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.


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


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 Bismarck says:

    I think Indonesians should be grateful that SBY picked Budiono. With Kalla I was worried that SBY was developing another pair of eyes at the back of his head.

  2. avatar ronald says:

    salut to Demokrat, PDIP, Golkar, Gerindra and Hanura. Let the battle begin, fair play, and may the best couple win. For PKS……..boooooooo

  3. avatar Astrajingga says:

    Duilee Ronald, whoever win, whoever will be the best couple, they won’t win for PKS.

  4. avatar David says:

    The other two teams


    The white team

  5. avatar Mr.Overseas Student says:

    Dear Astrajingga

    because I think we all agree that neo-liberalism is the greatest danger on earth–after the collapse of communism.

    I think what Mr.Achmad was trying to infer was that, before you make such academic claim, you need something to back it up. Being an expert on the subject does help ie. an economist, or having an economic degree, like for instance Mr. Boediono….

    I think this is one of the problem with indonesia… the majority of our people have really big mouths… but in reality are unqualified to talk about subject matter (read: uneducated; Sok tau, ngak mau kalah). Now imagine what happens when these same people are in power! oh wait… hahaha

    And mr.Achmad… You need to be more direct…

  6. avatar Astrajingga says:

    No, I don’t have anything to back anything up, I just need Mr Achmad to shift gear to insulty-mode speech.

    All and all, I’m just an incofidence brown people who happened to learn a little bit english in elementary school, how should I know how the world economy works?

  7. avatar Lairedion says:

    JK Win dressed up PKS-style, a little “merah” and a lot of “putih”.

  8. avatar Mr.Overseas student says:

    I’m Indonesian too… I don’t know much about the world economy too…
    But the difference is I don’t make make claims about things that I don’t know too well about

  9. avatar Astrajingga says:

    Did I make claims about things that I don’t know too well?

    What claims?

    And if I do make claims, I’ll do it Indonesian–brown people’s–way. Why bother backing it up with something that could be easily be proven as wrong?

  10. avatar Odinius says:

    I think the whole “debate” about neoliberalism is funny. Why? Because, when it comes to economic policy, nothing major is going to change. People like Boediono and Sri Mulyani are already the architects of Indonesia’s economic policy. When it comes to the economy, Boediono represents the status quo, as would any other serious candidate.

  11. avatar Pena Budaya says:

    @ Chris Komari,

    I read on that KPU will organise debate of president & vice president candidates, so let’s wait and see..

  12. avatar Oigal says:

    And mr.Achmad… You need to be more direct


  13. avatar Mr.Overseas Student says:

    You made the claim that Neo-liberalism is quote “the greatest danger on earth”

    Probably the basis for that statement was from a ‘special report’ program on RCTV, or your neighbour ranting about how dangerous and bad neo-liberalism is…

    I suppose you can say that everyone is entitled to their opinion.. what teed me off is that ..frankly.. you didn’t really know what you’re talking about…. as the saying goes… “talking out of your arse”

    Indonesian–brown people’s–way

    What do you mean by that? I’m indonesian, and Im brown too…(well relatively… the winter seasons here is making me whiter)


    Hmm.. you have a valid point…


    Haha yes… perhaps he wasn’t being his usual self…

  14. avatar ET says:


    I will choose them at July 9th…

    No golput this time? What made you change your mind?

  15. avatar enigmatic says:

    Because Prabowo and Wiranto have yet to clarify their roles in May 1998, I’m dead set voting for SBY-Boediono.

    What say you??

  16. avatar enigmatic says:

    And regarding choosing Boediono as VP, I just hope that he will put his expertise in economics to good use. His resignation from the Central Bank probably triggered capital outflows from Indonesia. Let’s just hope his election will bring more capital back in.

  17. avatar Odinius says:

    enigmatic said:

    Because Prabowo and Wiranto have yet to clarify their roles in May 1998, I’m dead set voting for SBY-Boediono.

