TEMPO.CO, Kendari – A number of ministers in President Joko Widodo's Working Cabinet are scrutinized by the public for their private businesses. One of them is Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman, who gained public attention following reports of his investment in several mining companies.
Kisran Makati, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) director for Southeast Sulawesi, said that Amran invests in at least 10 companies in the province.
Under PT Tiran Group, Amran owns a gold and nickel mining company in Bombana and North Konawe. The minister is also reported to invest in South Konawe's palm oil and sugarcane plantations.
Based on Walhi's findings, Kisran dubs Amran unfit to serve as agriculture minister due to his involvement in non eco-friendly mining and plantation activities.
"[Amran] is not applying human rights, social and environmental standards in his businesses," Kisran told Tempo.
Contradicting Walhi, PDPI politician from Southeast Sulawesi Nur Salam Lada said Amran's appointment as agriculture minister would benefit Indonesia's farming sector, considering his broad knowledge on the sector.
"Southeast Sulawesi's huge agriculture potential will be better managed," he said.
As of the time of this story's release, Minister Amran has yet to comment on the allegations.