JAKARTADAILY.ID – Former Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and senior economist Rizal Ramli jumped on the bandwagon of criticizing the poor handling of the cooking oil crisis happening across the country.
Two ministers within Joko Widodo’s cabinet became prime targets for Rizal’s vitriol, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto and Minister of Trade M. Lutfi.
Rizal pointed out that Airlangga Hartarto is currently more preoccupied with his upcoming presidential campaign rather than dealing with the cooking oil crisis, which is the lifeblood of the Indonesian household, not to mention small businesses.
"In addition to the direct responsibility of the Minister of Trade, this (cooking oil crisis) is the responsibility of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy," Rizal Ramli said on his Twitter account.
“Where are you? Why are you busy putting up billboards? Kang Dudung will drop you off later," continued Rizal Ramli, implying that the Minister is missing in action.
As all tweets go on Twitter, some agreed, expressing their disappointment regarding the handling of the issue, and some defended the “missing” ministers.
Cooking Oil Cartels
Rizal Ramli was far from being the first person who criticized the ill handling of the cooking oil scarcity. Previously, Former Ombudsman Commissioner Alamsyah Saragih also voiced his suspicions and criticism on Twitter.
Deputy Governor for DKI Jakarta Ahmad Riza Patria commented that there might be cartels controlling the supply of cooking oil. Ahmad said that the Regional Government will further investigate the matter.
"An inspection has also been carried out and an investigation into whether there is a cartel and so on in accordance with instructions from the central government," he said when met at the Jakarta City Hall, Monday, February 7, 2022, as quoted by the Pikiran Rakyat in the article “Scarce Stocks, Jakarta Provincial Government Investigating Allegations of Cartels Cooking Oil.”
Riza Patria ensured that cooking oil in DKI Jakarta "must be available" even though in limited supply. He added that the DKI Jakarta Regional Government has already placed a cap on the price of cooking oil in the city.
Whether or not traders will adhere to the price set by the government is another matter. (*)
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