“It is still being investigated. The government is looking into it. When that’s done, we’ll explain.”
Pelantikan Kabinet Kerja
Biro Pers Setpres

The government needs more time to investigate reports about the nationality of Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arcandra Tahar. The investigation relates to various aspects, which means the government is exercising caution in providing an explanation to the public.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto said that the government is aware of the responses from members of the public and experts with regard to Minister Arcandra’s nationality status.

However, the government needs more time to investigate the case because they must study it from different aspects. Wiranto said this is extremely important because it is related to the performance of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

(Read: Minister Arcandra Faces Dual Nationality Issues)

With more time to investigate the incident, the government hopes to provide a comprehensive explanation to the public. “So everything is clear. We are very careful in providing explanation,” Wiranto said after a meeting with Minister Arcandra at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs’ office on Monday (15/8).

Wiranto was reluctant to say any more about the news that Arcandra holds a United States passport. “It is still being investigated. The government is looking into it. When that’s done, we’ll explain,” Wiranto said.

Wiranto confirmed that he would be going to the State Palace to discuss the issue. “Let me go to the [State] Palace to get an explanation. I’ll explain later,” Wiranto added. (Read: Arcandra Remains Silent on US Nationality Issue)

Previously, as reported by Kompas.com, Wiranto said that Arcandra had denounced his US citizenship when he was offered the position of Energy and Mineral Resources Minister. So, Arcandra now only has Indonesian passport.

“That proves that he has good sense of nationalism and is willing to serve in his country’s interest. He denounced his United States citizenship by making an oath and handing over his US passport,” Wiranto stated.

Information gathered by Katadata indicates that this issue was first raised last week when President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo summoned the minister to the Presidential Palace complex on Thursday (11/8). Arcandra also met with the President on Saturday (13/8) morning.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla confirmed that the government is discussing the matter. However, on Sunday (14/8), Kompas.com reported that Kalla has asked the public to wait for the government to explain the situation.

Meanwhile, the President refused to clarify these rumours himself. After attending the 10th National Jamboree at Bumi Perkemahan Cibubur in Jakarta on Sunday, Jokowi instructed State Secretary Pratikno to provide the public with an explanation. 

(Read: More Signals on Amien’s Replacement, Arcandra Hold SKK Migas Supervisory Committee Meeting)

Pratikno said Arcandra owns an Indonesian passport. “He entered Indonesia using an Indonesian passport. Arcandra’s Indonesian passport is valid until 2017,” he said. However, Pratikno did not shed any light on Arcandra’s American citizenship, which he received in 2012.

After commemorating Indonesian Independence Day at the EMR Ministry’s offices on Sunday, Arcandra emphasised that he is an Indonesian citizen, not a US citizen.

“I was born and bred in Padang, so was my wife. However, I obtained by master’s and doctorate degrees in the US,” he said, as cited from the EMR Ministry’s official website. “I went to the US in 1996 and I still have a valid Indonesian passport.”