Presiden Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo delivers a speech at the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) after his second-term inauguration on Sunday. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Jokowi Rings Changes in Cabinet Portfolios

BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO, MARKUS JUNIANTO SIHALOHO

OCTOBER 22, 2019

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has decided to make changes in his cabinet portfolios that will affect at least four ministries, House of Representatives, or DPR, Speaker Puan Maharani said on Monday.

The president informed the House of the changes during a consultation in Jakarta on Monday.

"He told us there will be changes in four portfolios in the cabinet," Puan said.

The Research, Technology and Higher Education Ministry will be transformed into the Research and Technology Agency. Its higher education division will be merged into the Education and Culture Ministry, she said.

The Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs will carry another function to deal with investment. 

"And another thing, the Creative Economy Agency [Bekraf] will be absorbed into the Tourism Ministry," Puan said.

The former Coordinating Minister for Culture and Human Development said the portfolio changes did not mean a major overhaul of the cabinet since no ministry will be disbanded. What the president does is merge the functions of some ministries with another, she said.

"The DPR agrees in principle [with the president's proposal]. [The changes] have been mutually decided, so there's no problem on our part," she said.

Members of the House will be notified officially of the changes as soon as possible, Puan said.

Ali Mochtar Ngabalin, a former advisor of the president, said on Monday several other ministries will also see changes in their structure and functions.

The Environment and Forestry Ministry will only handle environmental issues from now on. The management of the country's forests will be handed to the Land Reform Ministry, he said.

The upcoming cabinet will also have a new Investment Ministry, an upgraded version of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), according to the Golkar politician.

Ali's claims could not be immediately verified as Jokowi was still busy selecting members of his new cabinet yesterday.

The president has delayed the announcement of the new cabinet from his initial promise of Monday

Three ministries – Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Defense – will not undergo changes since their functions are directly regulated by the 1945 Constitution.

The current 2014-2019 cabinet has 34 ministers.

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