Tiarma Siboro and Muninggar Sri Saraswati, The Jakarta Post,
To build an effective government, president-elect Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono is preparing a system that places the presidential and vice
presidential offices and state secretariat under one roof -- literally.
Political expert Andi Mallarangeng said after a closed-door meeting
with Susilo and his team on Monday that the new concept would require
the president and vice president to share the same building.
Since the country's independence in 1945, the president and vice
president have had separate offices located some two kilometers apart.
The separation was said to be necessary because each had his or her own
"The structure (of the presidential office) will more or less be the
same as the current one. But to make it more effective and dynamic,
there will be greater integration," Mallarangeng said.
The presidential office will supply data not only to the president,
but to the vice president and the state secretary, according to
Apart from Mallarangeng, political analyst Denny JA, economists
Muhammad Chatib Basri and Joyo Winoto, Susilo's advisor on religious
affairs Muhammad Fuad and businessman M. Lutfi were among the key
figures invited for consultations at Susilo's home in Bogor.
Earlier in the morning, Susilo held talks with his vice
president-elect Jusuf Kalla and advisors Yusril Ihza Mahendra, who is
the justice and human rights minister, and Adm. (ret) Widodo A.S., a
former Indonesian Military (TNI) chief.
Susilo also invited Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Purnomo
Yusgiantoro to brief the former about the fluctuating world oil prices
and its impact on Indonesia. Purnomo refused to comment on his meeting
"Within the first 100 days in office, Pak Susilo will issue a
policy on fuel prices. The main concern, however, is to keep fuel
supplies secure ahead of Idul Fitri, Christmas and New Year despite the
volatile oil prices," Mallarangeng said.
Beginning on Wednesday, Susilo will start interviewing his
Kalla said the morning meeting focused on three priority programs the
new government would pursue in the first 100 days.
Susilo has called for a smooth transition period, which is to include
the Cabinet formation, putting his programs into action and the revision
of the 2005 budget draft.
Kalla said the next Cabinet would differ from the current one, as it
would consist of 34 ministers, including two new ministries.
He said the office of coordinating minister for political and
security affairs would also handle legal matters, particularly those
involving the eradication of corruption. The office of coordinating
minister for the economy would focus on economic recovery, while the
office of coordinating minister for people's welfare would concentrate
on improvement of national education.
Yusril added that Susilo would revive the state minister of sports
affairs and the ministry of trade, which, since 1998 has been merged
with ministry of industry. The office of the state minister of sports
and youth affairs was given the axe by former president Abdurrahman
Wahid, who served between 1999 and 2001.
Susilo, according to Yusril, would maintain the office of state
minister of state enterprises and the National Intelligence Agency
(BIN), but with some changes.
"The office of the state minister of state enterprises will no longer
control all state companies, which now exceed 200. Several state
enterprises will fall under the supervision of related ministries to
simplify the chain of coordination between them," Yusril said.
As for BIN, Susilo is reviewing the status of its chief, who is
normally accorded a ministerial level rank, Yusril added.
Separately, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) analyst Syamsudin
Harris suggested that the Cabinet comprise just 25 ministers as in the
era of decentralization some of the central government's powers had been
delegated to regional administrations.
He said the central government should focus on international
relations, defense affairs, justice affairs, religious affairs and