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Jakarta Post

Jokowi's millennial staffer, Ruangguru CEO resigns from State Palace

  • Ivany Atina Arbi
    Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 21, 2020   /   09:05 pm
Jokowi's millennial staffer, Ruangguru CEO resigns from State Palace Adamas Belva Syah Devara. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Adamas Belva Syah Devara, the co-founder of education technology start-up Ruangguru, has stepped down from his position as an expert staffer for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo following a controversy surrounding his company’s appointment to help carry out the government's pre-employment card program.

He informed the public of his resignation through a post on his official Instagram account, @belvadelvara, on Tuesday.

"I submitted my letter of resignation to the President on April 17," Belva said.

"I made this hard decision to avoid prolonged polemics that could eventually break the President's focus in handling the COVID-19 pandemic," he added.

Belva experienced public backlash following the appointment of Ruangguru as one of eight government partners in the pre-employment card program, which was launched last week to augment the social safety net during the public health crisis.

Read also: Another day, another blunder: Jokowi's millennial staff mired in controversy

Critics accused him of having a conflict of interest as a result of his double role in public service and private interests – as the education company’s CEO.

He denied the accusations against him in his Instagram post on Tuesday.

Belva was one of seven millennials appointed by Jokowi as expert presidential staff members in November of last year.

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung confirmed Belva's resignation and said that the President had "accepted" it.

Pramono said the involvement of Ruangguru in the pre-employment card program “had already followed the rules".

"There's no conflict of interest in this matter," Pramono said.

The pre-employment card program, which was launched on Saturday, offers social aid similar to unemployment benefits. Its funds total Rp 20 trillion (US$1.27 billion).