President of Indonesia
After exerting a strong grip on power after a shaky start, President Jokowi is facing a new challenge with the controversy over blasphemy allegations against his former deputy as Jakarta governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, or Ahok. Handling the situation will be tricky. Jokowi has said the police will handle the case professionally. But if Ahok is found guilty, hard-liners who packed Jakarta on November 4 will seek further victories, and if he is acquitted they will be back on the streets. The president was quick to marshal his forces, holding meetings with members of the country’s mainstream religious organizations and telling the Police and the Armed Forces that their job was to defend the secular icons of Indonesia: Pancasila and Unity in Diversity. He met twice with his opponent in the presidential race, Prabowo Subianto. While hard-liners say Jokowi too should be toppled over the Ahok case, that will not be easy: he still has strong political support and surveys show more than 70% of the people are happy with his government.
Head of Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P)
Megawati has been a major figure on the Indonesian political landscape for the past 30 years. While her own presidency lasted only three years, she has remained an important power broker as uncontested leader of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). Often preferring to remain silent as others chatter around her, she is committed to maintaining Indonesia as a republic with a strong base in Pancasila as an ideology that embraces diversity in race, ethnicity, belief and religion. Amid the controversy over Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, she has stood firm in her conviction that all Indonesians have an equal right to be chosen for public office. Early this year her party successfully launched a move to revive the national guidelines for development (GBHN) as a long-term development program. Her lead saw members of the Peoples’ Consultative Assembly (MPR) conduct many meetings to prepare for the implementation of the GBHN.
Vice President of Indonesia
Jusuf Kalla continues to play a pivotal role in the strategic sectors of infrastructure and energy and frequently represents President Joko Widodo in international forums to expound on Indonesia’s position. He has insisted that the ambitious project to build an additional 35,000 MW of power generation should go ahead and is seen as the champion of the business community within government. In the past he has shown his value as a mediator and was credited with a major role in calming conflict in Central Sulawesi, Maluku and Aceh. More recently he helped bridge differences between factions of Golkar Party – of which he is a former chairman – and the United Development Party (PPP). In recent months he has played a role helping the president to build a strong and harmonious relationship with social and religious leaders to maintain national stability, aware that it is a critical element if economic momentum is to be maintained.
Chairman of People’s Consultative Assembly
As chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN) Zulkifli Hasan has thrown his weight behind the government of Joko Widodo to help realize its plan to build infrastructure and take the country to a new level of development. As Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), he has played a constructive role and is pushing amendments to the Constitution that would incorporate the national development plan guideline (GBHN) in state policy. And on November 5, he turned out early in the morning to meet with protesters who had camped out in front of the parliament’s gates following the mass rally a day earlier over the Jakarta governor blasphemy allegations. He is related through family ties to PAN founder Amien Rais, with his daughter Futri Zulya Safitri married to Amien’s third son Ahmad Mumtaz Rais.
Chairman of Golkar
Setya Novanto can lay claim to being one of Indonesia’s first politicians to develop a relationship with US-president elect Donald Trump. While he was scolded by the parliament for appearing to endorse the Republican Party candidate, his public appearance with the tycoon has now paid off. Setnov, as he’s widely known, has had other brushes with authority, not least when he was allegedly recorded suggesting a handover of shares in the PT Freeport Indonesia mining business. That saw him sacked as Speaker of the House of Representatives, but his position within Golkar Party was so solid that he simply swapped jobs with Ade Komarudin, taking the party chairmanship instead. In that role he changed the course of the party and tied it to the fortunes of President Joko Widodo and then to incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. A successful businessman, Setya has also played a role in national politics for some time. As this magazine was going to print, Setya Novanto has been slated by Golkar to replace Ade Komaruddin as House Speaker.
Senior Golkar Party politician Ade Komarudin made light work of taking the position of Speaker when Setya Novanto fell from grace at the end of 2015. Ade has enjoyed a long career in the party and has won five consecutive terms as a member of the House of Representatives. His deep experience has given him the skills to handle the members of the House, though he has recently complained that far too few are bothering to turn up for commission meetings and plenary sessions. Now 51, the native of Purwakarta in West Java joined the Golkar-linked Indonesia National Youth Committee (KNPI) when he was a student and has spent his life in politics. Akom, as he’s known to his friends, is close to West Java provincial chairman for Golkar Dedy Mulyadi, another rising star in the region’s political landscape. As this magazine was going to print, Golkar has indicated that he would be replaced by Setya Novanto.
