Boediono as Vice President

May 14th, 2009, in News, by

BI governor Boediono for vice president, whether a neo-liberal and not religious enough.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appears certain to name current Governor of Bank Indonesia, Boediono, or Budiono, as his running mate for the 2009 presidential elections on July 8th.

Prof. Dr. Boediono was born in Blitar, East Java, in 1943 and is the current Governor of the Central Bank of Indonesia (BI), and a former coordinating minister for Economic Affairs under president Yudhoyono, Finance minister under Megawati, and Planning minister under BJ Habibie.

He took a Bachelor of Economics and a Master of Economics from Australian universities and thereafter obtained a doctorate from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Boediono

He is married to Herawati, and they have two children, Ratriana Ekarini and Dios Kurniawan.

Some of the opposition voiced to his candidacy:

Not Islamic

While Boediono's religion is listed as Islam he is not known for being active in Islamic religious organisations, and some claim that he is a devotee of Javanese animism or spiritualism (kejawen).

The Muslim based parties which had been lining up to offer their own candidate for vice-president are unhappy with the choice of Boediono. The National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa, PKB), United Development Party (Partai Persatuan Pembangunan, PPP), National Mandate Party (Partai Amanat Nasional, PAN) and Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, PKS) are considering their options as to whether to remain in proto-coalition with SBY's Partai Demokrat.

PKS president Tifatul Sembiring said

Boediono does not represent the Muslim community.

Tifatul said the president-vice president combination had to be balanced between these four factors:

  • civilian and military
  • Javanese and non Javanese
  • old and young
  • Islamic and non Islamic

The Yudhoyono-Boediono pairing failed on most counts, he implied. kompas

Neo-Liberal

While Djoko Susilo from PAN, among many others, made accusations that Boediono was a "neo-liberal" in terms of his economic philosophy, and jakartapost

We are suspicious of possible American interference behind the decision [to choose Boediono].


89 Comments on “Boediono as Vice President”

  1. avatar Astrajingga says:

    Yes, Budiono is graduated from university in US. It sure made him interfered by American like Chomsky, Naomi Klein, or even Obama herself. Michelle Obama, not the Mr.

    Can anyone tell me more how neo-liberal Boediono was or is or will be? I’m eager to know, because I think we all agree that neo-liberalism is the greatest danger on earth–after the collapse of communism.

  2. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Dear Astrajingga,

    Can you define neo-liberalism in terms of economics ?

    In fact, can you define, current account, capital account, balance of payments, the role of monetary policy, fiscal policy, pros and cons on use of either to foster expansion of GDP ?

    Can you do all of that without hitting Wikipedia or the Internet ?

    If not, just stick to kejawen.

  3. avatar janma says:

    Firstly, the position of Vice President isn’t even that important… (at least not until Yusuf Kalla had to take it into the lime light..) They only help the president, that’s their function right….
    secondly, PKS said only a week ago that the main issue with their coalition with PD was the platform, and that SBY could choose his running mate, and that was up to him. Sekarang mala jilat ludah sendiri….! nyebelin!
    thirdly, how in any way is Islam under represented in Indonesia for godsakes!

  4. avatar Q says:

    There seems to be a lot of talk about neo-liberalism lately and how it is bad for Indonesia … I don’t quite get it, what is the alternative? State-control USSR style? Ottoman-empire caliphate style? Are there any respectable economist in Indonesia who does not support free-market policy?

    It’s always the same story with Indonesia, you have `important’ people saying “IT’S BAD”, so everyone thinks it’s bad, but no one actually know what it is.

    On Boediono …

    I also read somewhere that one objection against Boediono is that his wife doesn’t wear hijab (neither does SBY’s). I think another objection was that Boediono is not a politician — to me that means he is someone who actually does things, instead of just talking about doing things.

    I personally think it is an incredibly good move by SBY. I would love to see Sri Mulyani as VP, just so she can shut down people like Bakrie — I hope Boediono will do this.

    In one stroke SBY moves closer to the nationalists, entices the west (and more importantly their money), and shows his middle finger at all the islamists parties. I love it.

  5. avatar janma says:

    There seems to be a lot of talk about neo-liberalism lately and how it is bad for Indonesia … I don’t quite get it, what is the alternative? State-control USSR style? Ottoman-empire caliphate style?

    uuhhh… you forgot islamic sharia state…. I think that’s more what they have in mind… ala afghanistan!

