Jakarta Welcome New Governor

Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – President Joko Widodo officially inaugurated Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno as the new Jakarta Governor and Vice Governor at the State Palace on Monday (16/10).

Anies and Sandiaga won a landslide victory in the April 19, 2017 gubernatorial election, against incumbents Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama and Djarot Saiful Hidayat. The latter took over the position from Ahok on June 15, 2017 shortly after Ahok was sent to jail for Blasphemy charges.

The winning pair of Baswedan-Uno is backed by the Gerindra Party and Harry Tanoe’s United Indoensia Party (Perindo). They assumed their new duties in the capital from different backgrounds.

Baswedan is an Indonesian academician and the former Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia. He was Rector of Paramadina University in Jakarta, Indonesia when appointed by President Widodo for the position.

Meanwhile Uno is a businessman, investor and without doubt one of Indonesia’s richest man, best-known as an owner of Indonesia investment company Saratoga Capital. His mother, Mien Rachman Uno, is a popular businesswoman and his grandfather Razif Halik Uno, worked for oil company Caltex.

In mid-2015, Uno decided to leave the business world, entering politics. In the period from April to July 2015, he officially resigned from various positions from 16 subsidiaries of Saratoga and Recapital.

Many in Jakarta have high expectations that the Baswedan-Uno duo will be able to achieve even more than the widely praised performance of Ahok and Djarot, and also the achievements of Ahok’s predecessor Joko Widodo, who served as Jakarta governor prior to being elected Indonesia’s President.

Regarding this, Vice President Jusuf Kalla has special advice for Baswedan-Uno: they must adopt a ‘firmer’ leadership style because the people of Jakarta are hard to manage and quite heterogeneous.

“They have to adopt firmer attitudes. If not, it will not be that easy for them to solve complicated problems. But, I believe they can do it,” the Vice President told reporters in London shortly before flying home on Saturday (14/10) as reported by Antara Agency.

Jakarta is a city under pressure, with its infrastructure unable to cope with the growing population. The city has been accused of having the worst traffic congestion in the world, according to a new study, while Surabaya — Indonesia’s second-biggest city — has been ranked fourth among 78 international cities and regions.

The city of 12 million people also faces several problems of poverty and income inequality that is in the spotlight of the world.

Based on data from the Statistics Indonesia, economic growth in Jakarta (year on year) in the second quarter reached 5.96 percent. This figure is higher than that of the national economy, which only grew 5.01 percent until the first half of 2017.

Nevertheless, the level of income inequality, as measured by the gini ratio until March 2017, stood at 0.41. This number increased by 0.01 points when compared with the gini ratio in September 2016 of 0.40. BPS data also shows that the Jakarta gini ratio is still higher than the national average of 0.393.

To slash the poverty level, the pair initiated One District One Center of Entrepreneurship (OK OCE), which has become one of their priority programs to enhance the capital city region’s economy.

OK OCE is designed to create 200,000 new entrepreneurs. As of May, Uno said, it already had 15,000 members who would receive training in centers in 44 subdistricts.

They also pledged to make homeownership in Jakarta more accessible for low-income society by offering 0 percent down payment mortgages.

Chairman of The Employers’ Association of Indonesia Haryadi Sukamdani expects the two can continue the good programs put in motion during Ahok-Djarot’s leadership. However, there are several things that need improvement for the business world of Jakarta.

“The two have to empower the business world better by holding more to the private sector. The domination of SOEs that had occurred in the Ahok-Djarot’s era is expected to decrease,” he said to TheInsiderStories, Monday (16/10).

Writing by Elisa Valenta, Email: elisa.valenta@theinsiderstories.com