Headlines

SBY gathers key aides in
Cikeas to review his administration

Two weeks ahead of his scheduled Cabinet reshuffle, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono summoned key aides to his residence Puri Cikeas in Bogor, West Java, to review his administration.

Vice President Boediono, State Secretary Sudi Silalahi and Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of the presidential work unit for development control and monitoring, were included in Thursday’s meeting.

Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha told reporters that the meeting was to discuss the government’s achievements over the past two years.

Julian declined to comment on whether the meeting would discuss the reshuffle.

“If a minister is summoned by the President [in the next two weeks], please do not relate it to the reshuffle,” Julian said.

Yudhoyono announced his plan last month to change his Cabinet to augment his administration’s performance.

Defying partisan pressure, the President said he would evaluate ministers’ integrity and performance. Yudhoyono said he and Boediono had only discussed which ministers to evaluate.

The President traditionally prepares his Cabinet at his private residence, spending days interviewing candidates at his Cikeas mansion before the two Cabinet reshuffles during his first term. He designed his second-term Cabinet the same way.

Daniel Sparringa, presidential special aide for political communication, said Yudhoyono and Boediono had gone on a marathon of intensive, closed-door meetings to discuss the reshuffle.

“This week has been a long and silent week for them, and I don’t have much information to share with the public. Let’s wait,” Daniel said.

According to Daniel, the meeting between the President and Vice President was a face-to-face talk that was isolated from other political processes.

Typical to any talk of a Cabinet reshuffle, speculations abounded as to who was in and who was out.

Yudhoyono was uneasy with the speculation and said he did not want to be held responsible for any of the rumors.

The Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) released on Thursday “a black list” of ministers who have been involved in human rights violations.

“According to our records, several ministers are keeping citizens from getting their basic rights,” LBH Jakarta director Nurkholis Hidayat told reporters on Thursday.

Among LBH Jakarta’s “blacklisted” ministers were Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali, Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar, Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih and National Education Minister Muhammad Nuh.

Suryadharma was on the list for supporting a discriminatory regulation in Bogor that prohibited a religious minority group — the Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church congregation — from holding church services, he said.

Muhaimin was implicated in a citizen lawsuit for depriving domestic workers of their basic rights.

Endang has been entangled in numerous malpractice cases and for disobeying a Supreme Court ruling to reveal bacteria-contaminated baby formula.

Nuh also neglected a Supreme Court ruling, one that annulled the national examination for students. (rpt)

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