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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs         8  July 2011

SBY Slams "50 Percent" ministers

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Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called out his cabinet on Thursday for its failure to push through needed programs, slapping a failing grade on the ministers in an impromptu job review.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in perhaps his most damming assessment, said the ministers had failed to follow up on his written and verbal instructions.

"In the report that I received, you've done about 50 percent less [then what was instructed]. My concern is that some of you no longer remember the instructions and therefore have failed to implement them," he said, without mentioning any specific ministers or projects by name.

Yudhoyono said a performance review of the ministers would be done by the Presidential Working Unit for Development, Supervision and Oversight (UKP4), headed by Kuntoro Mangkusubroto.

"Let's consolidate and make sure priorities and important issues are properly handled," he said. "We should use our time to be more productive in taking care of important issues."

By the second anniversary of the current cabinet lineup in October, the president said he expected that all the ministers would have made significant improvements to their work.

After the cabinet meeting, Kuntoro told reporters that since January only 17 of the 34 ministries had completed their assigned projects on schedule.

The government will conduct an official midterm evaluation of the ministers in July, with the final report to be handed over to the president.

But not all was bad news, with Kuntoro saying ministries involved in the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia's Economic Development 2011-2025 (MP3EI) were performing well.

For the upcoming Ramadan and Idul Fitri, the government will seek to stabilize food prices, which tend to double because of the surge in demand during the celebrations, said Hatta Rajasa the coordinating minister for economic affairs.

He said the government was also in the process of improving the country's slaughterhouses to meet World Organization for Animal Health standards.

Domestic beef consumption is around 35,000 tons per month while domestic production is only 25,342 tons, which means the country needs to import beef to meet demand.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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