The destiny of success will never be placed in the wrong hands, despite having to go through many of life’s hurdles.” This is the phrase that paints the journey and life of Saleh Husin, who has secured a strategic position as the Minister of Industrial Affairs for the period of 2014-2019.
With his inspiring vision and incredible talent, Husin is able to build on the synergy required to bring together the accumulated potential of the nation’s industries as a positive contribution towards the country’s progress.
The motto “Make the best of all situations in life” is filled with colour and rhythm, and is very appropriate to Husin. He believes that he has climbed upwards throughout his life to reach the point he finds himself at today.
The third child of seven and born in Rote Island, East Nusa Tenggara in 1963, Husin came from an underprivileged family: his mother used to bake traditional cakes, while his father worked as a fisherman.
By the age of 11, Saleh was already working to help his parents sell cakes and fish, but despite experiencing challenging conditions from a very young age, he never gave up hope that he would succeed in bettering himself.
With determination and courage, Husin managed to graduate from high school and then hoped to attend the Akademi Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia (AKABRI) in 1982. However, as fate would have it, Saleh was not able to enroll himself at AKABRI because of an issue he faced with his eyesight. This did not hinder him: he instead focused on becoming an entrepreneur through his connections with influential businessmen. And thus his successful career began.
After considerable success in business and securing a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Krisnadwipayana University, he first dipped his toes into political waters in 2001. During the legislative elections, Husin was appointed as a member of parliament from 2009-2014 by the Hati Nurani Rakyat Party. However, the peak of his career was on October 27, 2014, when he was assigned as Minister of Industrial Affairs.
Husin never imagined his career would take him into politics, but he notes: “Whichever field I’ve worked in before, am working in now, and will work in the future, I ensure that I give the best of my ability. After all, as long as we are on the right path, there is a higher power who looks after us,” he says.
So what could the strategy be to ensure long-term growth in the industrial affairs of an emerging country amid the current global crisis? According to Husin, the government has already implemented economic policies to grow production and increase consumer purchasing power. Moreover, one of the most significant steps taken by the government is the simplification of the process of securing investment permits in order to speed up investment and boost economic growth.
“Back in the day, it used to take maybe a year and a half to sort out investment permits. Now, with the synchronisation between the Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), the Ministry of Industrial Affairs and the Ministry of Trade, the investment permit process takes only three hours to complete. This is an outstanding improvement,” Saleh says with pride.
On a continuous mission to develop Indonesian industries, Husin says that the government will consistently implement intensive fiscal allowances in the form of tax holidays, tax allowances and import duties.
Along with strategies to regenerate growth and productivity, Husin tells Indonesia Tatler that in order to increase the number and productivity of domestic industries, job opportunities must also be provided. After all, Indonesia has the “demographic bonus” of a young and eager workforce, and they are the country’s future.