The appointment of Democratic Party politician Roy Suryo Notodiprojo as the new youth and sports minister will only hurt the credibility of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration, according to a political analyst.
“Assigning an individual with a questionable background to this position will further undermine the legitimacy of the President. The credibility of SBY’s administration is at stake,” political analyst Hamdi Muluk of the University of Indonesia (UI) said on Saturday as quoted by kompas.com.
Hamdi said that Yudhoyono’s sole target in appointing Roy as the new youth and sports minister was to put an end to worsening rifts within the Democratic Party.
Hamdi said that Roy, unlike other well-connected Democratic Party politicians previously nominated for the position, was deemed a neutral figure within the party.
The analyst was also pessimistic that Roy could get the job done.
“He only has one-and-a-half years left and he will probably take six months to settle in,” said Hamdi.
Yudhoyono announced on Friday that Roy had been appointed as minister replacing Andi Mallarangeng, who was named a suspect in the graft-ridden Hambalang sports center project.
“I think Roy is competent to serve in the position. I have also taken his integrity and capacity into account,” Yudhoyono said.
Roy has never been known as a politician familiar with sports or youth affairs.
The media have categorized Roy as a “computer expert” on digital issues such as photography and video tapes depicting sexual activities involving figures that resembled politicians, despite the fact that he has never attended any information technology schools.
Roy’s self-claimed expertise has led him to testify in court as a digital expert, but rather than silencing his critics, his testimony has only sparked more controversy.
In December 2004, Roy told a television show that 68 percent of all Friendster accounts were fake, claiming that he had received information from an inside source. But the social media site’s management denied the statement and said that Roy had never talked to anyone at Friendster.
Roy received his bachelor’s degree from the communications department at Gadjah Mada University and once served as a part-time lecturer at the university. He taught courses on photography.
Earlier, political analyst Yunarto Wijaya of the Charta Politika think tank said that Yudhoyono should inform the public of his motivation to appoint Roy as a new member of his Cabinet.
Yunarto also doubted whether Roy could be an effective minister.
He said that the ministry was currently beset by a number of problems, including a split within the Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI) and Hambalang.
“The task of being a youth and sports minister is difficult and the tenure will be short. It should be someone who is competent in youth and sports affairs,” Yunarto said as quoted by Antara news agency.
Roy has said he will prove his critics wrong.
“I know the public has very low expectations of me and this makes me believe that this job will not be easy, particularly given that my tenure will not be long,” Roy had earlier said.