The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms & Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Southeast Asia

Indonesia’s Mr Fix-it has his work cut out

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan is one of the most powerful men in Indonesia, leveraging his successes in the military and business to become the president’s key fixer. Will that influence be parleyed into the presidency in 2024?

Luhut-Binsar-Pandjaitan-Indonesia-Getty-960x535.png
Source: Getty

To Indonesians, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan is the minister of everything, or menteri seganlanya in the country’s official Bahasa Indonesia.

The term is deployed by detractors and admirers in equal measure. Even though Luhut’s official cabinet job is coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, as with most nicknames, there’s much truth about it.

From defence and security to public health and the restoration of confidence in the pandemic-ravaged economy, Luhut has his fingers in many pies. He is Indonesia’s Mr Fix-it, a trouble-shooter ready, willing and able to be thrown at any problem, as his boss, old friend and former business partner president Joko Widodo, or ‘Jokowi’, frequently does.

As a former cabinet minister from the era of president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono tells Asiamoney: “The boss listens to two people: one is Luhut, the other is Erick Thohir”, the businessman-cum-technocrat in charge of state-owned enterprises reform.

Another former cabinet minister remarks that “Pak [Mr] Luhut is the prime minister we don’t have.”

Luhut’s CV includes roles in the now-delayed $40 billion plan to build a new capital city in Kalimantan, the creation of Indonesia’s sovereign wealth fund, the fight against terrorism and the response to the pandemic.

When


We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree