Indonesian Trade Minister Sacked Amid Palm Oil Ban Backlash

    Photo: Xinhua [via South China Morning Post]

    The Facts

    • On Wed., Indonesia's Pres. Joko Widodo fired his trade minister, Muhammad Lutfi, amid controversy over a series of palm oil export policies.

    • Lutfi came under fire due to his inability to curb the rising prices of palm oil. His policies included a three-week ban on exports of the product, which sent shockwaves through global markets and led to multiple arrests for alleged corruption before being lifted on May 23.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Pres. Widodo's replacement of his trade minister is the right move and will improve the performance of the ministry. On top of that, this move has received immense public support with a recent poll showing nearly two-thirds of people support Widodo reshuffling his cabinet.

    Narrative B

    This move was merely done to please the political elite in Indonesia. President Widodo should rethink this decision if he wants to leave a good legacy. It's unlikely that Hasan will solve a complex problem that a highly qualified person like Lutfi couldn't.

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