Amid reports of a second cabinet reshuffle, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli tweeted that he had "tried his best for the nation and the people of Indonesia" on his Twitter feed, Wednesday, (27/7).
Rumours of a second overhaul of President Joko Widodo's cabinet surfaced after the Eid holiday. Last night, several ministers were summoned by Widodo to the Presidential Palace. Katadata sources said that among the ministries that will see staff changes is the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs.
Rizal is reportedly being replaced by Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. This would be the third post for former President Chief of Staff and the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Affairsin Widodo's cabinet. (Read: Reshuffle Today; Sri Mulyani to Join New Cabinet).
Rizal felt that he had done his best as minister since his appointment on 12 August last year. "Thank you so much to the people of Indonesia," he tweeted, adding two smiley emojis.
Last night, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Sudirman Said tweeted a similar message. "Alhamdulillah, my great task is complete," he posted at 10.20 pm. (Read: Reshuffle Announced Tomorrow; Widodo to Change at Least 8 Cabinet Posts)
Although the tweet did not say anything specific about the reshuffle, some sources say that it was meant as a goodbye. Sudirman followed with more tweets, "The field of charity and struggle is widening. Never give up loving this great Indonesia," he wrote. "Thx all."
Reports of Sudirman's exit from the cabinet began to surface following the commotion over the Masela Block at the beginning of this year. His name had been on and off the list of ministers likely to be kicked out from Widodo's circle of aides. (Read: Ministers on Travel Ban; Reshuffle Might Happen This Week).
Sudirman Said and Rizal Ramli were the central figures in ruckus over the development of the Masela Block gas field. Their feud was even a topic of discussion at cabinet meetings, prompting the President to warn his ministers to stop arguing and focus on state duties instead.
The Masela racket began in September last year when Rizal criticised Inpex Corporation’s proposed plan to develop the gas block in Arafuru Sea. (Read: Widodo Decides Onshore Scheme for Masela Development).
Rizal disagreed with Inpex's proposal for an offshore refinery scheme (FLNG). He insisted that an onshore refinery would be more appropriate for Masela, as the multiplying effect on the economy would be greater.
Sudirman disagreed. Along with the Special Task Force for Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities (SKK Migas), Sudirman insisted that Inpex's proposal was the most realistic.
It was their differing views that triggered a conflict within the cabinet. On 23 March, President Widodo put a stop to their feud by opting for the onshore refinery scheme (OLNG) to develop Masela.