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Jakarta Post

OJK’s new faces should boost growth, fair game in financial sector

  • Grace D. Amianti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, June 4, 2017   /   06:24 pm
OJK’s new faces should boost growth, fair game in financial sector The logo of Financial Services Authority (OJK) is seen at its headquarters in Jakarta. (Kontan/.)

As the screenings of candidates for the Financial Services Authority’s (OJK) new board of commissioners takes place this week, lawmakers are tasked with finding the best figures to lead the superbody.

From Monday to Thursday, lawmakers from House of Representatives Commission XI—which supervises the fiscal and financial sectors—will grill the candidates regarding their proposed programs for the 2017-2022 period.

Prior to Monday’s test, the lawmakers held a series of hearings with experts, bankers and financial sector players as well as state agencies such as the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK).

(Read also: Jokowi nominates 14 OJK commissioner candidates)

“We need to ensure the candidates fully comprehend how the [financial] industry works, not just in theory, but also in practice. They should improve regulations deemed burdensome to the industry,” said Melchias Markus Mekeng, Commission XI chairman who was cut from the OJK selection.

Experts and financial industry players have raised concerns over the lack of practitioners among the candidates.

The committee—headed by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati—had nearly cut all incumbents on the OJK’s current board of commissioners and left only Nurhaida, the capital market supervision commissioner, on the final list of 14 candidates.

Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) director Enny Sri Hartati questioned the committee’s decision to keep Nurhaida, citing Nurhaida’s lack of achievements in the capital market.

She attributed her view to the number of listed companies on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) that was still below those in neighboring countries.

There were 537 listed firms on the IDX last year, while there were more than 900 firms in Malaysia.

Enny argued that despite being in line with the procedures stipulated in the OJK Law, the selection process was still similar to an open vacancy for job seekers.

The OJK has nine commissioners, seven of whom will be selected by the House from the existing candidate list, which President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo endorses.

The committee has selected two candidates for each post and they are mostly officials from the central bank, the OJK and the Finance Ministry.

The other two commissioners are representatives of Bank Indonesia (BI) and the Finance Ministry, thus their appointments are excluded from the ongoing process.

The process began in February and initially attracted 882 applicants. There were four stages of assessments based on, among others, public insight, track records, academic papers and interviews.

Even though the candidate list is dominated by bureaucrats, there is one banking figure vying for the OJK’s chairmanship, namely former National Banks Association (Perbanas) chairman Sigit Pramono.

Sigit, a career banker, used to serve as state-owned lender Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) president director from 2003 to 2008.

On her part, Sri Mulyani insisted that the committee had chosen the best candidates with adequate competency, integrity and leadership from the available applicants.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Listed Companies Association (AEI) is apparently unhappy about the OJK’s fee collection policy and wants to see changes.

“The OJK collects fees from both listed and non-listed banks. However, in other sectors, such as property and cement, it only collects fees from listed companies, yet the non-listed ones are free from that. Is that fair?” AEI chairman Franky Welirang said.