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Jakarta Post

Amartha CEO steps down as presidential millennial staffer following controversy

  • Ivany Atina Arbi
    Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, April 24, 2020   /   08:26 pm
Amartha CEO steps down as presidential millennial staffer following controversy Andi Taufan Garuda Putra (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Another expert staffer of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, Andi Taufan Garuda Putra, has stepped down from his position following a conflict of interest controversy involving his own company, fintech lending startup PT Amartha Mikro Fintek.

"I've submitted my resignation as a special staffer to the President on April 17, which he has subsequently approved," Andi said in a public statement on Friday.

Andi, who is also Amartha CEO, was recently in hot water after the public and politicians alike criticized him for writing a letter to district heads across the country, asking them to support a coronavirus relief program launched by his company.

The request was printed on a document bearing the cabinet secretary's letterhead.

However, Andi did not mention the controversy in the public statement, instead saying his decision to step down was taken "based on my sincere desire to fully dedicate myself to the economic empowerment of the people, especially the small and micro businesses."

With his resignation, Andi has become the second millennial among Jokowi's special staff to leave the State Palace after being hit by controversy.

His colleague and former presidential aide Adamas Belva Syah Devara, the cofounder of education technology start-up Ruangguru, also announced on Tuesday that he had stepped down from the position.

Belva said he had submitted his resignation letter to Jokowi on April 17.

The Ruangguru CEO experienced a public backlash following the appointment of his company as one of eight government partners in the pre-employment card program, which was launched recently to augment the social safety net during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung separately confirmed Andi's resignation and said the President had accepted it.

"The President appreciates [Andi's] commitment to fully dedicate himself to the economic empowerment of the micro businesses. It's in line with the President's focus," he said.