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28 November 2021 (closed)
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A recent report released by Oxfam, a global aid and development charity, highlights the alarming level of income distribution inequality in Indonesia. According to the findings of this report, the four wealthiest Indonesians (combined) have more assets compared to the 100 million poorest Indonesians (combined). Indonesia's top four billionaires are worth USD $25 billion, which is approximately the same combined amount owned by the bottom 40 percent of the Indonesian population.
On the Oxfam ranking, Indonesia is ranked sixth in terms of worst inequality across the globe (after Russia, Denmark, India, USA, and Thailand). Several institutions, including the World Bank, have advised Indonesia to focus on the combat of the high degree of inequality within society because this issue jeopardizes social cohesion and therefore implies certain political and economic risks as well.
Oxfam says income distribution inequality in Indonesia has actually risen since the Asian Financial Crisis in the late 1990s. The shift from Suharto's authoritarian New Order regime to Reformasi, a period characterized by decentralization, democracy and relatively free market policies thus was one that worsened inequality in Indonesia according to Oxfam as it allowed the top of society to capture the greatest share of the benefits that occurred on the back of robust economic growth that was fueled by the 2000s commodities boom. Meanwhile, Indonesia's weak tax system failed to redistribute wealth, while the underfunded education sector blocked part of the population from getting better jobs.
Meanwhile, the charity organization also revealed that, globally, the eight richest billionaires own the same wealth as half the world's population (roughly 3.6 billion people).
The Oxfam report is also met by critics who say that the statistics are irrelevant, considering it would be rather insignificant if the richest eight people would redistribute their wealth equally among the world population. Moreover, critics also point to the fact that across the world there have been millions, or even billions, people who have been lifted out of poverty over the past decades. This decline in global poverty means that the world basically has become more equal although it is true that the richest people have seen their incomes rise more steeply.
Top Ten Richest Indonesians in Forbes' 2016 Edition:
||Source of Wealth
|Robert Budi Hartono
||USD $8.1 B||Tobacco, Banking||Bank Central Asia,
||USD $7.9 B||Tobacco, Banking||Bank Central Asia,
|Chairul Tanjung||USD $4.9 B||Media, Banking||Trans Corp, Bank Mega|
|Sri Prakash Lohia||USD $4.2 B||Polyester||Indorama Ventures|
|Bachtiar Karim||USD $3.2 B||Oleochemicals, Palm Oil||Musim Mas|
|Mochtar Riady||USD $2.1 B||Retail, Media, Property||Lippo Group|
|Tahir||USD $2.0 B||Banking, Real Estate||Mayapada Group|
|Murdaya Poo||USD $1.9 B||Diversified|
|Peter Sondakh||USD $1.8 B||Coal, Taxi Services||Express (Rajawali Group)|
|Eddy Kusnadi Sariaatmadja||USD $1.6 B||Media & Tech|