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Jakarta Post

With charlatan gone, we can be serious about handling COVID-19

  • M. Taufiqurrahman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, December 23, 2020   /  10:27 pm
With charlatan gone, we can be serious about handling COVID-19 President Joko Widodo announces six new ministers as the cabinet reshuffle at the Merdeka Palace on Tuesday, December 22. Sakti Wahyu Trenggono (L), Budi Gunadi Sadikin (2L), Tri Rismaharini (3L), Sandiaga Uno (3R), Yaqut Cholil Quomas (2R), Muhammad Lutfi (R) will be sworn in on Wednesday, December 23. (Presidential Palace/Muchlis Jr.)

It was a question of when, rather than if, although it should not have taken this long. But when it finally happened, a huge collective sigh of relief could be heard around the nation. For former health minister Terawan Agus Putranto, the writing was on the wall for some time. When President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo delivered his uncharacteristically fiery speech in front of his ministers back in June this year, the harsh tone might as well have been directed at Terawan and Terawan alone. This threat was certainly made with Terawan in mind: “I will take any steps necessary, including extraordinary ones, for our 267 million people,” he said. “[I might] disband agencies. [I might] reshuffle [the Cabinet]. I have considered many options."

Terawan’s performance as an administrator was so abysmal that the President scolded him for a la...