Ahok calls off inaugurations made without his approval
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama canceled the inauguration of dozens of district and subdistrict officials minutes before the event started at City Hall on Friday, saying their appointments had been made without his knowledge or approval.
'[The inaugurations of] subdistrict and district heads are canceled. I never discussed their transfers. What I talked about was 600 officials who will be tested to become ones,' he said. He had been slated to swear in officials from various echelons, including the subdistrict and district heads and deputies.
Ahok said he did not want any official to be promoted without his knowledge. 'I will not be reluctant to immediately dismiss them.'
The subdistrict and district officials, already wearing their formal uniforms, were eventually excused from the room, while the remaining approved officials were inaugurated.
Ahok read a list of names in order to ensure that the to-be-sworn-in officials were indeed the ones he had approved.
'I do not want this to happen again. I want to control all officials, even the Echelon IV ones. I do not want to approve recommendations without examining them first.
'This is a mess,' he added after asking the new district and subdistrict heads to raise their hands.
'Subdistrict and district heads will not be inaugurated. I will evaluate their work once again to see whether they need to be changed or not,' he said, confirming that he had not been informed about the appointments and the inaugurations of the subdistrict and district heads.
Faqih, the district secretary of Central Jakarta's Johar Baru who was supposed to be inaugurated as the district deputy head, said he was fine with the cancellation. 'We are only workers. We follow our superior's orders.'
Jakarta Employment Agency (BKD) head Agus Suradika said that he only discussed the inauguration of the Echelon II officials with the governor.
'We had a meeting until 3 a.m. before he got the list of fixed names,' he said, adding that it was drawn up by mayors.
Agus said the appointment of district and subdistrict heads and their subordinates were the result of a domino effect started when a higher position became vacant. 'Therefore, the governor prefers leaving the position empty,' he said.
Jakarta Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat said that the cancellation meant that the reorganization plan was made prematurely.
City Council Speaker Prasetyo Edi Marsudi said the incident was caused by a lack of communication.
It was not the first time Ahok's effort to create good governance has been in danger of being spoiled, allegedly by his subordinates. His administration previously changed its reward system because some civil servants hacked into the fingerprint verification system for attendance to prevent cuts in their allowances.
After Ahok changed the payment system for contracted sanitation workers by wiring the money to their bank accounts, some officials still cut the payment for their own interest by gathering the workers and asking for illegal kickbacks.
Friday's inauguration ceremony saw Meri Ernahani, who previously served as the assistant of the deputy governor for industry and trade, replacing City Inspector Lasro Marbun, who was demoted to become a regular staffer, and Januedi, who served as the secretary of the Indonesian Civil Servants Corps (Korpri) before replacing Regional Environmental Management Agency (BPLHD) head Andi Baso Mappapoleonro, who was also demoted to a regular staff position.
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