Chairman of Greater Indonesia Movement (Gerindra)
While many expected Prabowo to retain hard feelings over the loss of the presidential election in 2014, in fact he has been a model of restraint. The former general is credited with strong leadership abilities and an open and positive attitude. Recently he welcomed President Jokowi at his ranch in Bogor, where a horseback ride provided the perfect photo opportunity. More substantially, they discussed how to deal with the increasing clamor from some Islamic groups. He then visited Jokowi at the State Palace, with the meetings demonstrating Prabowo’s statesmanship and commitment to the nation. Many believe he would like another chance at the presidency in 2019 and is keen to show leadership. With Gerindra and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) making up the opposition at the House of Representatives, his people in the House have been keen to speak out for the public interest. If he does get another chance to contest the presidency, his enhanced status as a national leader would serve him well.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Chairman of Democratic Party
Many fingers have been pointed at the sixth president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, for playing a role in the mass November 4 rally by Islamic hard-liners that shocked the nation. His response was to firmly deny any such role, with his wife Ani jumping to his defense and declaring the allegations to be outrageous. SBY, as the former president is known, has drawn flak for being the first former president to actively criticize current government policy but his role as chairman of the Democratic Party gives him a degree of freedom. He has also pushed his oldest son, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, to abandon his military career and contest the Jakarta governor elections in what many see as an attempt to build a new political dynasty.
Chairman of National Democratic Party
His National Democrat Party (Nasdem) is only a minor player in the political landscape but as chairman Surya Paloh has proved himself as a leading kingmaker in the past few years. He led the way to build a national coalition to support the presidential hopes of Joko Widodo and early this year, when the leading Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) struggled to nominate a strong candidate for the Jakarta governorship, Surya jumped in first to support Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. That saw other parties, including PDI-P and Golkar, decide to follow his lead. As a businessman, Surya’s Indocater catering business is believed to be his major cash cow, but he is best known for his Media Group, publisher of Media Indonesia and owner of the influential Metro TV news channel. He also has interests in energy, property, media and logistics.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs
Retired Gen. Wiranto became coordinating minister in the July cabinet reshuffle, replacing Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, who was posted as coordinating minister for maritime affairs. The former armed forces commander remains a powerful figure in politics as the founder of the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), which played an important role in the coalition led by Megawati Sukarnoputri that brought Joko Widodo to the presidency. Wiranto still commands respect and influence among the nation’s political elite but his international record is tainted by allegations of human rights abuses.
National Police Chief
Gen. Tito Karnavian is the youngest officer to head the National Police and there are hopes he will be able to reform an institution that is one of the least respected by the public. He was chosen to replace Gen. Badrodin Haiti by President Joko Widodo, who passed over many more senior officers, and the nomination was approved unanimously by the House of Representatives. His career in the police force began in 1987 and he spent many years in counter-terrorism operations, heading both Detachment 88 and, briefly, the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT). At Detachment 88, he led many high-profile operations, including against master bombmaker Azahari Husin. He has served as police chief in Papua and Jakarta. Tito has a BA in strategic studies from New Zealand’s Massey University, an MA in police studies from Britain’s University of Exeter, and a PhD in strategic studies from Singapore’s Nanyang University.
Luhut Binsar Panjaitan
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs
Luhut has held key positions in President Jokowi’s administration. The retired general and former trade minister is also a successful businessman, and partnered with Jokowi in a timber business while the president was still a minor figure in the political constellation. With his friend becoming president, he started as head of the presidential office, and was then appointed coordinating minister for politics, security and legal affairs. In August he was given a new post in overall control of the maritime and resources sectors and indeed he had to sit in as minister for energy and mineral resources when Arcandra Tahar was dismissed after only 20 days in office. With a long career in the military, government and business, Luhut has strong ties with high-ranking politicians and business figures that help him smooth the president’s plans, especially to strengthen the maritime sector.