  6. avatar Lairedion says:

    It’s just sour grapes from the PKS, PAN etc.

    The results have made it clear Indonesia wants the secular nationalists to run the country, SBY is just listening to those wishes.

    Good move although I also would have preferred Sri Mulyani Indrawati.

  7. avatar Astrajingga says:

    Can I do it without wikipedia?

    Sure, there’re a lot of books about it.

    But don’t we–Indonesian–always have kejawen style governance since Majapahit & Mataram? I think that’s also another option Q forgot to mention.

  8. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    @ Astrajingga,

    This stuff’s important. A lot of poor people in this country. If you can’t mention the basics of economics, how can you know the difference between ekonomi liberal and other kinds ?

    The whole ekonomi liberal debate is a bit depressing and demeaning. It’s so stupid.

    @ Ibu Janma Yth.,

    Well the office changed under Jusuf Kalla. We’ll see if it goes back to the neutered version or not. Have to ask, though, why would you put a capable executive like Boediono in a neutered position, when good people are scarce ?

  9. avatar janma says:

    why would you put a capable executive like Boediono in a neutered position, when good people are scarce ?

    Maybe because the most important function of the vice president is to support the president, and maybe SBY feels he needs support in the areas that Boediono is adept in?
    I just watched the news where Prabowo is saying that if he runs as wapres then the position of wapres has to be broadened something like a prime minister….. I find that man unbelievable…. is he really popular? it can’t be that people would support a man that is so obviously ravenous for power, his every move is indicative of his grasping, meglamaniacal nature. (boy I found that paragraph hard to write in English!)

  10. avatar fullmoonflower says:

    I will choose them at July 9th… 🙂

  11. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ibu Janma Yth.,

    Maybe because the most important function of the vice president is to support the president, and maybe SBY feels he needs support in the areas that Boediono is adept in?

    Hence the need not to neuter the supporter ??

  12. avatar janma says:

    I’m not quite getting your meaning…. I don’t think that it’s ‘neutered’ position unless you are a power hungry and grasping individual, like some whom I need not name.

    At at this point in time all of these ‘smaller parties’ are ‘lagi kebakaran jenggot’, they’ll try for anything to get their hand in the pie, be it cabinet posts, chairs or as vice president…. then they’ll try to increase their influence in that position… an example is Prabowo saying the vice president should have more power…

    In normal circumstances, the post of vice president, is usually viewed as a somewhat background role… (and indeed before amien rais, it was) but if you think of the role of vice president simply as one of aiding the president get his job done. it’s about focusing on the issues that need to be focused on in Indonesia, not about grasping for power.

    The whole idea of a president having a vice president from a different party with a totally different platform is a bit strange if you ask me… He doesn’t need someone as vice president who will be constantly manourvering for his own or his parties interests. Rather, he needs someone to back him, advise him and help him to do his job.

  13. avatar Odinius says:

    Ahmad S said:

    This stuff’s important. A lot of poor people in this country. If you can’t mention the basics of economics, how can you know the difference between ekonomi liberal and other kinds ?

    The whole ekonomi liberal debate is a bit depressing and demeaning. It’s so stupid.

    Agree. Besides, Indonesia already has a liberalization program, and has had it for years. Boediono doesn’t really change that.

    Better than Suharto-era corporatism and crony-capitalism, innit.

    But stepping back to the religion bit…how great is it that SBY could have a powerful secular ally and not have to rely on these smarmy, goat-beards?

  14. avatar Chris Komari says:

    I was over 1 month staying in Indonesia prior, during and after the general election on April 9th, 2009. I had great opportunity to experience first hand about Indonesian Democracy by engaging direct discussion with ordinary Indonesian voters on the ground prior, during and after the lection. During that time, I had the opportunity to flip channels; Indonesian TV channels from several TV Station to watch closely any political debates there inside Indonesia as well as reading several local Newspapers in Jakarta, Surabaya , Malang and some other small cities wherever I traveled by car .

    It was very interesting for me to note the substance of their public debates, which was very pointless to the interest of millions ordinary Indonesians who was supposed to be the central issue of any election campaign in Indonesia. I remembered the debate between Golkar and PKS representatives. Did you know what the topic was?

