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Uncovering the ‘Mystery’ of Why Many Entrepreneurs Become Presidential Candidates’ TIMSES

A number of well-known businessmen have been appointed to the National Campaign Team (TKN) of the presidential and vice presidential candidates in the 2024 presidential election.

These entrepreneurs fill the positions of coach, director, advisor, expert, and volunteer coordinator in the winning team structure.

In the team of Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming, the entrepreneurs who joined included the Chairman of Kadin 2010-2015 and former Deputy Minister of BUMN Rosan Roeslani. He served as chairman of the Prabowo-Gibran TKN.

Then there is the Bakrie Group boss, namely Aburizal Bakrie, Deputy Main Director of PT TBS Energi Utama Tbk (TOBA) Pandu Sjahrir as deputy treasurer.

There was also the boss of the cosmetics company Mustika Ratu, Putri Kuswisnu Wardani, and the president commissioner of PT Lippo Cikarang Theo Sambuaga.

Meanwhile, in the team of the Ganjar Prabowo-Mahfud MD pair, the entrepreneurs who joined included Kadin Chairman Arsjad Rasjid as chairman.

Then the CEO of Whitesky Group, Denon Prawiraatmadja, Orias Petrus Moedak, who is said to have played an important role in the takeover of 51 percent of PT Freeport’s shares, and Heru Dewanto, who is an entrepreneur in the construction services sector.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs at TKN Anies Baswedan-Cak Imin so far include Tokopedia founder Leontinus Alpha Edison, and Thomas Lembong who is a former minister for trade for the 2015-2026 period as well as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner at Quvat Management.

So what are the presidential candidates who trust entrepreneurs to be part of their winning team, what’s the mystery?

Director of the Center of Economic and Law Studies (CELIOS) Bhima Yudhistira assesses that the reason the presidential and vice presidential candidates accommodate entrepreneurs in their teams is to provide logistics. The reason is that large capital is needed to advance in the presidential election contest.

It’s certainly not free. In exchange for the remuneration given to the presidential and vice presidential candidates, these businessmen will certainly make a request if the person they support wins.

One of their requests is that their business interests not be disturbed by the policies of the incoming government. And if possible, the entrepreneur will even receive additional and special project privileges from the government.

“It is feared that future government policies will be pro towards entrepreneurs who are part of the team (success team). This creates the risk of unhealthy business competition, creating unfair policies for all levels of business actors,” said Bhima to CNNIndonesia.com, Tuesday ( 11/14).

Not only that, Bhima said that investors who are new to entering Indonesia will see that there is a close connection between long-term business interests and politics.

This will make investors worry that doing business in Indonesia is not enough just to be professional, but also requires close relationships with political actors.

Another thing that needs to be watched out for regarding the rise of entrepreneurs in the presidential and vice presidential candidate team is the sharing of positions. The reason, said Bhima, is that business actors who enter politics are very vulnerable to conflicts of interest.

“Because they will prioritize their business, but also be regulators. That’s why business actors must ensure their involvement doesn’t get too deep. Moreover, those who have conflicts of interest become ministers,” said Bhima.

For ministerial positions related to the economy, Bhima said that businessmen should not be filled. For example, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Trade.

Bhima believes that it is actually okay for these positions to be filled by entrepreneurs. However, they must be able to free themselves from conflicts of interest.

For example, if you are a coal entrepreneur but then give up all share ownership, then there is no problem becoming Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.

“But as long as he is still a businessman, a shareholder, but also a minister in charge of policies that will affect his business, that must then be protected,” he said.

Source: CNN Indonesia