    What say you??

    Exactly. One allegedly orchestrated the riots in Jakarta, the other allegedly orchestrated the violence in East Timor.

    The third cawapres, Boediono, has never allegedly orchestrated violence against anyone, but will continue current economic policies and practices kejawen.

    Won’t somebody please think of the children?!

  18. avatar Observato says:

    And regarding choosing Boediono as VP, I just hope that he will put his expertise in economics to good use.

    Only if he had a COO natural style like Pak JK. Otherwise his macroeconomic theories will only render the country into deeper debt trap. The problem of most economists is that they rely on debt and then working on macro indicators such as interest rate, inflation etc in front of their computer using textbooks while pretending as if they are building the nation.

  19. avatar Astrajingga says:

    What’s wrong with you Mr. Overseas Student? You’re now whiter and start to think like bule?
    Because you study overseas you know better than brown people who study in ‘sekolah gratis’ (like the school in Cut Mini Teo song) not so over the sea?

    Surely I learnt a lot from TV, especially since I read a becak sticker in Klaten saying, “Everythink [sic] you know is wrong, watch more TV!” Punk Metal Boy-ForgetAligator. I’m pretty sure that these Punk Metal Boys who put the sticker there is from Boyolali and listening more dangdut than punk or metal or punk-metal, or any music genre but dangdut. We can learn from anybody, specially if we learn ilmu hikmah.

    In case you forgot your own favorite TV station back then, when you’re still brown, it is RCTI or SCTV, don’t mix them up into RCTV, it won’t make a good shake.

    I know there’re many books telling how dangerous neo-liberalism is, but how could I read them, it’s all expensive because government stop subsidizing paper for book and newspaper, while TV is so generous to us, it is gratis, as always, since the first day of TVRI broadcasting decades ago, airing Asian Games opening ceremony, showing a mighty nation holding a glorious olympic games to the world.

    But, hey, you don’t need to read all the books, or watch all tv stations to know that neo-liberalism is the greatest danger on earth; you just need to be brown and internalise kejawen teaching. Or listen to whatever Pedoman Penghayatan dan Pengamalan Pancasila tells you about sistem ekonomi Pancasila bla bla bla bla.

    And my neighbors don’t rant about neo-liberalism. They rant about the newly elected village chief who has a romantic affair with a hairdresser who works in a local beauty parlor near the market, across pangkalan ojek. His wife found it out, thanks to the solidarity of arisan ibu-ibu RT and their hot gossip–even better than TV infotainment, more real than reality TV–and then she came to that salon, broke all the mirrors there, and tried to make our poor hairdresser bald. Fortunately many customers could stop her from doing it; the hairdresser now has a shorter haircut though. This is assbackward, you go to a hairdresser to have your hair cut, not the other way around.

    On the other hand, a water-purifier salesman, not my neighbor but probably graduated from a local economics faculty–you know how difficult to find a ‘shiny’ job nowadays–told me this morning that if you hate liberal you are a conservative, but if you hate neo-liberal it doesn’t make you a neo-conservative. How about that? Perhaps, he was born in ForgetAligator City too.

    See, I can back up my claim.

    Indonesian way.

    Now I’m waiting you to enlight me about neo-liberalism, according to your overseas universities text book you just read, what is it? Is it the greatest danger on earth or not? Is Budiono part of the neo-liberalism scheme part or not? Enlight me with your imported fresh knowledge.

    But you have a very good point there:

    what teed me off is that ..frankly.. you’re… as the saying goes… “talking out of your arse”

    Yes, you’re right. You’re listening (or you prefer ‘reading’) to whatever comes from it.

  20. avatar Rambutan says:

    Good move by SBY to select Boediono. This way he treats all coalition partners the same, i.e. he will hand out cabinet posts according to strength in parliament. He can gt rid of any party in the cabinet should they move to the opposition camp. Finally, Boediono’s personal integrity is beyond doubt: He is clean and humble and doesn’t have any business and political interests like the current VP.

