At new office, VP seeks ‘closer relationship’ with SBY
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Vice President Boediono can literally forge a closer relationship with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, now that he officially occupies a new office that is a mere 50 meters away from the Presidential Palace.
On Monday, Boediono left his old office in the Vice Presidential Palace on Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan, which is located across National Monument square, 1 kilometer south of Merdeka Palace.
The building Boediono now occupies is the three-story office that used to house the Supreme Advisory Council (DPA).
“The President and I wished to be closer so that we could communicate better. Our wish came true today,” Boediono told reporters, while taking news reporters on a tour of his new office.
The relocation will reduce difficulties in meeting with Yudhoyono, as Boediono will no longer be required to join a motorcade to travel between his old office and the Presidential Palace.
The trip by a motorcade usually only took five minutes.
Boediono is within walking distance of both the State and Merdeka Palaces, as well as the Presidential Office because his new office is located inside the same compound.
Vice Presidential spokesman Yopie Hidayat said that Boediono would continue to use the Vice Presidential Palace, which is undergoing renovations, for special occasions including hosting state guests.
“But the Vice President will conduct his day-to-day activities at his new office,” he said.
Yopie said that the Vice Presidential Palace was undergoing heavy maintenance work.
“The palace is a historical building and a part of our national heritage. It must undergo an overhaul, particularly the roof, as well as its aging air-conditioning system and electrical wiring,” Yopie added.
Secretary to the Vice President Muhammad Oemar said that all staffers from the old office had temporarily moved to the new office but some of them would return pending the completion of the renovation, which is expected to wrap up by the end of this year.
According to Yopie, Boediono’s new office is relatively more spacious.
Boediono’s new office boasts a sizable wooden desk, on which Boediono stacks his documents, as well as a smaller desk and a set of red sofas. The room is adorned with crystal chandeliers that hang from the room’s high ceilings, while a number of large realistic paintings grace the walls of the hallways and the lobby.
Former vice president Jusuf Kalla originally came up with the idea of bringing the vice president and the president closer together.
In 2005, Kalla suggested that he could work at the former DPA office after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) vacated the building and occupied its new office on Jl. Rasuna Said, South Jakarta.
But a recommendation from the Presidential Security Force (Paspampres) blocked Kalla’s initiative, saying that the building was too close to a thoroughfare, which could compromise the President’s security detail in the event of terrorist attack, such as a car bombing.
The building is aligned with Merdeka Palace, facing south toward Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara, which lies about 200 meters away. But Jl. Veteran III, located only 40 meters from the building, was considered unsafe.
“Then officials began to work on security facilities for the building to make it eligible to serve as a Vice Presidential office. But somehow it was then used for the office of the President’s advisers,” Kalla said in 2009 after he left office.
A Paspampres officer said Boediono could now use the building after officials enhanced its security facilities, which include a two-meter-thick wall that separates the building from the bustling Jl. Veteran III.
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