Chairman of KPK
Agus Raharjo is the first person to head the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) without a law enforcement background. Appointed by President Widodo on December 21, 2015 to serve until 2019, he faced a tough job to restore the morale of the agency after a damaging fight with the National Police. With a strong team behind him, he has led many high-profile operations that have landed big fish, restoring the KPK’s credibility. A civil engineering graduate from the Surabaya Institute of Technology (ITS), he planned to become a contractor but instead went to work as a civil servant. He began his career at the National Development Planning Bureau (Bappenas), where he was appointed a director of procedural planning. He went on to head the Center of Policy Development for Goods Creation and Public Service (PPKPBJ) and later became the founding head of the Institution of Goods Creation and Government Services Policy (LKPP).
Armed Forces Commander
Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo is the commander of the Armed Forces (TNI). Born in Tegal, Central Java, on March 13, 1960, Gatot was a 1982 graduate of the Armed Forces Academy. The former Army chief of staff served in the infantry division of the Army Strategic Reserve (Kostrad). Prior to that appointment, Gatot was chief of the Military Education and Training Command (Kodiklat), Kostrad commander, military region command (Kodam) V/Brawijaya commander and Military Academy (Akmil) governor, as well as holding several other strategic military positions. For his 30 years of service to the nation, Gatot was awarded the Bintang Dharma, Bintang Bintang Yudha Dharma Pratama, Bintang Kartika Eka Paksi Pratama, Bintang Yudha Dharma Nararya and Bintang Kartika Eka Paksi Nararya medals of honor. President Joko Widodo on November 9 denied rumors that he intended to replace Gatot as TNI commander.
Coordinating Minister for the Economy
Darmin’s long experience in government handling both monetary and fiscal sectors made him the right choice to coordinate economic policy and the markets applauded his appointment to the ministry. A professor of economics at the University of Indonesia, his first task as minister was to launch a major overhaul of business regulations. He continues to have problems with intransigent bureaucrats who don’t want to lose their comfortable positions but progress has already been achieved. His series of reforms – with 14 detailed packages now released - is credited with improving Indonesia’s status and helping it achieve a jump of 15 places in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index. Darwin and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati play critical roles in the president’s economic development policies.
Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who fell victim to pragmatic politics when she served under the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration, has kept her promise to return home. She left Indonesia in 2010 after a long-running squabble with Aburizal Bakrie over his companies’ taxes and went to the World Bank, where she served as a managing director. Called back to her old job by President Widodo in July, she hit the ground running, helping balance the books. One of her first acts was to order a major reduction in budget expenditure when she saw tax revenue was not going to come anywhere near projections. She has also championed the tax amnesty program and saved the country from a year-end panic to keep the budget deficit below the legal limit. The tax amnesty has some months to run but she has promised to get tough with anyone with assets overseas who doesn’t sign up.
Rini Soemarno, an economics graduate from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, is the powerful Minister of State-Owned Enterprises. She served as minister for industry and trade in the cabinet of Megawati Sukarnoputri from 2001 to 2004. She is one of the few individuals in the current cabinet from professional circles. She spent much of her career at Astra International and rose to become its president director. Her long experience in business and her childhood in the US gave her an international perspective and her capabilities help her negotiate and manage the massive SOE groups, formerly known for their inefficiency and unwillingness to compete in international markets. She is currently being kept busy with plans to create holding companies for major SOE sectors in order to give them more weight in tackling infrastructure projects.
Minister of State Secretariat
An academic concentrating on the field of social sciences, Pratikno is well known for his research in the field of local politics and government networking. Prior to his appointment to the cabinet, he was rector of the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta and the dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. Born in Brojonegoro on February 13, 1962, he earned his bachelor degree in politics and governance from UGM. He went on to earn his masters in development administration at Britain’s University of Birmingham, and his doctorate in Asian Studies at Flinders University in South Australia. A prolific writer during his tenure at UGM, Pratikno is a good communicator and plays an important role in President Joko Widodo’s administration. The position of State Secretary is a critical hub in the mechanism of government.
