry. It was the last round of the series of debates prior to the 2019 presidential election.
The General Elections Commission (KPU) held five presidential debates, covering a variety of national issues, including law, human rights, corruption, and terrorism for the first round.
The second round of debates was attended only by vice presidential candidates Ma'ruf Amin and Sandiaga Uno, bearing the theme energy, infrastructure, natural resources, food stock, and environment. Education, health, manpower issues, and social and culture were the themes in the third debate, and the fourth one was defense, security, and international relations.
Indonesia will hold its first ever simultaneous presidential and legislative elections on April 17. The incumbent presidential candidate Jokowi who teams up with Ma’ruf Amin will compete with the opposition Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Sandiaga Uno.