Jokowi open to cabinet suggestions-- even online

Online poll lets regular people vote for potential cabinet members and share opinions directly with the president-elect.

By Andhika Bhakti for Khabar Southeast Asia in Jakarta

August 02, 2014
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To help ordinary Indonesians have a voice in his cabinet selections, President-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is turning to social media.

  •  A Jakarta resident visits social networking sites on her mobile phone. Young Indonesians are responding enthusiastically to an online poll allowing them to vote for members of President-elect Joko Widodo's cabinet. [Bay Ismoyo/AFP]

    A Jakarta resident visits social networking sites on her mobile phone. Young Indonesians are responding enthusiastically to an online poll allowing them to vote for members of President-elect Joko Widodo's cabinet. [Bay Ismoyo/AFP]

The idea to solicit public opinion via an online poll came from campaign volunteers like Jakarta resident Pramono Hadi Wibowo.

"We have a larger population of internet users, including those on social media . At least 70 million Indonesians are on social media," he told Khabar South Asia. "It is also practical and more efficient to learn people’s opinions."

The poll, "People's Choice for an Alternative Cabinet", is available via Jokowi's Twitter account () and on hisFacebookpage. Jokowi is scheduled to be sworn in October 20th as Indonesia's seventh president .

University of Indonesia student Indira Sulistyo is one of 85,000 people who participated in the poll as of Friday (August 1st).

"I thought it is an interesting approach and easy to adopt," she told Khabar.

University of Indonesia graduate student Rukwianti Sari was more enthusiastic.

"I think this is a great idea. He can get closer to the people and listen to what we want. In this case, social media can bring people's voices to the front," she told Khabar.

"It is embracing our democracy. It allows us to give more opportunities for voices to be heard. For example, as a student, I can share with Jokowi who I think would be good for the position of Indonesian Minister of Education."

The poll, listing three candidates for each cabinet position and with space for write-ins, includes names of public figures from different backgrounds, including academics, current ministers and politicians from Jokowi's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) party.

People's Conscience Party (Hanura) chairman Wiranto said the online poll is not only an opportunity to identify potential cabinet members, but also a good way to open dialogue and address public concerns.

"It is a good virtual public space. I am sure with this system people can be more open to express their ideas," he told Khabar.

Pratikno , a Gadjah Mada University government studies professor in Yogyakarta,said Jokowi's strategy is brilliant.

"With this poll, he actually can communicate and consult with his constituents. It is a good practice for democracy," Pratikno told Khabar. "Jokowi may also go deeper with this method. He has an opportunity to discuss with the public what the ideal criteria for each position are."

Reader Comments
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    • leo Simaremare
      August 25, 2014 @ 03:08:37AM
    • In my opinion, to this day the country of Indonesia has remained safe and has advanced. This can be seen and felt by the people. A simple example is the fact that the people can still go to school. So, when we get a president, let him work according to his style and choose outstandingly intelligent and wise ministers (honesty is nothing if their intelligence is average) with the general message that the people's prosperity become a priority.
    • martinus sundaru
      August 18, 2014 @ 05:08:12AM
    • As Mr. Pratikno commented, the steps taken by Mr. Jokowi are brilliant but from the news we realize, it is still difficult because there are still many politicians left over from the new order and rotten politicians who are after the power/office, even many party figures and leaders are committing corruption.
    • daddy
      August 15, 2014 @ 06:08:01AM
    • Over the top, just seeking a good image.
    • Johni Mardi
      August 7, 2014 @ 12:08:35AM
    • The first requirement, "Honesty", is the priority.
    • ichwan
      August 6, 2014 @ 01:08:59AM
    • Never elect a minister who has their mind on furthering projects for colleagues and family. There are still many honest Indonesians who are willing to work hard.
    • adya suherman
      August 5, 2014 @ 09:08:15AM
    • When the president is willing to listen directly to the opinions of his people through social media, then the word of the people will not be manipulated but the question is: which people?
    • zeno ari TP
      August 4, 2014 @ 02:08:28AM
    • Don't forget, sir, your cabinet must be clean, work for the country. The Corruption, Collusion and Nepotism must be discarded completely, your ministers must be smart, not the types who want to be served and conforming to protocol. They should conduct impromptu inspections and willing to receive advice from their subordinates and provide their cellphone numbers.
    • aminay
      August 2, 2014 @ 12:08:46AM
    • should avoid corrupt people, should consider professional more than bad politician

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