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister
Ignasius Jonan was a surprise appointment as the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, in an inauguration ceremony conducted at extremely short notice on October 14. The position had been vacant for two months following the discharge of Arcandra Tahar from the position after only 20 days after it was discovered he had dual US and Indonesian nationality. Arcandra was appointed deputy minister at the inauguration in October. Jonan, who was born on June 21, 1963, was removed from the position of minister for transportation in the July reshuffle, but President Jokowi had indicated that he respected his competence. President director of state-owned railway company Kereta Api Indonesia from 2009 to 2014, he graduated in accountancy from Surabaya’s Airlangga University and has a masters degree in international relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School. Jonan was a managing director at Citibank (2006-08) and before that chief executive officer at Bahana Pembinaan Usaha Indonesia, a state-owned investment and trading company.
Budi Karya Sumadi
Budi Karya Sumadi became Transportation Minister in a cabinet reshuffle in July. He replaced Ignasius Jonan, who was recently reinstated in the cabinet as Energy and Mineral Resources Minister. Budi is a 1981 architecture graduate from Gajah Mada University. He has spent most of his career in various development projects. He worked for PT Pembanguan Jaya until 2004 and was appointed president director of PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol Tbk. As president director of PT Jakarta Propertindo, Budi was credited with successfully implementing a number of difficult mega-projects such as the revitalization of the Pluit and Ria-Rio reservoirs and the construction of high-rise people’s housing projects. Before being appointed to the ministry, he oversaw the restructuring of the Angkasa Pura II airport authority, where he was president director.
Thomas Trikasih Lembong
Head of Investment Coordinating Board
Investment banker Thomas Lembong, 45, was initially minister for trade before being shifted to head the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) in July. The man known simply as Tom to his friends was a key member of Jokowi’s transition team and played an integral role in preparing the new administration’s economic programs. As an investment banker, Tom set up private equity business Quvat after spells at international investment banks including Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and at the Indonesia Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA). At IBRA he successfully arranged the sale of Bank Central Asia stakes from the Salim Group to Djarum Group.
Pramono has shown his acumen as a top politician and a strong presence behind President Joko Widodo. His long career in politics and wide-ranging relationships with top-tier politicians give him the capacity to negotiate Jokowi’s interests with the political parties and - most importantly - with mentor and PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri. Now 53, Pramono’s main job to make sure all cabinet members can work together to keep the president’s policies on track. Before entering politics Pramono was active in energy and mining. He is a graduate of the prestigious Institute of Technology Bandung and has a PhD in communications from the University of Padjajaran.
Head of Constitutional Court
An expert in law from Semarang’s Diponegoro University, Arief Hidayat joined the Constitutional Court in 2013 and was chosen to head it on the retirement of Hamdan Zoelva. He was sworn in as chief justice by former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on April 1, 2013 and will hold office until 2017. Now 60, he has worked hard to improve the image of the court, damaged after previous Chief Justice Akil Mochtar was found to have been selling decisions in electoral disputes. Under his leadership, the court has reasserted its position as a voice of reason. Electoral issues still feature strongly in the court’s work, and it spoke out to allow a single pair of candidates to contest an election, stating that not to do so would deny their constitutional rights. The court can expect to have to rule on another flood of complaints immediately after next February’s simultaneous elections.
National Intelligence Chief (BIN)
Budi Gunawan, popularly known as BG, is one of the most controversial characters on the national stage. He made headlines last year when the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) declared him a suspect only days after his nomination as National Police chief. That forced President Widodo to cancel the appointment but BG went on to win a pre-trial hearing, forcing the KPK to drop the charges and he was quietly made deputy chief. He also allegedly launched a war against the leaders of the KPK which saw old charges dragged up against them, forcing them to resign. His close friendship with Megawati Sukarnoputri since his days as her adjutant have served him well, and in September he was appointed to head BIN. Born in Solo, Central Java in December 1059, there is no doubt about the police general’s talents as an office and especially the loyalty of his subordinates in the force.
