Once again, the Indonesian rupiah depreciated beyond the IDR 13,500 per US dollar level on Wednesday (05/08), touching its weakest level since the Asian Financial Crisis (which began as a financial crisis but would soon develop into a deep economic, political and social crisis in Indonesia) in 1997-1998. For some Indonesian policy makers, business players and investors the current weak rupiah therefore brings back bad memories. However, there are significant changes between conditions now and those in 1997-1998.
Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 365,240 confirmed infections, 12,617 deaths (19 October 2020)
19 October 2020 (closed)
USD/IDR (14,738) +41.00 +0.28%
EUR/IDR (17,395) -10.41 -0.06%
Jakarta Composite Index (5,126.33) +22.92 +0.45%
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Today's Headlines Suharto
A survey conducted by Lembaga Survei Indonesia (Indonesian Survey Institute, abbreviated LSI) shows that about 51.5 percent of respondents believe that current presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto was involved in the kidnapping and disappearance of political activists in May 1998. Subianto - commander in chief of the Kostrad (the Indonesian Army's Strategic Reserve Command) in the period March to May 1998 - has since long been linked to human rights violations in Jakarta’s May 1998 riots as well as in East Timor in the 1980s.
A countrywide survey conducted by the Indonesia Research Center (IRC) in late September 2013 ranked the PDI-P (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan) and the Golkar party on top of the poll ahead of the legislative elections that are scheduled for April 2014. In the survey, the PDI-P received 19.6 percent of the votes, while Golkar came in second with 16.3 percent. Both these parties have a long history in Indonesian politics and their popularity indicate that Indonesians seem to favour "old school" political parties.
Latest Columns Suharto
Today, exactly 49 years ago, Indonesian President Sukarno reluctantly signed a decree that gave full authority to army commander General Suharto to restore order, protect Sukarno and safeguard the Indonesian revolution. This decree, which would become the start of a brand new chapter in Indonesian history (the New Order) as it marked the transfer of executive power from Sukarno to Suharto, became known as Supersemar (Surat Perintah Sebelas Maret, or, the Decree of 11 March).
By the mid-1960s, politics and the economy of Indonesia had turned into disaster. After Independence in 1945 (and the cessation of hostilities with the Dutch in 1949), the young nation was plagued by hostile internal politics in which several political forces - consisting of the army, nationalists, Muslims, and communists - opposed each other. For over a decade, Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president, had reasonable success in keeping these forces in check by the force of his own personality. However, by the mid-1960s his failure became evident.
If presidential elections were to be held today, it is probable that Prabowo Subianto would be chosen by the Indonesian electorate to become Indonesia's next president. Various surveys indicate that Prabowo, a former high military officer as well as a successful businessman, is the most popular person to replace incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in mid 2014 when new presidential elections will be held (which are not joined by Yudhoyono as he is finishing his second and final term as president).
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