  21. avatar zekky says:

    thirdly, how in any way is Islam under represented in Indonesia for godsakes!

    Haha! Janma that made me LOL literally.

  22. avatar Rob says:

    @ Chris…

    Your posts as always are long and detailed but reflect a stubborn refusal to accept that Indonesia is not a western style (or eastern style) democracy in the vein that America is. The cult of personality is still strong in Indonesia and money still talks. The issues as you call them are generally dealt with in a superficial way.

    Have a look at JK recent comments to Kadin for an idea on what you can expect from JKW ticket.

    Are there better leaders than SBY, yes. However, if you think the issue to be insane, I would challenge you to name the potential leaders of Indonesia and describe where they can generate the necessary support to attain the presidency. There are plenty of people who have bandied around the name of Sri Mulyani. She is a star and perhaps a future president, but she is also smart and recognizes that she does not have the necessary support. I am actually glad that SBY chose Boediono in preference to her. SMI will make an excellent Coordinating Minister and I would expect that she will be given a free reign. Let’s see whether with that kind of mandate true and real bureaucratic and administrative reform can be achieved.

    The idea that golput is the same as putus asa is simplistic at best. There are plenty of arguments for and against golput. I am personally against golput based on a belief that if you have the right to vote you should exercise that right, even if your candidate of choice has little or no hope of being elected. However, I can also see and accept that some voters, and a considerable chunk in this past election, have exercised their democratic right not to vote for whatever reason. If their reason is because they do not believe there are any worthy candidates, then so be it, this is a legitimate reason irrespective of whether you agree or not.

    Even in the US there is no such thing as compulsory voting, and a turn out of 60% of registered voters is a good turn out. Therefore, there is 40% of the electorate in the US exercising their right not to vote or golput-ing. If it is OK in the US then it must be equally OK in Indonesia. So, your comments re golput could equally be applied to, say, Obama?

    In comparison how do Indonesia’s debts look to those that the US, and many of the states of Europe are racking up? Indonesia has the strongest growth in Southeast Asia. If SBY and his government has been such a total failure in addressing these issues then I am guessing we have to attribute any good economic news on the Indonesian front to pure luck.

    Unfortunately, your posts are critically short on the very things that you accuse the current president of being short on, substance. You identify some of the problems and some of the responses that SBY and his government have made but you fail to offer up solutions or alternatives. As the Chairman of Partai Masa Depan Indonesia, what are your policies and how are you going to address the myriad of crises you see afflicting the Republic of Indonesia?

    You end your second post saying that you are not going to vote for SBY. So, should we the readers of IM interpret this to mean that you are going to vote for the Kalla-Wiranto or Mega-Prabowo tickets? Or are you going to exercise your right to golput?

    Have a nice day!

    Rob Baiton
    Sitting in a chair but chairman of nothing.
    Keen observer of all things Indonesia.

  23. avatar Oigal says:

    Only if he had a COO natural style like Pak JK.

    Ok is this a serious thread or humour thread, we have the JK pronounced as a natural COO (You could produce a book on his blunders, verbal gaffes and economic shortfalls) He would to be fit to run a newspaper stand on a fair and competative playing field. Then we have Chris, the hantu policy party.. 🙂 .

    Mind you, how on earth do pick a vice president with such a dirty laundry/?? Talk about contempt for the people. Its harder to know to which makes one angrier, the contempt that these guys have for the people or a society so wrapped in malls and I’m ok screw you attitude that they can get away with it.

  24. avatar Chris Komari says:

    Hi Rob,


    In the 90’s there was a very popular President in the USA with a great resume. He was a navy pilot during the world war II, shot down by Japanese forces and was able to survive floating in the pacific ocean and rescued. When he came back home, he was greeted as a hero. Then he was appointed to be Ambassador for China. Before he finished his term he was called to lead the secret service becoming CIA director. He then ran for President of the USA but he lost in the Primary. He was picked by his adversary from the same party to be his running mate, and he became a Vice President.

