Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati is popular not only in Indonesia but also abroad. Over the weekend she accepted the Best Minister in the World Award at the World Government Summit in Dubai. It is not her first award. Earlier, she was awarded the Best Finance Minister in Asia (2006). Moreover, she peaked at 23rd in Forbes' 2008 top 100 most powerful women ranking.
Indrawati received the award for her good work in Indonesia, specifically for her reform-minded nature which includes the implementation of transparent governance at her ministry. Her policies aim at improving the performance of the finance ministry (including the optimization of tax revenue realization and cutting off room for corrupt behavior of officials). This implies that, indirectly, she makes a significant contribution to poverty alleviation in Southeast Asia's largest economy.
Although her name was once mentioned in the Bank Century scandal - when a significant portion of government bailout money for Bank Century, a local bank that was on the brink of collapse at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008, went missing - she was never believed to have benefited personally from the bailout deal. She was, however, criticized for allowing the bailout package because not everyone agreed that the capsizing of Bank Century would damage the whole financial system of Indonesia (as Bank Century was a relatively small bank), thus unlike happenings surrounding the 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis when there occurred a big run on banks in Indonesia.
Despite her name being linked to the Bank Century scandal, Indrawati is still regarded a "clean" minister or politician. This is important because many politicians and ministers in Indonesia - particularly in the era of reformation - have been caught doing corrupt practices. Those who remain "clean" during their years in office, similar to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, can therefore rely on plenty of popular support. Moreover, Indrawati is not linked to any political party (instead, she is a technocrat with ample academic background). This means that she is relatively free in her policy-making and does not have to be concerned about making policies that benefit her political party.
Indrawati is also regarded one of the most intelligent ministers in Indonesia, reflected by the fact that she was invited by the World Bank to become managing director and chief operating officer between 2010 and 2016. At this position she was responsible for the World Bank's operations worldwide. She worked closely with client countries and member states to put operational strategies in place that address new and persistent development challenges in support of the World Bank's goals of ending poverty and promoting shared prosperity. Many believe that among the biggest reasons for her departure to the World Bank was that her reform-minded policies as Indonesian finance minister had created many (corporate) enemies, some of them having big political influence in Indonesia.
Many Indonesians admire Indrawati for being able to work in a high position at the World Bank. Even more admire her for leaving this position and come back to Indonesia - on the request of Widodo - to work, again, as Indonesia's finance minister. This reflects her heart for the country and passion to turn Indonesia in a better country.
In some local media it is being speculated whether Indrawati may be asked to become Widodo's vice president candidate for the 2019 presidential election. This would indeed look like a good couple.
Overview Sri Mulyani Indrawati:
||26 August 1962 in Bandar Lampung (Sumatra)|
|Education||• Universitas Indonesia (BA)
• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (MA and PhD)
|Career||• Executive Director IMF (2002-2004)
• Head of Indonesia's National Development Planning Agency/Bappenas (2004-2005)
• Finance Minister Indonesia (2005-2010)
• World Bank Director (2010-2016)
• Finance Minister Indonesia (2016-