The former president is one of the most influential figures in the history of modern Indonesia. BJ Habibie is the country’s elder statesman, sharing the wisdom he has achieved in a life dedicated first to technology and then to the wider spectrum of Indonesian life. A keen advocate of developing Indonesia’s place on the world stage, he first made his mark as an aeronautical engineer in Germany. Called back to Indonesia by the late President Suharto to head the push to boost the country’s technological development, he served for many years as minister for research and technology. Chosen by Suharto as his vice president in 1997, he took the presidency on Suharto’s resignation the following year and immediately introduced democratic reforms. One of his major contributions was the creation of press freedom and his decision to allow the people of East Timor.
Coordinating Minister for Welfare
The daughter of Megawati Sukarnoputri, Puan is a talented politician in her own right, having formerly led the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) faction in parliament. She now oversees the ministries working in the fields of healthcare, education, labor and children and women’s affairs. As the granddaughter of the nation’s founding father, Sukarno, she has lived and breathed politics since her childhood. She is expected to follow in her mother’s footsteps as leader of the PDI-P but does not yet possess her mother’s charisma. One of her major initiatives as coordinating minister is the formation of the Healthy Lifestyle Society Movement (Germas), aiming to boost awareness of healthy lifestyle choices. She has worked together with local governments to jump-start the program across the nation.
Muhammad Hatta Ali
Supreme Court Chief Justice
Hatta Ali was inaugurated as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to serve from 2012 to 2017 after serving as the deputy chief justice for supervision, succeeding Harifin A. Tumpa. Hatta has established clarity on the right of plaintiffs to request judicial reviews, limiting them to only a single time. He is credited with carrying out reforms within the Supreme Court and is responsible for the behavior of judges throughout the court system, where much more remains to be done. As an example, the court each year sanctions over 100 judges for disciplinary breaches, though few details are provided. The public continues to believe that the institution remains graft-ridden. is too often an intrinsic part of its operations. The court’s workload remains demanding: each year it hears some 14,000 cases.
Harry Azhar Aziz
Head, State Audit Board (BPK)
There was a degree of controversy when Golkar politician Hary Azhar Aziz was appointed head of the State Audit Board in September 2014, with many arguing that the post should not go to a party loyalist. The agency and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) agreed to disagree this year over the valuation of a piece of land purchased by the Jakarta city government, with the BPK accused of using old figures. Hary himself was the center of a storm when his name emerged on the ‘Panama Papers’ list of Indonesians with offshore companies. Meanwhile the BPK has a heavy workload auditing all public spending. Hary has extensive experience of the national budgeting system and before entering government service he taught economics and business at private universities in Jakarta. Now 60, he once ran unsuccessfully for the governorship of his native Riau. He has a PhD from Oklahoma University.
A native of East Java, Prasetyo is a career prosecutor. He was a member of the House of Representatives for the National Democrats (Nasdem) and his appointment was criticized, with many saying the job should have gone to a non-party figure. One of his toughest jobs is carrying out death penalties by firing squad. He is also tasked to work together with police and the Corruption Eradication Commission in curbing corruption, although critics insist that the AGO is full of corruption itself. Prasetyo was born in Tuban, East Java on May 9, 1947. He is an alumni of Lampung University law school and a recipient of two Satya Lencana Karya Satya medals of honor.
Maritime and Fisheries Minister
One of the most popular figures in cabinet, Susi Pudjiastuti’s blunt tactics have raised the bar for illegal fishing fleets which have been costing the country up to $7 billion in a year in stolen fish. An entrepreneur and a successful businesswoman who founded a fish distribution operation after being forced to drop out of high school because of her political activity, she followed up that success by creating an airline, Susi Air. The most outspoken minister in executing her duties, she has ordered hundreds of foreign fishing vessels to be blown up for poaching in Indonesian waters. She is also striving to boost cold storage facilities along Indonesia’s coastline to empower fishermen, currently among one of the country’s most marginal groups.
Yasonna H. Laoly
Justice and Human Rights Minister
A former lawyer, Yasonna Hamonangan Laoly owes his position mostly to his close relationship with his party leader, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s (PDI-P) Megawati Sukarnoputri. He is one of a handful of key ministers she placed in the Widodo cabinet. He has played a cautious hand at the sensitive ministry but has struggled to deal with the problem of the country’s overcrowded prisons, with no sign of any progress on building new facilities. He has also had to tread carefully in dealing with disputes within Golkar Party and the United Development Party (PPP). The law graduate of North Sumatra University received his masters degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1986 and his doctorate from North Carolina University. A seasoned politician with a lengthy career in the PDI-P, Laoly was born on May 27, 1953.
