Jakarta, IO – State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir came under a spotlight after a massive fire broke out at the Pertamina Plumpang fuel depot. The Minister is said to have too many activities irrelevant to his duties as the SOEs Minister.

Amid the news of the bankruptcy of many SOEs, the Pertamina Plumpang blaze only exacerbates the increasingly chaotic condition of Indonesia’s SOEs. The fire killed 15 residents in the neighborhood; what a tragedy.

The fact that residents own houses around the Pertamina (state-owned oil and gas company) Plumpang depot indeed needs to be investigated. However, a thorough investigation must also be conducted to find the cause of the fire, because fuel storage is one of the state’s vital concerns.

Pertamina’s officials, from the directors to the commissioners, must also be held accountable for this fatal incident. Those people receive handsome salaries and benefits, so this incident should not have taken place.

The fire could have been prevented if Pertamina had maintained strict control over the security and safety of the Pertamina depot. The depot’s security and the safety of the workforce and residents around it should be Pertamina’s top priority.

Pertamina’s directors and commissioners must take responsibility for this catastrophic incident. Yet, one figure must ultimately take responsibility for the disaster: SOEs Minister Erick Thohir, because Pertamina is an SOE under Erick.

Erick Thohir can be considered the least-focused SOEs Minister. Imagine this. As an SOE Minister, he is responsible for handling a large number of SOEs, but at the same time, he serves as Executive Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama’s centenary.

Erick also participated in the race for PSSI’s (Football Association of Indonesia) Chairman’s position. And he was elected. Has Erick been “that” idle as the SOEs Minister that he indulges himself in many extra duties?

Didn’t President Jokowi once state that one cannot hold multiple positions? Assuming just one responsibility is already challenging, let alone multitasking with other jobs.

President Jokowi should have consistently reminded his ministers not to hold multiple positions, as he previously stated. Moreover, an SOE Minister bears a massive responsibility to bolster SOEs in Indonesia for the nation’s welfare.

But what happens now is that the SOEs Minister also multitasks as the PSSI Chairman. So, when tragic incidents like the Pertamina depot fire occur, can Erick Thohir focus on solving it, while being occupied with various football-related matters in Indonesia as PSSI Chairman? Erick should focus as SOEs Minister and leave the football matters to the experts. President Jokowi must also take firm action against ministers who hold multiple positions.

Achmad Nur Hidayat | Narasi Institute Public Policy Specialist

Source: observerid.com