The BGA Indonesia Team, led by Managing Director Douglas Ramage, wrote an update to clients on the recent reshuffling of Indonesia’s Cabinet.


  • Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on July 17 appointed Budi Arie Setiadi as Indonesia’s new minister of communication and informatics — a position vacant since the arrest of Johnny G. Plate on corruption charges in mid-May.
  • The president also inaugurated four vice ministers,including at the ministries of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and Foreign Affairs.


  • Budi is a Jokowi loyalist who can help influence the upcoming elections in the president’s favor by making liberal and biased use of Indonesia’s pliable speech laws, which allow the government to remove certain content online. The minister’s stated priorities are to manage platforms that “unsettle society,” referring to sites that feature perceived misinformation and controversial content; maintain peaceful election discourse; improve internet bandwidth and ensure access to information through digital infrastructure development; and promote skills like data science “to counterbalance dominant [Western] firms.”
  • Nezar Patria has been named vice minister of communication and informatics. He will likely focus on combatting the spread of perceived misinformation leading up to the 2024 elections and guide the enforcement of the country’s ambiguous content moderation policies in favor of Jokowi.
  • Rosan Roeslani, vice minister of SOEs, is one of Indonesia’s most well-known business figures, having chaired the highly influential Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) between 2015 and 2021 before being appointed Indonesian ambassador to the United States. He will take over Vice Minister Kartika Wirjoatmodjo’s portfolio at the Ministry of SOEs and oversee state businesses in the financial and telecommunications industries. Rosan is one of the architects of the omnibus Law on Job Creation, which introduced Indonesia’s most significant investment reforms in a generation. He is a true businessperson; he is not ideologically driven and is generally welcoming of partnerships.
  • Pahala Mansury, the new vice minister of foreign affairs, is expected to oversee issues related to investment, trade and the world economy. He has minimal foreign policy experience.


  • The Cabinet reshuffle reflects Jokowi’s political goals ahead of the 2024 general election, in which he will play a kingmaking role. The popular president hopes his successor will continue his programs and secure his legacy. Reports suggest Jokowi did not consult much with his coalition partners on his latest appointments, who are thought to be loyal to him personally. This is especially the case with Budi — chair of PROJO, the largest pro-Jokowi volunteer group — whose new position will give him an outsized influence over online discourse.
  • The inaugurations underscore Minister of SOEs Erick Thohir’s growing influence in the government. Three of the four new positions were granted to his close associates in recognition of his loyalty to the president.

We will continue to keep you updated on developments in Indonesia as they occur. If you have any questions or comments, please contact BGA Indonesia Managing Director Douglas Ramage at

Best regards,

BGA Indonesia Team