Muliaman D Hadad
Head, Financial Service Authority (OJK)
A former deputy governor of Bank Indonesia who now serves as the Head Commissioner of OJK, Muliaman Hadad has managed to create a role for the new institution following a separation of powers in tandem with the central bank. He received his degree in economics from the University of Indonesia, and earned a masters degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a doctorate in business and economics from Monash University. A career central banker since 1986, he spent much of his time there focusing on strategic planning and organizational transformation and became the youngest deputy governor at Bank Indonesia. His focus currently is on developing the Indonesian economy by strengthening the financial industry.
Director General of Taxation
Ken Dwijugiasteadi, the Director General of Tax at the Finance Ministry, has successfully implemented the government’s tax amnesty program. He was born in Malang on November 8, 1957 and graduated from Brawijaya University in Surabaya. He then earned a MSc in tax auditing at Opleidings Institute Financien in The Hague, Netherlands. Ken has spent his working life at the tax office and assumed various strategic posts from 1989 until he was inaugurated as tax director general on March 1, 2016. Ken is highly regarded for his dedication and hard work in motivating tax officials to work day and night to make the tax amnesty program a success. By the end of the first phase of the program in September, the tax office has collected Rp97.2 trillion, booked Rp4,500 trillion in declared funds and Rp137 trillion in repatriated funds. Indonesia’s tax amnesty program is considered one of the most successful in the world.
Home Affairs Minister
A veteran politician who spent more than two decades at the House of Representatives (DPR), Tjahjo is an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) stalwart. He is a former House faction leader as well as secretary general of the party. He is a safe pair of hands in the critical position of Home Affairs Minister in the Joko Widodo government, although he has avoided taking on the regions over discriminatory by-laws based on syariah law. In charge of preparations for the simultaneous regional elections in February, he recently called on local leaders to ease religious tensions and curb intolerance. Tjahjo’s jurisdiction covers areas including regional elections, regional autonomy and national politics. The law graduate of Diponegoro University is a close confidant of Megawati Sukarnoputri and a valuable ally to President Joko Widodo.
Retno lacks the charisma of some of her predecessors, preferring to work quietly and professionally in her job of promoting Indonesia to the world stage. Her low-profile role to a degree reflects President Widodo’s concentration on foreign affairs as a means of boosting investment rather than grabbing the spotlight, but as Indonesia’s first female foreign minister her name has become synonymous with an impressive work ethic. Her career in the foreign service has been impressive. She was assigned to serve as ambassador to Norway and then to the Netherlands and during a spell back home she was director general for America and Europe, steering talks on comprehensive partnerships with the US, the European Union, Brazil and others. She is now preparing to tend to the diplomatic connection between Indonesia and the US as president-elect Donald Trump threatens to bring dramatic changes to world political alignments.
Communications and Informatics Minister
Appointed as minister in the Working Cabinet of President Jokowi in 2014, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology has spent most of his career in the telecommunications sector. Born on May 3, 1959, he began his career as general manager of business development at Indosat in 1986, and has held key executive positions at Indosat, Telkomsel and XL Axiata. Rudiantara is known for his strong managerial skills and a good understanding of financial markets. He served as vice president director at state utility PT PLN. He also worked for tycoon Peter Sondakh with both Rajawali Asia Resources and Bukitasam Transpacific Railways. One of his main tasks now is to complete the giant Palapa Ring project, a fiber optic network that will be the backbone of Indonesia’s internet connectivity.
Founder, CT Corp
Briefly the coordinating minister of economics under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Chairul Tanjung is the chairman and founder of CT Corp, where he was given a helping hand by the late Akio Morita, the founder of Sony. He worked with Morita to expand his businesses and acquired several companies that have now been transformed into one of the country’s biggest business empires. Chairul controls the Transcorp media empire that operates free-to-air television networks Trans TV and Trans 7, a pay-TV operation and a growing theme park business, with properties in Bandung and Makassar. Meanwhile Bank Mega is a strong presence in retail banking. The tycoon’s journey through life is set out in his biography Chairul Tanjung Si Anak Singkong – Chairul Tanjung the Cassava Kid - which has gained interest abroad.
