15 August 2009

Education -- Important for all Indonesians

This includes the son, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, of the current Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or SBY. Agus departed to undertake a Masters in Public Administration at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Good program, good school, and also real expensive.

Life must be good in the army. Agus is a captain and had been with the Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad). By my reckoning to complete the course that he has decided to undertake it is going to set him back about USD 100,000 for tuition and other associated living (surviving) expenses. I am not sure whether he has received a scholarship or the army is taking it out of its budget or maybe his wife, Annisa Pohan, is funding her husband's study.

The reason for this post is only that SBY has positioned himself on an anti-corruption platform and a press release stating how this particular educational jaunt is being funded would ensure that no gossip or posts like this one would generate any interest. I am not suggesting that this opportunity is the profit of some crime.

To the contrary, I am suggesting that it is something that can be nipped in the bud with a simple press release or statement. Much in the way the Yudhoyono's addressed whether or not Mrs. Yudhoyono was likely to be a presidential candidate in 2014.

However, it is worth noting that a Masters in Public Administration would be a feather in one's cap if they were looking at capitalizing on their education, skills, and experience for a run at the top job in the Partai Demokrat and the No. 1 Chair in the Republic of Indonesia.


anong said...

On the matter of who is paying, are you suggesting that the sources of all high officials' spending on large items must divulged?? I may have missed something, but mabye dad paid; he does have the money as was noted in his declaration before the elections - and much of it was in USD.

Rob Baiton said...


What I am saying is that in this particular case, where you have a president that is riding high on an anti-corruption platform, then it would make sense to come out and state unequivocally and for the record.

I am sure we will have different opinions on this, and so be it. It is neither here nor there in the big scheme of things.

But, then again, if a Director General is buying a AUD 150K Audi, then it would be reasonable to ask the question wouldn't it? Or if Jusuf Kalla's kids win a government tender for a toll road or a port or something, the question would be fair, don't you think?

USD 100K is an expensive education. Maybe, it is just a simple case of Harvard thought it would be good marketing for them to have the son of the current Indonesian president sitting in one of their classrooms and offered Agus a full scholarship with all the trimmings.

If this is the case, then what is the harm in saying that he is on a full scholarship, merit-based, and all?

Maybe dad did pay. If he did, then what is the harm in saying that. My guess is that the army might also be offsetting some of it.

Here's the thing about the declaration, did he divulge where all that wealth originated from or did he just disclose that he had it?

Perhaps it was an inheritance, or a dowry, or fees paid during his time in the army for speeches or something.

In any event, I was merely raising a point here and there. Thanks for responding / commenting.

anong said...

yes I get your well made points, but I dont see officials coming to the party. Given that no one has challenged the reported wealth of the sample of six presidential candidates I would say SBY and others like him would sort of assume "Well now you know and have accepted we are rich, so from now on don't bug us when we spend up"

Rob Baiton said...


I don't see them coming willingly either. But, sometimes it would be fun to watch them come being dragged and screaming.

That was Prabowo's point, right? Let bygones be bygones (and I would argue that would include where the wealth came from as well with most candidates).