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Jakarta Post

Viktor Laiskodat returns to Jakarta amid rumors over Cabinet position

  • Djemi Amnifu

    The Jakarta Post

Kupang   /   Sat, October 19, 2019   /   06:01 pm
Viktor Laiskodat returns to Jakarta amid rumors over Cabinet position East Nusa Tenggara Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat (left) poses with deputy Josef Nae Soi after their inauguration at the State Palace in Jakarta on Sept. 5, 2018. (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)

East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat has bid farewell to residents of the province and arrived in Jakarta amid rumors that he would be given a ministerial position in the second-term Cabinet of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.   

The NasDem politician, who conceded that he had received a phone call from the President, is rumored to replace Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, who is also from NasDem.

“I say goodbye now because the President has ordered me to return to Jakarta. Who knows, tomorrow I’ll be in Jakarta and I may not return [to NTT],” Viktor said in front of thousands of people at an event at the Golkar Party headquarters in NTT on Thursday.

Viktor said he could not refuse the President’s order but did not elaborate on what the two had discussed on the phone.

“Today I am a governor, I am owned by the state. Therefore, I cannot refuse an order,” he said, adding that he hoped the public would not see him as a leader only looking for a political position.

“Perhaps God will give me a greater task to serve more people.”

Viktor also said that if he was given the option, he would choose to keep his position as NTT governor over being a minister because he still wanted to do more for the province.

“God knows I love NTT. So, if I had to choose between being [a minister] or a governor, it is a no-brainer; I would rather stay and remain a governor,” he said, adding that he would declare his decision at the Cabinet announcement. (gis)