Jokowi faces criticism over choice of Defence Minister

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It didn’t take long for Indonesia’s new reformist president Jokowi to run into controversy.

Human rights activists have criticised his decision to appoint the former army chief of staff, Ryamizard Ryacudu, as Indonesia’s new defence minister.

Ironically, Jokowi had said he wanted to form a clean Cabinet.

At this time, we should also remember Indonesia’s heroic human rights activist, Munir Said Thalib, who was murdered via arsenic poisoning while onboard a Garuda flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam in 2004. Munir, who founded the Kontras human rights organisation in Indonesia and won the 2000 Right Livelihood Award, is widely seen as a national hero for exposing rights violations in the Old Order.

This video from 2010:

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5 COMMENTS

  1. You can’t simply get on top of the army’s influence in the political, economic & underhand manoeuvring which this former army chief of staff still has enormous influence. To get the new reform going, Jokowi still needs the ‘co-operation + trust’ of the military otherwise his term is as fleeting as any of previous PMs in Thailand, a land of military junta in the waiting.
    Might is still stronger than any reform in Indonesia.

  2. Just as in South Africa, Nelson Mandela kept some of the top brass of the last regime to lead the nation under new leadership. Change may be slow. Zimbabwe changed its government fast without any stops in place, resulting in famine, inflation and corruption……

  3. Yes hard to know what happened here. Maybe, Jokawi was forced to compromise his words about forming a clean cabinet in order to get support for what he decided is a higher objective at this stage. If his cabinet is 95% clean then perhaps there is enough support to get rid of the new Defence Minister if he reverts to his former practice….or he is another Pope Francis and adopting a strategy whereby he smokes out the opposition within his closest ranks and expose the bad egg(s) through their own egos on his own terms.

    • Let’s hope your theory is right, Michael. My sense is that he wants guys like this up front where he can see what they are doing rather that in the background plotting and scheming. Or at least that’s what I’d like to believe.

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