RSIS-Brookings-KADIN Distinguished Public Lecture by General (Ret.) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Republic of Indonesia
President Joko Widodo’s First Year in Office: An Assessment
The election of former furniture entrepreneur Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as Indonesia’s seventh president in October 2014 represented a watershed moment in Indonesia’s democracy. His rise to power in particular was largely the work of grassroots and volunteers, boosted by the ubiquitous social media presence. Under his mandate, Jokowi pledged for a return to sovereignty, a stronger economy and a vision to transform Indonesia into a Global Maritime Fulcrum.
His early attempts at fulfilling these promises were marked with challenges. He had in place a strong opposition coalition and had to negotiate with various interests within his own coalition. Domestically, he had to contend with an outbreak of differences between the Indonesian Police and the Corruption Eradication Commission. As Indonesia’s economy tumbled under the global economic climate, Jokowi was posed with a new challenge of improving the investment climate in Indonesia. Sovereignty policies did well to protect the interests of Indonesia’s fishing economy. However they also led to a temporary decline in relations with Australia and other western countries over the issue of the death penalty. In the meantime, Jokowi engineered a reshuffle of his cabinet.
Almost one year into his office, how should one assess the Jokowi Administration? What is the state of his vision of Indonesia as a Global Maritime Fulcrum and a Middle Power? Going forward, how is Jokowi seeking to improve the economy, address recent concerns over the haze issue whilst fostering Indonesia’s rise in the region and the international arena?
We are privileged to welcome General (Ret.) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia to share his thoughts and assessment regarding President Jokowi’s performance during his first year in office.
About the Speaker:
General (Ret.) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan is currently Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. Prior to his present appointment, he was the Presidential Chief of Staff and a former ambassador of Indonesia to Singapore in 1999-2000. He was appointed as Minister of Trade and Industry during the Abdurrahman Wahid administration. General Luhut had served over the course of thirty years in the Army Special Forces before his retirement from the military. He was also the first commander of the Kopassus (Special Forces) Counter-Terrorism 81 Detachment.
General Luhut Pandjaitan holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from George Washington University, Washington DC, USA. He received the Adhi Makayasa award as best graduate from the military academy (Akabri) under the army category in 1970. General Luhut is also active in various philanthropic activities. He established the DEL foundation with his wife in North Sumatra in 2001 – a non-profit organization that focuses on education.
This Lecture is supported by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN).