Teten Masduki is a respected Indonesian anti-graft activist and the new chief of staff to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. Teten served on Jowoki’s presidential campaign team in 2014 and worked on his communications team following the election.
Teten is best known for serving as chairman of Indonesia Corruption Watch, a prominent Jakarta-based anti-corruption watchdog, from 1998 to 2008. He has also worked in Transparency International’s Indonesia chapter, the National Ombudsman’s office, the Labor Law Reform Consortium, and the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute.
Why is he in the news?
Jokowi on September 2 appointed Teten his new chief of staff, replacing Luhut Pandjaitan, who became coordinating minister for political, legal, and security affairs in an August 12 cabinet reshuffle.
What can we expect?
Teten’s appointment suggests that Jokowi wants to reaffirm his campaign promise to combat entrenched corruption in Indonesia. The president’s anti-graft credentials have suffered following his controversial nomination in January of a corruption suspect to head the Indonesian police force, which sparked a months-long political battle between lawmakers, the police, and the Corruption Eradication Commission. Teten’s track record in fighting corruption will likely encourage the president to address the problem more extensively.
Teten’s ties with Jokowi’s party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) – he ran for vice governor of West Java in 2013 with PDI-P’s support – could also improve communication on important policy issues between the president’s office and senior party leaders. PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri has often been at odds with Jokowi, leading to speculation that the president does not have much support inside his party.