    After 8 years became a Vice President, he ran for President for the 2nd times, and he won. In 1991, he faced the biggest challenge of his Presidency and he ended up leading a war against the late President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein for invading Kuwait. He did it successfully. He was not only popular at home in the USA but also around the world. This man was President George H.W. Bush (the Daddy Bush). In 1992, he faced re-election for his Presidency.

    I remember then that there was not even a single person from Republican Party who dared to challenge President Bush. He was that popular. Meanwhile from Democrat Party, there were so many Presidential candidates and one of them was the unknown, unpopular young governor from Arkansas named Bill Clinton.

    You can compare the popularity of President Bush in the 90’s with President SBY at the present time in Indonesia. The question to ask is what, how and why then that this unknown, unpopular Governor of Arkansas was able to BEAT a very popular President?

    Some of my political colleagues argued that the economy in the USA during President Bush 41 was stupid and Bill Clinton was able to articulate that issue before the American people. Well, the current Indonesia’s economy is stupid even worse compared to the situation then in the USA during President Bush 41.

    To answer your challenge, the issue can change perception and influence people who is to vote. This is where campaign strategy plays its major role in winning Presidential election contest. I personally and respectfully disagree with your assessment that it is not the cult of personality or, the money that will capture the seat of Presidency, but it is the issue. The question now is who dares to challenge SBY on the issue and present an alternative and comprehensive plan to address and reolve those critical issues.

    GOLPUT: (golongan putus asa)

    It is simplistic but reality. The reality is the fact that the current system of Democracy that is being adopted and implemented in the last election does not benefit to the ordinary people. The ordinary people are being USED by some elites and those who have the money to win the election, to get the power. I was there in Indonesia on the ground directly involved with the Indonesian voters seeing with my own eyes. Yes, money talks everywhere in any political contest. But the difference though, money is used to buy ads here in the US to influence people and not directly to buy votes by handing out cash to the voters in an envelope that we saw in Indonesia in the last election. Secondly, there were no issues that are being debated openly and publicly. The issue on the ground with the voters was only how much do I get to vote for you or your party? This has to change!

    Have you seen any ballot in the US? In California, we had a ballot for other (none of the above candidates. If you do not like any of the candidates, check out (contreng) other or, put your name there and vote for yourself. So, you don’t have to vote for any of the candidates if you don’t like any of them and you don’t have to be GOLPUT at the same time by crossing out the box for OTHER. Yes, there were plenty people who did not cast their vote here in the US as well. However, the circumstances are different compared to the one in Indonesia.


    I have seen and heard that argument before. There are many facts, figures and equations that are not included and realized in your arguments.

    Only the last 8 years during President Bush 43 that the US government had to borrow and owe a lot of money to foreign countries, especially, China due to his ill foreign policy to combat the invisible terrorism networks and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Even with these massive debts, the debts are still manageable because the US GDP is big and on top of this, US has a chunk of MARKET CAPITALIZATION around the world as well as monstrous DOMESTIC EQUITY MARKET. Now compare that with Indonesia’s massive domestic and foreign debts in respect to its GDP? From here alone you will understand the difference between US debts and Indonesia’s massive debts.

    SBY administration:

    I have stated that President SBY is a better President than perhaps the other Presidents Indonesia has ever had, except President Soekarno being the Founding Father of the country. However; looking at his record for the last 5 years in office, his accomplishments are too insignificant to make a meaningful change in Indonesia. For the last 5 years, Indonesia’s domestic debts are mounting up bigger than FOREIGN DEBTS. Prior to 1997, Indonesia’s domestic debts was virtually zero or very small.