    Why Golkar being a big political party did not have the courage to come up with their own CAPRES? Who cares? That is up to Golkar to do that and it was not the issue for the people. I understand, however, that at that point, PKS was gauging their option to make a joint coalition between choosing Golkar or Democrat Party. It was a political move by PKS.

    Then the preliminary debates between and amongst several of the Presidential candidates. The substance of the debates and even the questions presented by the moderators were very substanceless to the interest of the millions ordinary Indonesian citizen who are now living under poverty. It does not surprise me that during the last election there were a very substantial number of Indonesian people; I believe around 30% or more whose chose to be GOLPUT (Golongan putih or, do not care to cast their vote).

    GOLPUT to me is more of golongan putus asa. Because it is undeniable fact up to today that regardless who is going to be the new chief in town, it does not benefit them; it does not change the condition the ground; it does not change their life, pain and sufferring. Democracy in Indonesia is a democracy that money can buy; that money plays a major direct role; more like merchandise trade deal in context of democracy enterprise for those who have money and access will have more leverage to buy votes and the having more changes to win in the general election.

    Party Democrat just won the general election and now SBY seems unbeatable in the upcoming Presidential election in July 2009 due to lack of other options. But look at his records.

    During his 5 years in office, Indonesia massive domestic and foreign debts are getting bigger and bigger as big as the mount of Hilmalaya if not bigger as far as the pacific acean that eyes can see. What is $144 billion US dollar can do for Indonesian? He claims of paying off the debt with IMF for $7.6 billion, which is true. But in doing so, he had to raise funds domestically through issuing BOND called Surat Utang Negara or SUN for over $17 billion creating much more domestic debts on top of other billions foreign debts. During the old regime Order Baru, the government was like robbing PAUL to pay Peter. Now during SBY administration, he just likes robbing “ACHONG” to pay hutang ASING (foreign debts). He claims this as an accomplishment..???

    The size of Indonesian government during this era of reformation and under his administration is getting bigger and bigger. As a result for the last 5 years, average of 65& to 70% of SBY APBN was spent to pay the central government. Look at his latest 2007/2008/2009 APBN spreadsheet. central Government spending is getting beigger and so Indonesia’s massive debts!

    On corruption efforts, another claim he continues to make. KPK can prosecute and hunt down those who commit this crime but unless the underlying issue of corruption is addressed and resolved, this corruption will keep popping up, just like patching a flat tire but the roads that are full of nails are left alone unresolved. It is just matter of time that those tires will flat again. To keep patching those flat tires are unwise policy. The underlying issue must also be remedied. But that is what SBY is doing. The list goes on.

    I have to be fair, SBY has done a lot of things tring to fix the country. He has accomplished something but if we look at the critical issues facing INDONESIA at this critical time, what he has accomplished during his 5 years in office is too insignificant to make a dramatic change to the millions life of Indonesian people. many major and critical issues facing Indonesia and its millions people are left unresolved and untouched.

    Let me post 4 questions that you and I need to confront President SBY:

    * What has he done to balance his budget during his 5 years in office?

    * What has he done to reduce or eliminate Indonesia’s massive Domestic and Foreign Debts?

    * What has he done to reduce the central government spending and allocate more APBN funds to the regional governments to support his regional autonomy policy?

    * What has he done to address the faltering and weakening currency Rupiah against US dollar for the last 30 years during his 5 years in office?

    * What has he done to fix those repeated flood and daily traffic jam issue in his own back yard in the street of Jakarta?

    SBY is beatable in the upcoming Presidential election. Unfortunately, there is not a single Presidential candidate who dares to challenge SBY on those issues. Chairman Prabowo Subianto from Gerindra raised stimulus package issue on his TV ads during the last general election. It was an issue but that was not the issue to beat SBY.

    Well, I am eager to hear your comments and I am looking forward to hearing the answer…

    Chris Komari
    Chairman
    Partai Masa Depan Indonesian Mandiri

  15. avatar Astrajingga says:

    Chris, I agree that SBY has not done much in his first term.

    Apart from corruption and balancing the budget, his ‘not accomplished’ list, for me, is even longer.

    * What about millions of peoples (in Indonesia and Timor Leste) whose basic rights were abused under Soeharto’s regime since 1965? Has RI done something, or at least, has SBY said something about this? Or this is not an important message of reformasi?

