President Announces Cabinet Reshuffle

JAKARTA ~ President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono dismissed five ministers in a cabinet reshuffle this week but stopped short of sacking two accused of negligence.

Yudhoyono brought in five new faces and promoted graft-fighter Hendarman Supanji to attorney general in a move seen as bolstering his government’s fight against corruption.

“This limited reshuffle is aimed at improving the government’s performance in the two and a half years ahead,” Yudhoyono said on Monday.

“We put the right men in the right place in the new ministerial cabinet.”

Among those dismissed were justice and human rights minister Hamid Awaluddin and secretary of state Yusril Mahendra, under fire over allegations they helped Tommy Suharto transfer money he was suspected of corruptly obtaining.

The youngest son of former president Suharto, Tommy remains the symbol of the corruption that plagued his father’s more than three-decade rule.

Yudhoyono, midway through his five-year term, had come under pressure to sack embattled Transport Minister Hatta Radjasa over a slew of recent transport disasters that have killed several hundred people.

But instead Yudhoyono transferred Radjasa to the prestigious position of Secretary of State.

Aburizal Bakrie, the minister responsible for coordinating social welfare, has kept his portfolio.

Bakrie has been in the firing line after an energy firm linked to his family was blamed for triggering a mud flow in East Java that displaced 15,000 people and swamped infrastructure.

Bakrie also oversees multiple efforts to combat bird flu in Indonesia, the nation worst hit by the deadly virus.

Yudhoyono also retained his team of finance ministers and foreign minister.

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