“LET us respect the decision of the President …” and bla bla bla other wise sentences. Sentences that tried to calm all sides and to stop the discussion.
Thursday (13/8/15), I did ignite the discussion about Rachmat Gobel removal as Minister of Commerce. I spread an article of Uni Lubis, a senior journalist, about the performance of Gobel into five Whatsapp groups – funny, the article was actually back to me. I originally got the link of the article from a post by Timbo Siahaan, editor in chief of JakTV in a virtualgroup. In general, all discussion stated a regret about the removal, only one group raised pros and cons.
I am not a journalist who have a special affinity with Gobel – this needs to be told because there is a judge said that I support him because I was his friend. As a minister, Gobel had worked well.
Problem of Indonesian trade system is due to the distribution chain that is too long and is run by mafia. There is a cartel that regulates the price of goods according to their tastes. Therefore, we familiarly know the appellation of rice mafia, meat mafia, cooking oil mafia, sugar mafia, salt mafia, chili mafia, onion mafia, and so on. There is also titles of samurai and dragon. In essence, this trade system distortion is harmful to consumers, farmers, and ranchers. Small traders who are at the end of the chain was part of the victims.
It was very strange, this fertile country become an importer of rice, corn, meat, soy, sugar. In fact, a country with longest coast in the world is also importing large amounts of salt. This is not because the researchers did not find any good varieties. It is also not because the engineers did not find good farming and breeding techniques.
This is simply because there is a cartel that makes ranchers and farmers fainted. Farmers and ranchers become lazy because of a loss or a lack of profit. There is effort to create our dependency on imports. Therefore, this situation ultimately harmed this nation.
Gobel declared war to all mafia. He even called the samurai and dragons which only amounts less than the fingers. Not only that, he also strengthened the role of Bulog and cooperatives. It was to make room for market traders to be profitable and also to assure the supply.
Moreover, he had a program of 5,000 traditional markets. This was more equitable because it involved the lives of many people. The result was quite good. During Eid, prices of basic necessities were stable, no surge. Only meat prices were rising. Meat is the most complicated. Besides this involves living creatures – there are certain growth period that can not be a massive immediately – and also meat has its keeper, a strong country: Australia.
A week before the reshuffle, the blow was given. Meat prices were rising uncontrollably, even the traders was striking. When the reshuffle certainly happened, at the same day the meat was available on the market. So the war is clear.
The state lose, the Red and White in this independence month can be waved. Gobel was removed.
Indonesia is also a heaven for smuggling and importing goods of inferiorquality. This field was also laid by Gobel. The doors of smuggling was closely watched. The doors of import were rearranged in order to prevent the entry of the low-quality goods, including secondhand clothers which harmed the local clothing industry. China was a country that was harmed by this policy.
Indeed, in a mid of this a sluggish global economy, exports were slumped. However, by limiting the imports, Indonesia’s trade balance remained in surplus. One legacy of Gobel was banning the sale of alcohol at the minimarkets.
Of course, Gobel has a number of weakness. He was not attractive when speaking, not only about diction and intonation, but also in the expression and rhythm. He also was too humble to take advantage of the mass media in exposing his performance.
The dwelling time case that was unresolved also became his other weak points. This case had victims. The police arrested Partogi Pangaribuan, the director general of foreign trade of Ministry of Trade, as a suspect of bribery. A number of staff in the directorate were also suspects.
President Jokowi had repeatedly requested that the process of loading and unloading at the port can be accelerated. Dwelling time was complicated, chronic, and involved many ministries and agencies. This case had also been trying to be completed since the previous government.
Some circles criticized that Gobel’s English skill was not proficient enough as a Minister of Trade. He was more fluent in Japanese. Gobel cannot use his social and political capability. The Ministry is a political institution, it cannot rely only on professionalism. Therefore, selecting and sorting team and friends is very important. Picking and choosing friends for playis different than picking and choosing friends for work.
This country needs a lot of fighters. The challenges are too big and the problems are too complicated. Position is not everything, but the it is also a mandate. There are messages and responsibilities in it. Therefore,position is worthed to fight for in this context.
Gobel’s removal was not Gobel’s private business. He became one with the ministry. We should criticize the removal Gobel, not in the context of personal. Because, there are red and white, there is a mandate of theproclamation. Moreover, if it is true that his removal due to combat of mafia credo.
State official’s mandate is doing for people’s welfare and social justice. It is not merely for the balance of trade, nor a matter of economic scale.
Too many ministers are more worthy to be removed, but Gobel had no political power. That is the meaning of this reshuffle.
Sat, 15 Aug 2015