Said Aqil Siradj
General chairman, Nahdlatul Ulama
Dr. Said Aqil Siradj is the chairman of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), which controls an expansive network that covers 30 regions, 2,630 representative councils and 37,125 sub-branch representative councils across Indonesia. It is a major contributor to education, with its senior membership nearly all operating religious schools (pesantran), many of which set a high standard. The organization is also active in healthcare and poverty alleviation. Siradj has been a stout defender of tolerance and is actively promoting Islam Nusantara, the term used to describe Indonesia’s traditional form of tolerant Islam. Siradj has also stressed NU’s commitment to the country’s secular founding principles, including the Pancasila ideology.
Haedar Nashir is chairman of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second largest Islamic organization. As chairman of the 30-million-strong group, Haedar has stressed the need for better protection for religious minorities in the country but has also called on minorities to work with the majority. Haedar has stressed that Muhammadiyah will remain politically neutral. His motto at Muhammadiyah is “Not too much talking, lots of working.” For many years a lecturer at the faculty of political sciences of Muhammadyah University in Yogyakarta and now 58, he joined Muhammadiyah in 1983 and has held many posts at the organization. A popular writer, his books focus on Muhammadiyah’s journey to modernization.
PDIP General Secretary
Hasto Kristiyanto is chairwoman Megawati Sukaroputri’s confidant as secretary general of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDI-P). Born in Yogyakarta on July 7, 1968, Hasto is a former member of House of Representatives Commission VII, which oversees trade, industry, investment and cooperatives. He played a leading role in the election of Joko Widodo as president. An engineer, Hasto studied at the technical faculty of Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta, where he was a campus activist. As a member of the House between 2004 and 2009, he refused to support legislation making Batam a free trade zone, which he said was a move that would only benefit big business. Hasto remains a powerful figure within the party.
Governor, Bank Indonesia
Agus Martowardojo has been Governor of Bank Indonesia since May 23, 2013. Born in Amsterdam in 1956, he graduated from the University of Indonesia’s Faculty of Economics, then started work in 1984 as a loan officer at the Jakarta branch of Bank of America. He was CEO of Bank Mandiri, the country’s largest lender, where he won respect by slashing non-performing loans and raising the bank’s international profile. From there, he became minister of finance before being appointed to lead the central bank. He has also led Bank Bumiputera and Bank Ekspor Impor Indonesia. Agus has carefully guarded the central bank’s independence from political pressure and is upbeat about the currency, stating that Bank Indonesia projects a higher exchange rate for the rupiah against the US dollar and that the tax amnesty program will help strengthen the rupiah in 2017.
Ryamizard Ryacudu is the defense minister under President Joko Widodo. Army chief of staff during former President Megawati’s term of office, Ryamizard is a no-nonsense, tough-talking conservative. He joined the Military Academy in 1970 where he was a classmate of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, but while they served together on several occasions he was passed over for the Armed Forces command post when his former classmate replaced Megawati as president. The 65-year-old retired four-star general is married to the daughter of former Vice President and Armed Forces commander Try Sutrisno. Known for his tough demeanor, Ryamizard is a uniting factor within the military as well as a symbol of strong nationalist leadership.
Andi Amran Sulaiman
A native of Bone regency in South Sulawesi, Andi Amran Sulaiman is no stranger to business, agriculture and politics. As a businessman, he operated in nickel and gold mining, sugar factories, oil palm plantations, gas stations, cement distribution and pesticide manufacturing under the Tiran Group. Amran was the coordinator of Joko Widodo’s presidential campaign team of volunteers, and worked with followers from the agriculture sector in eastern Indonesia. He spearheaded the “no rice import” policy, a move supported by President Jokowi and a symbolic target of rice self-sufficiency. Amran follows the president’s style of blusukan – getting out among the people. He likes to be among farmers out in the fields and makes quick decisions in line with the government’s vision to transform agriculture and promote farmers’ welfare.
