Luhut’s Dream: Indonesia Has a ‘Rain Handler’ Special Institution

The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan wants the Indonesian government to have a special rain handler institution. But not a rain charmer in a magical sense, but Weather Modification Technology or TMC.

Luhut’s wish came out when he accompanied President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to inspect the Gala Dinner location for Heads of State members and invited guests of the G20 Summit in the courtyard of the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park, Bali. At that time it suddenly rained so heavily before the gala dinner on Tuesday (15/11/2022) and then took place in the evening.

Luhut said that when it rained, the expression on President Jokowi’s face immediately indicated that he was pensive. He seemed worried about the rainy conditions that afternoon, whether it would also wet the location of the gala dinner when the country’s leaders were eating dinner or not.

“It seems that what he was thinking at that time was the same as what I was thinking. We want the event to be lively and lively. But what if heavy rain like this actually falls in the GWK Cultural Park area on November 15 evening when the event takes place?,” Luhut was quoted as saying. from his Instagram account @luhut.pandjaitan, Friday (25/11/2022).

After accompanying Jokowi’s visit that afternoon, Luhut rushed to hold a meeting with a special team consisting of BMKG, BRIN, Indonesian Air Force, PUPR Ministry, and Weather Modification Technology Expert (TMC) Tri Handoko Seto. They were given the task of making sure it didn’t rain at GWK Cultural Park during the gala dinner.

“Apart from this task, there are other tasks that are no less important, namely conditioning the weather so that it doesn’t rain when the heads of the G20 member countries walk towards the Bamboo Dome, which is located in the outdoor area of The Apurva Kempinski,” Luhut said.

The steps taken by the special team which became the ‘handler for the rain’ during the G20 Summit, he said, bore fruit. It did not rain during the G20 leaders’ outdoor events. He also admitted that he thought about the need to specifically institutionalize the rain handler.

“I came to a conclusion that science and technology of this magnitude need to have a special institution that oversees the Weather Modification Engineering. Because I heard from his (Seto) presentation, other countries like Thailand have a special TMC institution with accountability to the King,” said Luhut.

Moreover, he continued, if you look at the budget line at several government events, the TMC special team actually gets the smallest portion of the budget, even though their role is very important. In fact, operations when controlling the weather require large and expensive equipment.

“As an example during the Gala Dinner of the G20 Summit, there were 4 aircraft from the Indonesian Air Force which were assigned with the supply of data from the BMKG regarding which points have the potential to rain,” said Luhut.

In addition, Luhut believes, careful and careful calculation is needed to control the weather, among other things, to find out the thickness of the clouds and how much salt to sprinkle. This is all necessary so that the rain that occurs does not spread.

“And what needs to be known, there were 11 flights carrying 29 tons of salt to carry out the Weather Modification Technique at that time. You can imagine how much budget must be spent to carry out this operation,” said Luhut.