Soekarno Looks for Ministers to Lower Basic Food Prices, Fails


Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The increase in prices of various basic necessities, one of which is rice, has recently made many people dizzy. Various interventions carried out by the government have not succeeded in making the price of basic commodities affordable again. Various ministerial promises have only become the wind.

Incidents like this have also happened in the past, one of which was in early 1966. At that time, all prices increased. Inflation has also reached 650%. The government is considered by the community to have failed to overcome all these problems and has made them angry.

“Tensions reached their peak with the stipulation of an increase in oil and fuel prices on January 3 1966, the consequences of which were felt by all levels of society,” wrote Nugroho Susanto et al in Indonesian National History Volume 6 (1984).


Moving on from here, people began demonstrating in front of the State Palace. They demanded that President Soekarno reduce the prices of basic commodities. In fact, he also asked Sukarno to step down as ruler.

Soekarno then responded to this by giving a short speech regarding the search for a price reduction minister with few threats.

“In Indonesia it is impossible for prices to go down. Here I invite all Indonesians, anyone who is able to lower prices within three months, I will appoint him as minister. But, if the three months have passed and it turns out he is not able to, then I will cut off his neck,” said Bung Karno at that time.

Soekarno's words about looking for a minister and promising to behead the minister if he failed were heard throughout the country. Moreover, the speech was broadcast repeatedly by radio and television.

At this point, there was someone who volunteered as minister. She is Hadely Hasibuan, a lawyer and journalist. The application was submitted in a letter sent to the State Palace.

He said he wanted to help Sukarno by becoming a minister based on the ideas he had created. He also dared to be shot dead if his policies failed. In an autobiography entitled My Experience as a Candidate for Minister of Price Reduction (1985) written by Hadely, it is known that the idea was about the liberalization of the Indonesian economy.

If Hadely becomes minister, he wants to open up foreign investment and stop unnecessary political machinations that endanger the economy, such as disbanding the PKI, stopping fighting with Malaysia, and so on.

Of course, Hadely's idea was flatly rejected by the Palace. The reason is, this is contrary to Soekarno's policy foundation. As a result, Hadely failed to become a minister. And in the end Soekarno also failed to reduce the prices of basic commodities which made Indonesia even more chaotic.

When Soeharto became the new president of Indonesia, Hadely's ideas, such as foreign investment and so on, began to be implemented. We all know that through this idea the Indonesian economy was successful during the New Order era.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

(mfa/mfa)