Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, or Ahok, was officially appointed to be the Chief Commissioner of Pertamina. (Image via

Official! Ahok officially becomes Pertamina's Chief Commissioner

On Friday, Indonesia’s Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN), Erick Thohir, officially appointed Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, generally known by his Hakka name, Ahok, as the Chief Commissioner of PT Pertamina (Persero). Deputy Minister of BUMN, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, was also appointed as the Deputy Commissioner.

For Pertamina’s Director of Finance, Erick appointed Emma Sri Martini, a former President Director of Telkomsel, to succeed Pahala Nugraha Mansury who was appointed as the President Director of PT Bank Tabungan Negara [BTN] (Persero) Tbk. Chandra Hamzah, a former Commissioner of Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), was appointed as the Chief Commissioner of BTN.

The BUMN Minister stated that these individuals had passed the assessment and selection by the final assessor team (TPA). Furthermore, there were other names as well, but Erick stated he could not say much as these names did not make it through.

Since Pertamina is not a public company, the full line-up of Pertamina’s board of directors (BoD) will be unveiled no later than next Monday. Meanwhile, for the BTN’s positions’ hand-over, it will be done during BTN’s General Meeting of Shareholders (RUPS) in late November.

Many hailed Erick’s decision to appoint Ahok. For some, Ahok is an ideal business executor for Pertamina. Remembering Ahok’s tendency to dirty his hand by going down onto the field by himself, many trusted Pertamina’s future into his cold hand.

But, difficult tasks are awaiting him. As the Chief Commissioner of Indonesia’s largest state-owned oil and natural gas corporation, Ahok is required to encourage exploration for oil mine both onshore and offshore since Pertamina failed to reach its target in recent years.