The Jakarta Post
A recent survey of business players by Jakarta-based pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia awarded Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati the highest job approval rating of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s Cabinet.
The pollster surveyed respondents by phone between June 29 and July 11, polling 1,176 business actors in nine provinces: North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau, Jakarta, Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java and East Kalimantan.
Some 61 percent of the respondents said the finance minister’s performance had met their expectations.
State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir came in second place with 57.7 percent, followed by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi in third and fourth place, respectively.
Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly scored the lowest of the Cabinet; 32.1 percent of respondents approved of his performance. Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Minister Arifin Tasrif and Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Bahlil Lahadalia polled at 34.5 percent approval.
The pollster’s executive director Burhanuddin Muhtadi said on Thursday that Sri had secured the highest approval rating from the business respondents in several economic sectors, including medium, small, micro and large enterprises, manufacturing, agriculture and transportation and warehousing.
Erick surpassed Sri only in the construction sector, while Prabowo polled higher in the mining sector.
Responding to the survey, presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman said the results were in line with the President’s decision to form a COVID-19 handling and national economic recovery committee.
The committee, responsible for streamlining strategic policies to counter the pandemic, is led by Sri and Erick.
“Hopefully, the trust of businesses can help the committee accomplish its goals, thanks to the ministers’ approval,” said Fadjroel.
However, a separate survey released by Indikator on Tuesday, showed that 64.8 percent of 1,200 general respondents from throughout the country believed that President Jokowi should reshuffle his Cabinet.
Regarding the demand for a reshuffle, Fadjroel said the ministers had responded to Jokowi’s warnings quickly, demonstrated by the increasing ministerial budget disbursement.
“The key word is not ‘reshuffle’, but ‘acceleration’ of budget disbursement. […] That’s what the President is working on, not a reshuffle,” Fadjroel added.
Saan Mustopa, secretary-general of the NasDem Party, a member of Jokowi’s coalition, said he was aware that several Cabinet ministers had not shown their best performances. However, he hoped Jokowi would wait for them to make improvements.
“[The Cabinet reshuffle] can be done, but only when the situation has started to improve,” said Saan.
Mulyadi of the Democratic Party, a party outside the coalition, said the President should not ignore that nearly 65 percent of people wanted him to shake up the Cabinet to give more competent officials a chance during the health emergency.