Foreign Affairs/US-Indonesia Relations

Dual Citizenship Idea Revived

Luhut Pandjaitan, the coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, said the government plans to give dual citizenship to former Indonesian citizens living overseas, without offering details. Luhut was speaking ahead of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who pledged a $1.7 billion investment in Indonesia.

“We also invite diaspora Indonesia and we give them also, soon, dual citizen,” he said. “Which I think will … bring very skillful Indonesians back to Indonesia.”Nearly 4,000 Indonesians became Singaporean citizens between 2019 to 2022, according to data from the Directorate General of Immigration. The immigration agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the plans to allow for dual citizenship. The issue of dual citizenship caused some controversy in 2016 when Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo removed Arcandra Tahar as energy and mining minister after less than a month on the job following reports he held US and Indonesian passports. Similarly, an coordinated effort by Indonesia’s Diaspora Network led by Dino Djalal, when he was Ambassador to the US failed to sway Indonesia’s Parliament.

JETP’s Failure to Launch

To date Indonesia has little to show for the $20 billion in debt and equity funding for climate change mitigation projects (Just Energy Transition Partnership) that was announced at the November 2022 G20 Meetings in Indonesia. It took most or 2023 for various JETP working groups to be formed culminating in a November 2023 announcement of a Comprehensive Investment and Policy Plan (CIPP). With most of the funding booked as international debt, Indonesia’s may be greater than it can carry alone, notably because of balance sheet issues with the energy monopoly holder, PLN.

Fabby Tumiwa, executive director of the Institute for Essential Services and Reform (IESR), said that despite its flaws, the JETP had played a unique role in Indonesia’s energy transition efforts so far, and stressed the importance of maintaining momentum in implementing the scheme. “I encourage the [International Partners Group/IPG] to immediately deliver on the grants, ready the project pipeline and set a target. For example, they could announce a target to [add] 1 gigawatt of renewable power generation [capacity] in 2024,” he suggested. “This way, the government and the IPG members could prove that JETP is working,” he told The Jakarta Post on Friday. Led jointly by the United States and Japan, the IPG is comprised of several developed economies that have vowed to support the country’s energy transition under JETP Indonesia. Fabby added that the government could consider a larger state capital injection (PMN) for state electricity company PLN to build more renewable power plants under the scheme’s Comprehensive Investment and Policy Plan (CIPP), because these projects required both debt and equity funding. “Today, PLN’s financing ability to provide equity is limited, which is one of the obstacles to implementing the renewable energy projects,” he continued. “Then, for cheap funding, the government could provide around US$2 billion to $3 billion to PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur [SMI] or Indonesia Infrastructure Finance [IIF] to fund renewable energy generation projects. If the money comes from us [Indonesia], it should be concessional.