Head of National Development Planning Board (Bappenas)
Bambang was President Joko Widodo’s first choice as finance minister, serving until last July when he was moved sideways and replaced by Sri Mulyani Indrawati. He in turn pushed Sofyan Djalil out of the Bappenas post to the National Land Agency (BPN). As head of Bappenas Bambang has been given authority to reinforce the organization to play a wider role in national development planning. He joined the Finance Ministry in 2011 as the director of Islamic banking development and then as fiscal analysis unit head. Born into a family with a strong academic background, his father the late Sumantri Brodjonegoro was a professor at the University of Indonesia and education minister in the early 1970s. Grandfather R. Soetodjo Brodjonegoro was a professor at the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta.
Hary Tanoe, as he is commonly known, is a prominent businessman who transformed his operation from a simple securities company to become the MNC Group, with assets across media, insurance, banking, property, energy and mining. Alliances with Surya Paloh at the National Democrats and Wiranto at the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura) were short-lived and he has now formed United Indonesia (Perindo), which has become a political party with chapters all over Indonesia. Born in 1965, Hary holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Carleton University in Canada and an MBA from Ottawa University.
Nila F Moeloek
Before being appointed to the cabinet Nila Djuwita F. Moeloek was a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Indonesia, where she began work in 1980. She was Indonesia’s special envoy for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) between 2009 and 2014, seeking ways to overcome universal issues such as poverty, infant mortality and gender equality. Nila, a respected health activist, has been pushing for clean governance at the health ministry. She graduated as a medical doctor in 1968 and specialized in the field of ophthalmology. Born in Jakarta on April 11, 1949, Nila is married to Farid Anfasa Moeloek, the health minister under President BJ Habibie.
Hariyadi Budi Santoso Sukamdani, who operates in hotels, textile and media industries, is chairman of influential business lobby Apindo. He has also served as deputy chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), where he dealt with issues including wages, monetary, fiscal and public policy. Hariyadi has pledged to make Apindo a solid partner for the government by providing input and recommendations on behalf of the business community. Hariyadi is president director at Hotel Sahid Jaya International, a hotel chain founded by his father, Sukamdani Sahid Gitosardjono.
Founder, Djarum Group
Along with his brother Michael, Budi is considered Indonesia’s richest man, with the power to move and shake Indonesia’s economy and business world through his Bank Central Asia (BCA), the country’s biggest private bank and the second biggest lender in Indonesia. BCA is pushing ahead with new strategies in areas such as branchless banking, creating a system of basic banking services via cell phone. Budi, 76, and the family built their fortune in the country’s third-largest cigarette company, producer of the Djarum brand. As an employment-heavy industry, cigarettes are unpopular with many but a major taxpayer. With information technology becoming the backbone of modern business operations, the family has set up a venture capital program to promote starts-ups in e-commerce with brands such as Blibli.com. The Djarum Foundation helps to promote Indonesia’s culture and has planted thousands of trees throughout Indonesia to nurture the planet.
Chairman Salim Group
As the head of one of Indonesia’s biggest business conglomerates, Anthoni Salim is undoubtedly a man of influence. Through his Salim Group and First Pacific enterprises, Anthoni’s empire spans Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Brazil and Africa. His interests range the value chain from plantations to fast-moving consumer goods, as well as automotives and property and, in the Philippines, telecommunications. The prime asset in Indonesia is Indofood Sukses Makmur, one of the world’s biggest instant noodle producers, and its unit Bogasari, which operates the country’s biggest flour-milling operation. Anthoni, 66, is credited with successful restructuring of the sprawling group after the fall from power of its early patron, the late President Suharto.
Chairman Sinar Mas Group
Franky Widjaja and his relatives control the diversified Sinar Mas Group, founded by father Eka Tjipta Widjaja. Franky runs several Sinar Mas companies, including Jakarta-listed plantation company Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology and Singapore-listed Golden Agri-Resources. He holds a key position as executive chairman of Sinarmas Land, the property arm, which in turn controls leading developer Bumi Serpong Damai. Franky expanded to Liberia through the Verdant Fund, a private investment company. Franky has delegated management of the businesses and now focuses more on food security, spending more time at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin), where he heads the food security compartment.