US and Japanese PhDs Enhance Anies and Sohibul Iman Vision for Jakarta as a Global City

JAKARTA– Andy Azisi Amin, an academic from Gadjah Mada University (UGM) and Executive Director at Indonesian Presidential Studies (IPS), explained, “This is a good combination. One graduate from America, the West, and another from Japan, the East. This pairing seems to signify that the East needs the West and vice versa.”

He detailed that both the US and Japan are advanced nations with distinct strengths and characteristics. Therefore, Anies and Sohibul are expected to leverage these advantages, particularly in terms of human resource development (HRD), to benefit Jakarta.

“The United States, with its technological prowess, dominates in high-tech products and digital companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. These are knowledge-based enterprises,” stated Amin, who also holds a Master’s in Economics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Amin praised Anies for using scientific knowledge as the basis for policy-making during his previous tenure as Jakarta’s governor, a practice that he noted was distinct from the central government's more intuition and popularity-based policy approach. “This difference in approach is why many policies from the central government have been faulty and inaccurate,” said the former Chairman of the University of Indonesia Alumni Association (2016-2019).

The appointment of Sohibul Iman as deputy is expected to strengthen Anies's already firm commitment to developing human resources and grounding decisions in scientific knowledge, especially since both have served as rectors at Universitas Paramadina, highlighting their deep respect for knowledge.

“The long-established chemistry between Mr. Anies and Sohibul Iman at Universitas Paramadina is advantageous. It will facilitate decision-making to produce public goods and services. This is a strong foundation,” he added.

Amin also noted that this combination of having both a governor and deputy governor as PhD holders and former university rectors like Anies and Sohibul Iman is unique and a significant advantage.

Furthermore, Amin highlighted that Sohibul Iman’s global insight and experience would also strengthen Anies's efforts to realize Jakarta as a global city according to the Special Jakarta Region Law (DKJ).

“Although the law was only enacted in 2024, Anies has already initiated various steps to elevate Jakarta to global city status during his five-year leadership (2017-2022), despite effectively governing for only three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that short time, he managed to position Jakarta as a model city, visible and emulable by other cities in Indonesia,” Amin concluded emphatically.