Indef Questions Erick Thohir's Plan to Put Ahok in SOE



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaAn economist from the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef), Bhima Yudhistira, questioned the government’s idea, especially the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises’ (SOE), that planned to appoint Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (BTP), a.k.a. Ahok, as a leader of a state firm.

    BTP was rumored to serve as a commissioner of state oil and gas firm Pertamina.

    “I have never heard the concept from SOE and Pak BTP–if he had been appointed–on how SOE can survive from the global economic recession. This is an economic problem, not a political one,” said Bhima at Pulau Dua Restaurant, Jakarta, Thursday, November 21.

    Bhima opined the risk of the global economic recession had been widely talked, and there was even an indicator of countries facing it. However, SOE’s concept in dealing with the problem has yet been discussed publicly.

    “If the recession occurs in 2020, if the oil price increases, will Pertamina be ready? The issue is not brought up to the public, but rather trivial matters,” he remarked.

    According to Bhima, the planned assignment of BTP to lead a state enterprise became the public’s main discussion considering there was no major concept issued by the government on those matters.

    Therefore, Bhima challenged President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, SOE Minister Erick Thohir, up to BTP to provide reasons for the planned appointment.

    “Give me reasons, then we can talk about who is the right person [to lead an SOE]. Because from the view of the economy, [Ahok] is not a suitable one,” Bhima explained, adding that the Indonesian economy in the global eyes is at the stake.