Thu, 04 May 2000

Rozy Munir appoints 31 directors to office

JAKARTA (JP): State Minister for Investment and State Enterprises Development Rozy Munir swore in 31 directors to his office on Wednesday, just one week after he moved into the job.

Rozy, whose appointment by President Abdurrahman Wahid was marred by accusations of nepotism, disclosed he planned to make some changes to his deputies, as well as appointing third and fourth echelon officials.

"If second, third and fourth echelons officials have been appointed, of course first echelon officials will have to be changed also," Rozy said after the ceremony.

The Cabinet post was established by the President in October. It combines the old investment coordinating board and the office of the state minister of state enterprises.

Rozy said it had taken the office six months to select and appoint the directors because of the difficulties in merging the two agencies and pressing problems besetting the new office.

Rozy, who replaced Laksamana Sukardi last week, is not entirely new to the office, having served as secretary-general there before his promotion.

He said the appointments were necessary to optimize his office's performance to meet the target of raising Rp 6.5 trillion ($812.5 million) through the privatization of state enterprises in the 2000 fiscal year.

President Abdurrahman has claimed Laksamana practiced nepotism in the appointment of his deputies, including Benny Pasaribu, and some of the directors in state enterprises.

Laksamana has denied the allegations.

Rozy's appointment in turn prompted media speculation of nepotism as he once served under the President in the Nahdlatul Ulama Muslim organization.

Eight state enterprises have been earmarked for privatization this year. They are fertilizer producer PT Pupuk Kaltim, mining companies PT Bukit Asam and PT Aneka Tambang, plantation companies PT Perkebunan Nusantara III and IV, pharmaceutical manufacturers PT Indo Farma and PT Kimia Farma and airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II.

Of the eight, Rozy's office has opened negotiations for the sale of Angkasa Pura.

The privatization plan will be carried out either through an initial public offering (IPO) or via a direct placement to strategic partners.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rozy met with chamber of commerce delegations from 11 countries to discuss the government's privatization program.

All the delegates, he said, cited security as the main concern for investors in Indonesia.

"If security could be maintained, many foreign investors would enter the market," he said.

The 11 delegations came from Germany, France, Britain, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, the Netherlands, Australia, the United States and Canada.

Rozy's spokesman Riza Primadi said the delegates also asked the office to coordinate with the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) on the privatization of IBRA's assets.

IBRA is currently in possession of Rp 600 trillion ($75 billion) of assets that it seized from banks and companies that went under during the economic crisis in 1997-1998.

"Investors see the privatization program as moving too slow, while they are interested in buying IBRA's assets," he said. (10)