The appointment of Gen. (ret.) AM Hendropriyono as an adviser to the transition team formed by president-elect Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo is very worrying. Many of Jokowi’s supporters saw the move as unexpected, especially those who have been personally affected by human rights abuse.
During the election, many considered Jokowi to be the only candidate without a bad human rights track record. As soon as Hendropriyono was appointed, some human rights abuse survivors as well as families of victims expressed their disappointment, including Suciwati, the wife of prominent human rights activist Munir, who passed away while on a Garuda Indonesia flight to the Netherlands in 2004. At that time, Hendropriyono was chief of Indonesia’s National Intelligence Agency (BIN).
Indeed, Jokowi has the right to appoint whomever he wants on his team.
However, the appointment of Hendropriyono is a disappointing. Human rights has always been a major issue in Indonesia.
Generally, people still believe that Jokowi is a good leader and has integrity based on his track record as Jakarta governor and while serving as Surakarta mayor.
He also seems to understand the negative effects of public cynicism.
In terms of human rights, we, Indonesians, are waiting for the president-elect’s real policies, as the problem continues to stump the current government under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. If Jokowi’s victory is a victory of the people, as deemed by Indonesians as well as observers, he should as soon as possible drop his decision to appoint Hendropriyono.
Published in The Jakarta Post; Why appoint Hendropriyono?