    *What about landreform? Talking about poverty, and no landreform? Look again at land ownership distribution statistic. Look at farming household statistic? Look what it says? Don’t we need landreform, not now, but 50 years ago?

    *What about freedom of expression, including freeing people to believe in communism, marxism, and leninism which are still forbidden to do under Tap MPR no. something. Well, the demand for those -isms is not really good in the market nowadays, but that’s not the point. Besides violating human rights, the state preserve New Order legacy, the lies to millions of students who want to learn about their own nation’s history.

    * What about freedom of faith, to free Indonesian people from obligation to join any of the so called ‘agama-resmi.’ Can I put atheism in my KTP?

    Many points in my lists is not important for many Indonesians, but those are what I think the main job of a president, to uphold human rights of the peoples.

    Let’s forget my list, I can be too demanding, but can you find someone who could beat him in the election next few months? I don’t think so.

    20% of voters voted for Democrat Party because they want SBY to rule 5 more years, for me the message is clear. Even Pardi, a senator candidate of DKI, get his seat merely because he is candidate no. 31.

    Achmad Sudarsono, that’s exactly I want to know, what anyone think about neo-liberalism or neo-cons or freemarket trinity before judging how liberal someone is? There is nothing wrong to be liberal, or kejawen, or not representing umat, but what I want to know is what do they afraid of? That Budiono (+SBY) will apply a pure Friedmanite free-market economy? That he will do more privatization, deregulation, and cut some more social spending on APBN? That he’ll dump the whole idea that the state has an obligation to smooth the rough edge of the market? Or what?

  16. avatar Pena Budaya says:

    So, they are against Boediono as VP candidate because of his so called “Neoliberalism” (I am bit worry with these protesters’ understanding on neoliberalism). If that so, just don’t choose SBY & Boediono in the next presidential election.

    I am wondering why there are no street protests against candidature profiles such as Prabowo and Wiranto who were involved in May 1998 incident and Timor Leste. Does anyone know?

  17. avatar bung tobing says:

    Saber-rattling. That’s what basically those parties did. This is ridiculous, seriously, I remember PKS said it was up to SBY to choose his running mate. Now, PKS complained and threatened to leave the coalition. PKS already did it before when SBY tried to ask Golkar to join the coalition. This kind of party should never be included in coalition government. And, taraaaa, look at their position now in this issue: http://www.antara.co.id/arc/2009/5/15/pks-lanjutkan-koalisi-setelah-bertemu-yudhoyono/

    Anyway, as far as I know, PKB never officially threatened to withdraw from the coalition. I read somewhere, one of its head is persistent in supporting SBY whomever SBY chose as his running mate. CMIIW.

  18. avatar enigmatic says:

    Pena Budaya Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    So, they are against Boediono as VP candidate because of his so called “Neoliberalism” (I am bit worry with these protesters’ understanding on neoliberalism). If that so, just don’t choose SBY & Boediono in the next presidential election.

    I am wondering why there are no street protests against candidature profiles such as Prabowo and Wiranto who were involved in May 1998 incident and Timor Leste. Does anyone know?

    Don’t bother. Because the victims of May 1998 are too insignificant in numbers. And remember there’s always the shadow hand called the TNI…

    But if you’re gonna protest, just as I am planning to, don’t vote for them in the elections.

    Problem solved.

  19. avatar Astrajingga says:

    I’m afraid I have to vote for SBY+whoever to prevent being led by Wiranto or Prabowo.

  20. avatar indonesiabraveheart says:

    Anyway, as far as I know, PKB never officially threatened to withdraw from the coalition. I read somewhere, one of its head is persistent in supporting SBY whomever SBY chose as his running mate. CMIIW.

    Indeed. PKB only questioned why SBY didn’t talk it over with the fellow parties in the coalition ….

    The latest news is … SBY Berboedi has officially been declared about an hour ago … 😀
    and I saw Muhaimin was next to SBY at the “sesi foto2” …

    Anas Urbaningrum, interviewed by Metro TV, also stated that the coalition pact will be signed tomorrow.

    Heck with “neoliberal” stamp over Boediono … He was already in the cabinet since the great recession of the last 90s and I think a good captain is the one who already faced the real storm …

    I think SBY and Boediono will be a fantastic couple for the next 4 years.

  21. avatar David says:

    Anyway, as far as I know, PKB never officially threatened to withdraw from the coalition. I read somewhere, one of its head is persistent in supporting SBY whomever SBY chose as his running mate. CMIIW.

