TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - In just few days after being named the new Coordinating Minister for Maritime, Rizal Ramli has been reprimanded by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) for criticizing Garuda Indonesia’s plan to purchase A350 Airbus. “The President has already called Mr. Rizal Ramli and reprimanded him on the airbus procurement issue,” said President Communication Team Teten Masduki said in the palace on Monday, Aug. 17.
Jokowi said if ministers would like to correct government policy, it should be discussed internally and not make statements through the media, as it could cause confussion to the public. “It is just a letter of intent,” said Teten.
The President also emphasized that criticisms between ministers should not be conveyed via mass media because it would only cause a commotion. Especially when the government is trying to attract invesment. Therefore, the government should look solid and unified.
Last week, Rizal Ramli said to the media that he has asked President Jokowi to review the plan to purchase the A350 airbus. Rizal believes that the purchase of those aircrafts is not proper as it will not bring profit to Garuda, and admit that he does not want to see the company suffer more losses due to the flight routes that will be passed by the new Garuda aircrafts would not be profitable.
State-Owned Enterprise Minister Rini Soemarno claimed to be furious towards the statements made by Rizal that is considered out of line and interferes with other ministry affairs. “Don’t interfere with Garuda beyond the Coordinating Ministry for Economy,” said Rini.