President Joko Widodo`s (Jokowis) decision to appoint Commissioner General Budi Gunawan as the head of the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) to replace Sutiyoso has been lauded by many.
Budi Gunawan (BG), who is now National Police deputy chief, is seen as a competent figure who could lead the intelligence body to perform effectively and increase its coordination with the police rank and file.
The Indonesian Police Strategic Research Institute (Lemkapi) appreciated the president`s decision to nominate BG as the sole candidate.
“Lemkapi appreciates President Jokowis decision to propose BG to the House as the BIN chief,” Edi Hasibuan, the executive director of Lemkapi, said.
The House of Representatives (DPR) has received a letter from President Joko Widodo, nominating Gunawan as new chief of the BIN to succeed Sutiyoso.
Lemkapi is of the view that the appointment of BG would have a positive impact on the performance of the intelligence body. He would be able to strengthen coordination with the police institutions in the region.
Gunawan is fit to be the chief of the State Intelligence Agency, according to National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian. Moreover, the National Police supported President Joko Widodos proposal to appoint BG, who is currently deputy police chief, as he was the right candidate.
“He is capable and experienced in the field of intelligence gathering. He has been a regional police commands chief twice and has experience as the national police deputy chief. He has also long been part of field operations and training, and therefore, I believe he will be capable,” he explained.
The police are ready to cooperate with Gunawan if he is later appointed as the BIN chief, he said.
Gunawan has no formal experience in the field of intelligence but he has led two provincial police forces which also had the intelligence component. An intelligence chief does not necessarily have to have expertise in intelligence technically, but he or she should understand the mechanism of the work that his or her subordinates perform.
Gunawan was politically also competent to lead the State Intelligence Agency, University of Indonesias intelligence researcher Ridlwan Habib said. His nomination reflected President Jokowis mature political calculation, Habib added.
The post of BIN head is not something which only relies on a technocrats competence in the field of intelligence but also on his political competence.
“Therefore, a head of the BIN is appointed by the president after being endorsed by the House of Representatives (DPR). To fill a political post, the president must have made a mature political calculation,” Habib argued.
After all, BG is not unfamiliar with intelligence affairs. According to Constitutional expert Margarito, President Jokowi has made the right choice as Gunawan is a man of proven ability.
“I think the appointment of BG as the chief of the BIN is right,” Margarito stated in Jakarta on Friday. He is familiar with the intelligence related work since it is something of a daily job for him. Margarito noted that BGs leadership of the BIN will help improve the way the emerging problems would be handled since he has built reliable networks.
BG has an extensive network. He will definitely be able to handle any problems at home and abroad, and he is a former chief of the Regional Police of Jambi and Bali. Provincial Police is comprised of a directorate of intelligence, professional and security development.
He is also a former division head of the National Polices Professional and Security Development Affairs which handles matters relating to security and intelligence at the National Police Headquarters.
Therefore, legislator Abdul Kharis Almasyari, hoped BG would be able to perform more effective intelligence coordination.
“We hope to see better coordination in intelligence,” chairman of Commission I of the House of Representatives Abdul Kharis Almasyari said in Jakarta Friday.
President Jokowi must have picked BG, who twice failed to be police chief, for certain reasons, including his skill in intelligence work, Almasyari said.
“Intelligence work is not new for BG as a senior police officer,” he said.
Gunawan, however, has yet to go through fit and proper tests by the House of Representatives.
The House leaders would meet to discuss follow up steps after receiving a letter from the president about the appointment, House Speaker Ade Komaruddin said.
The House of Representatives will conduct a proper test on Gunawan as the sole candidate for the post.
“We will hold the fit and proper test next week,” Komaruddin said.