    On the day I wrote the post there were conflicting stories about PKB, but yes you’re right, they have been pretty much solid behind SBY with or without Boediono – maybe they are just realistic, they have no-one from their own party to offer for the job except Muhaimin Iskandar (who?).

  22. avatar Odinius says:

    @bung tobing:

    Agree completely with your analysis. Always have thought PKS are self-interested snakes-in-the-grass; this only goes to reinforce that feeling.

    I imagine PKB–and even PAN–will remain in the coalition, given that they receive key cabinet posts. an estimate of the seats in DPR comes out to about 57%.

    This coalition is far better off without PKS.

  23. avatar indonesiabraveheart says:

    I also did watch Tifatul Sembiring attending SBY-Boediono declaration …
    I wonder if PKS do join the coalition …
    would their men swarm the SBY’s cabinet-to-be in exchange of their acceptance to Boediono?

  24. avatar Astrajingga says:

    I think PKS got no other choice. With 8%, alone, what they gonna do? It’s too late to join MegaBo or JK-Win. To be realistic, and to get two or three chairs in the cabinet, the only option is to join SBY Berbudi.

  25. avatar Lairedion says:

    Silly people…

    Well done by SBY. Don’t bow down to those troublemakers.

  26. avatar Odinius says:

    That last picture almost makes me change my position on police brutality.

    Is it really always that bad?

    (jk)

    But seriously, agree with Lairedion. This is a watershed moment for SBY. The people spoke, and overwhelmingly decided they did not want Islamic governance, and backed the Pancasila parties. Coalition with the pro-Pancasila Muslim parties is one thing; PKS should be left in the dust.

  27. avatar indonesiabraveheart says:

    I think PKS got no other choice. With 8%, alone, what they gonna do? It’s too late to join MegaBo or JK-Win. To be realistic, and to get two or three chairs in the cabinet, the only option is to join SBY Berbudi.

    I agree that PKS’s best shot is with SBY-Berboedi but I think they’re going to push hard and find themselves a good bargain … just look at their “kursi” number at

    With 57 of PKS, SBY Coalition will be significantly stronger … (57 kursi is “banyak” bro … Just can’t let them being “outpliers” in the DPR if we could make them in our side …)

  28. avatar indonesiabraveheart says:

    I found myself 😀 lol when I saw this:

  29. avatar Chris Komari says:

    Ehm…

    Why is it so critical for you guys to pick or, choose the person or the party? Why are you guys so person or party oriented? What about the issue?

    I have not seen any of those guys ever addressed or come up with any comprehensive plans and action plans to address the many critical issues facing Indonesia. I am neither person nor party oriented. To me, it is not CRITICAL who is going to be the next President and Vice President of Indonesia. But it is critical that the next President and Vice President of Indonesia are the ones who are going to address and resolve the many critical and pressing issues facing Indonesia as a country and nation.

    Those are the issue that shall be raised, confronted and presented to the future leaders of Indonesia regardless who they are. You guys don’t have to start with those complicated issue. Just start with one question:

    Mr. President and Vice President Candidates:

    Do you have any plan and action plan how and when are you going to pay off Indonesia’s massive foreign and domestic debts?

    In 2009, it stands at $144.9 billion (Rp.1, 667 trillion, which are Rp.746 trillion foreign debts and Rp.920 domestic debts (Surat Utang Negara – SUN)

    Are there any better Presidential candidates better than SBY? Yes, there are, plenty! To suggest that there is no better future leader for Indonesia better than SBY is an insane! The challenge is that those people have not yet being given the opportunity and empowerment to challenge SBY due to many ridiculous political and parliamentary requirements for any party who harbor that candidacy. But setting aside this issue, what is more critical issue for us, as citizens of Indonesia or person who cares about Indonesia.

    Let me say this loud and clear.

    Any Presidential and Vice President candidates; regardless who they are, who do not have any comprehensive plan and action plans to address those Indonesia’s massive debts, they are NOT going to make any significant change in Indonesia. At best, they will only maintain status quo. Are you guys going to vote such a leader! That is SBY that I have seen in the last 5 years!

    ARE YOU GOING TO SUPPORT SUCH A LEADER? Not me!

    Chris Komari
    Chairman
    Partai Masa Depan Indonesia

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