    Yes, there was 3% economic growth and at some point was even 7%. But what was it as a result of President SBY’s sole economic policy, or it was simply a pure luck of timing that supply met the demand for Indonesia? Or, was it because the world economic situation that indirectly benefited Indonesia economic growth or at best, combination of all?

    I met Prof. Dr. Kuncoro Dorodjatun on behalf of the Indonesian government when he came to the US to promote this issue; 7% economic growth to encourage foreign investors to look at Indonesia. As he stated, this 7% growth was a phenomenon for Indonesia. My friends and I confronted him by stating that even 7% economic growth for Indonesia is insignificant in respect to Indonesia’s massive debts, massive unemployment and millions people still living under poverty. It is just a drop of water in an empty drum (not bucket).

    As far as President SBY leadership is concerned, he is excellent in many ways but still within the scope of reacting the market and instead of leading the market. Look at how he reacted in response to rise of fuel price. He raised domestic fuel price concurrently in his anticipation to compensate his potentially monstrous budget deficit (APBN). Then when the fuel price went down, he re-acted it again to lower the domestic fuel price to calm down his people. So, his policy is again within the scope of following and re-acting the market. To me, that is not a true and great leader. A true leader will make a policy and execute the policy to LEAD the market, to influence the market and not to follow or re-act the market. For the last 5 years, that is how I saw President SBY did. He carefully took his time to react and followed the market.

    My share:

    This blog is too small to present the options and solutions that I want to present to address those many critical issues facing Indonesia. I drafted 14 pages document to challenge these Presidential candidates to have series of public open debates. Thank to Mr. Patung that he was kind enough to publish those 14 pages document even though he has reminded not to write TOO long next time. This is one of my ways to be part of the solution and to participate in addressing the many critical issues facing Indonesia. I have been in and out of Indonesia trying to resolve these issues with those who I think have the power and ability to make a change since 2004. The response was discouraging. At the end, I was advised to form my own political party and I did to elevate my efforts to confront those critical issues.

    I have options and solutions and I have shared these options and solutions to those critical issues that I raised with at least 2 different Presidential candidates and some major political parties. My goal is simply to address those issues. I will be happy to share with you in person if we get a chance to meet one of these days.

    MY VOTE:

    My vote is as valuable as yours and I will use it honorably. As far as who is going to have my vote are certainly for those candidates who are going to address those critical issues facing millions and millions of Indonesian people who are now living in poverty by first and for most resolving Indonesia’s massive foreign and domestic debts. I will never be a GOLPUT since I understand and realize that what makes me a true citizen is my ability to VETO. I will cast my VOTE with a great honor!

    Have a lovely day!

    Chris Komari
    Partai Masa Depan Indonesia
    Our website: is still under re-construction

  25. avatar Chris Komari says:

    Ops…it was not not my ability to VETO but to VOTE!

  26. avatar Astrajingga says:

    Okay then, Chris. I think the future of Indonesia still has to wait until the website fully done.

    But don’t worry, besides for their smiles, Indonesians are also famous for their patience.

  27. avatar Odinius says:

    Rob said:

    Your posts as always are long and detailed but reflect a stubborn refusal to accept that Indonesia is not a western style (or eastern style) democracy in the vein that America is.

    Dunno. I’ve lived in both places and think, in many ways, they are remarkably similar.

    The cult of personality is still strong in Indonesia and money still talks.

    …and this is different from the US? 😉

    (yes I’m being a bit trite, but the point stands that the differences are less palpable than one might expect)

  28. avatar Lairedion says:

    You gotta pay your bills, Chris. The future of Indonesia has been suspended.

  29. avatar diego says:

    Ha ha…,

    Nice play of words Lair!

    I want to write long, thoughtful, comments like Chris. Anyone can suggest a comment-o-matic web service that I can use?

  30. avatar Odinius says:

    No, but if you want to sound really smart, you can use this postmodern essay generator to create groundbreaking new texts for academic conferences or literary journals. Just click refresh and…BLAM…a new one appears!

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