Lupa Kata Sandi? Klik di Sini

atau Masuk melalui

Belum Memiliki Akun Daftar di Sini

atau Daftar melalui

Sudah Memiliki Akun Masuk di Sini

Konfirmasi Email

Kami telah mengirimkan link aktivasi melalui email ke

Klik link aktivasi dan dapatkan akses membaca 2 artikel gratis non Laput di koran dan Majalah Tempo

Jika Anda tidak menerima email,
Kirimkan Lagi Sekarang

President Joko Widodo: I Have Calculated All Risks



7 November 2017 19:32 WIB

President Joko Widodo. TEMPO/Subekti.

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Once again, President Joko Widodo chose a somewhat unconventional way to inaugurate an infrastructure project, last Friday. He rode in an old Land Rover Defender to tour the newly completed Bekasi-Cawang-Kampung Melayu (Becakayu) toll road, which sat unfinished for 18 years. Previously, in May, wearing only a thick jacket without a bulletproof vest, he inspected the Trans-Papua highway riding a dirt-trail bike. 

The Becakayu and Trans Papua toll roads and are just two from dozens of stalled infrastructure projects that Jokowi has brought to completion. After three years of governing together with Vice President Jusuf Kalla, several new projects have also been undertaken, despite criticism that in-depth planning and impact studies have been a shortcut. "If we don’t start now, costs will continue to soar," Jokowi, 56, reasoned. 

He said his expansive plan for new roads, dams, ports and airports are aimed solely at reducing inequity, not just electoral gains. Jokowi added that people in far-flung regions have long been neglected in the development process. "If what we wanted were political gains, then we would have only had to develop the Java Island," he said. 

To push these development projects, Jokowi has issued hundreds of presidential regulations and instructions and increased the infrastructure budget from Rp177 trillion in 2014 to Rp387 trillion this year. 

Last Friday, Jokowi sat down with Tempo’s Arif Zulkifli, Anton Aprianto, Istman Musaharun and Raymundus Rikang at the Merdeka Palace, Central Jakarta, for a special interview. He raised his voice and repeatedly slammed his pen against the table when talking indignantly about profit-oriented projects. When the time for sunset prayer came, the President excused himself. "I got emotional just now. Let me pray the maghrib prayer a moment." 

Why do you prioritize the infrastructure sector, a sector that is not politically beneficial?

I calculate all the risks before deciding to issue a policy. If I wanted political and economic gains, then I would have focused only on the island of Java, which wouldn’t need a high budget. We would only need to build economic corridors in the north and south. That would give us faster economic returns compared to the regions. But, after touring across the country, from Sabang to Merauke, I saw for myself how grave the inequality was.

Are you convinced that infrastructure can be a solution to reduce the gap?

This is a matter of equality and justice. Besides, our infrastructure development has lagged far behind our neighbors’. Infrastructure is a foundation for tackling the problem of inequality. If we want it easy, we just have to allocate the budget for subsidies and increased social assistance, so purchasing power will increase and the public is happy. But do we want to continue this kind of strategy? I took the risk by not resorting to this kind of political move, and instead diverted resources to infrastructure development. In the end, infrastructure will bring the people together. If not, we will face dreadful consequences in the future. I know that this policy is a bitter pill to swallow, but development must begin.

Even though the government has had a hard time looking for funding?

If we stick to the old monotonous funding practices, and solely rely on the state budget and state-owned enterprises, we will never be able to accomplish any project. We have to look for alternative financing schemes.

What kind of schemes?

We came up with a new financing breakthrough. If the private sector can undertake projects, we give them priority to do so. But, if the internal rate-of-return is unfavorable, then SOEs can work in partnership with the private sector. If it’s still too unfavorable, it’s a task for the SOEs. The last option is to use state budget, which now has an allocation of 20 percent for infrastructure.

Is it true that delegating SOEs to undertake infrastructure projects burden them financially?

They feel burdened because there was never any pressure to stimulate them into seeking alternative schemes. I gave them both problems and challenges to make them creative. SOEs are agents of development. That’s what sets them apart from the private sector. Yes, they should make a profit, but while being agents of development. We often overlook the duties of the SOEs.

What kind of solutions do you offer to the SOEs?

Abandon old practices. Start using asset securitization, limited concession schemes, and issue bonds. I told them that if they want to issue bonds, don’t do it here. Try overseas once in a while.

What are these old practices?

SOEs had a penchant for collecting assets. For instance, after building a toll road, they would sit back and relax. They were complacent with regular revenues generated from the toll roads. So for decades, that’s all they had. For instance, the total stretch of toll roads since 1978 was only 80 kilometers. With the new financing scheme in the past three years, it has increased by 580 kilometers and will hit 1,800 kilometers by 2019.

Read the full interview in this week's edition of Tempo English Magazine.


Migrant Workers Protection Agency: Mafia in Uniform

5 hari lalu

Migrant Workers Protection Agency: Mafia in Uniform

Chair of Migrant Workers Protection Agency, Benny Rhamdani, on illegal migrant worker syndicates.

Surya Paloh: I'm Ready to Be the Opposition

18 hari lalu

Surya Paloh: I'm Ready to Be the Opposition

NasDem Party Chief Surya Paloh on his rift with President Jokowi, reshuffles and the presidential candidacy of Anies Baswedan.

Muhammadiyah: Political Elites Should Not Create Hostile Atmosphere

23 hari lalu

Muhammadiyah: Political Elites Should Not Create Hostile Atmosphere

The views of Muhammadiyah General Chair on the consequences of differences in establishing the date for Idul Fitri as well as the 2024 elections.

Marzuki Darusman: Myanmar Crisis Threatens Our Democracy

33 hari lalu

Marzuki Darusman: Myanmar Crisis Threatens Our Democracy

Marzuki Darusman on the petition at the Constitution Court as an effort to prosecute Rohingya genocide in Myanmar.

Consumers are Powerless

38 hari lalu

Consumers are Powerless

National Consumer Protection Agency Chair Rizal Edy Halim on Indonesia's poor consumer protection system.

Quran Does Not Provide All the Answers

41 hari lalu

Quran Does Not Provide All the Answers

An Islamic thinker proposes his ideas on reforming Islam such as alternative interpretations of Idul Fitri and even the holy Quran itself.

Judicial Mafia Exists within Supreme Court

51 hari lalu

Judicial Mafia Exists within Supreme Court

Judicial Commission chair Mukti Fajar Nur Dewata on the arrest of two chief judges by KPK, and the judicial mafia.

Indonesian Minister on Israel Participation in U-20 World Cup: We Don't See Any Threat

5 April 2023

Indonesian Minister on Israel Participation in U-20 World Cup: We Don't See Any Threat

Acting Sports Minister Muhadjir Effendy on security threats if the Israeli team joins the 2023 U-20 World Cup previously slated to take place in Bali.

Our Economy is Not Affected Too Much by Global Situation: OJK Chairman

1 April 2023

Our Economy is Not Affected Too Much by Global Situation: OJK Chairman

Mahendra Siregar, Chair of OJK's Board of Commissioners, on global recession, problems in the insurance industry, and the carbon market.

Sri Mulyani: I Can't Ask Them to Be Honest

18 Maret 2023

Sri Mulyani: I Can't Ask Them to Be Honest

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati on the Rafael Alun Trisambodo case and the measures being taken to restore public trust.