He looks fresh, energetic, and full of optimism, and the way he talks is systematic and firm but warm—it is, in fact, the perfect mix of youthful passion and maturity. Such is the first impression that is fostered by the figure of General TNI (Ret.) Dr Moeldoko when Indonesia Tatler meets him in the middle of his daily routine.
Since January, Moeldoko has served as the Presidential Chief of Staff of the current government. His position is one of national importance: in addition to the ministerial level of his rank, he provides vital support to the president and vice president in carrying out national priority programmes, political communications, and the management of strategic issues.
Moeldoko admits that he never thought he would occupy his current position, but it’s one whose duties he carries out with integrity coupled with a positive mindset. “I only intend to do the tasks and work with sincerity and from the heart,” Moeldoko says. He further explains: “This position carries great trust—therefore, I am determined to bring to it all my mind, energy, and an even greater devotion.”
Moeldoko is an inspirational, charismatic, and worthy figure among the nation’s leaders. Prior to his appointment as the Presidential Chief of Staff, Moeldoko was Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) from 2013 to 2015. As Commander, Moeldoko always went into the field, giving direction and motivation to the soldiers to work hard. With his strong leadership vision, he successfully built synergy among his peers and staff, and has been responsible for the safety, security, and integrity of the nation.
What strategic steps has he taken in his position as Presidential Chief of Staff? Moeldoko, who was born in Kediri, East Java, is determined to always do his best. He tries to handle each issue in a quick and well-coordinated manner and continues to open a space for the community to express its aspirations and complaints, and to share information with the government, which will then be presented to President Joko Widodo. “Through the KSP Mendengar (KSP Hearing) programme, our doors are wide open to everyone. If there is a problem, we can discuss and communicate the solution,” Moeldoko says.
Moeldoko, who was born on July 8, 1957, also gets out and into the public domain by visiting campuses, boarding schools, and other elements in society. By getting directly involved in this way, he can evaluate the success of priority programmes and identify problems, which is called “debottlenecking”. Not only that, he is also active in direct dialogue with students and the wider community about a variety of nationally strategic issues. One of these addresses the intensive nationwide infrastructure development programme led by President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
“Today, people often receive incorrect information,” he says. “The government is accused of just building physical infrastructure. The thing is, if people want to understand further, the physical infrastructure development actually includes efforts to build connectivity, a community mentality, and civilisation itself.”
If an area is isolated, he explains, then access to educational facilities will be limited and health services cannot be guaranteed. So, with infrastructure, positive changes will occur: civilisation develops, and education and health needs will be better served. In addition, the impact of infrastructure development outside of Java, such as the development of border roads in the Kalimantan and Papua regions, fosters stronger unity and nationalism.
This story appears in the June 2018 issue of Indonesia Tatler. For the full story, grab the copy at your nearest newsstands, or subscribe here.