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Today's Headlines Politics

  • Impact of Jakarta Election on Indonesia's Rupiah & Stocks

    Impact of Jakarta Election on Indonesia's Rupiah & Stocks

    Yesterday's Jakarta gubernatorial election seems to have little impact on the performance of Indonesian stocks and the rupiah today (20/04). While Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index is cautiously higher (in line with the general trend of Asian stocks this morning), the Indonesian rupiah had depreciated 0.10 percent to IDR 13,332 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index) by 10:00 am local Jakarta time on Thursday (20/04). The rupiah performance is slightly out of tune with most other Asian currencies but its weakening is still rather insignificant.

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  • Live Blog & Quick Count Results Jakarta Election: Ahok vs Baswedan

    Live Blog & Quick Count Results Jakarta Election: Ahok vs Baswedan

    After 07:00 am Western Indonesian time zone on Wednesday (19/04), the citizens of Jakarta started to vote for their new governor. It was the second (and final) round of the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election. In this round the two leaders of the first round (where no candidate managed to obtain the absolute majority of votes) had a face-off. Below, Indonesia Investments provided a short live blog covering the key developments as well as updates of the various quick count results that came in after 14:00 pm local Jakarta time.

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  • Indonesia Stock Exchange Closed, Central Bank Operations Limited

    Indonesia Stock Exchange Closed, Central Bank Operations Limited

    The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) decided to keep its doors closed on Wednesday (19/04) as the people of Jakarta will vote in the second (and final) round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election. Earlier, Indonesian President Joko Widodo had already declared Wednesday 19 April 2017 a public holiday for the citizens in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta. Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia stated that it will keep operations at a minimum on voting day.

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  • Politics in Indonesia: New Anti-Ahok Rally on Tuesday

    Politics in Indonesia: New Anti-Ahok Rally on Tuesday

    A new rally, organized by the Indonesian Muslim Forum (FUI), will be staged on Tuesday (21/02) in front of Jakarta's national legislative complex on Jalan Gatot Subroto in Senayan (South Jakarta). An estimated 10,000 protesters will urge authorities (in this so-called "212 rally") to suspend Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok). Ahok is currently on trial for blasphemy based on a manipulated video that surfaced on social media last year.

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  • Ahok Wins 1st Round Jakarta Election, but What Are His Chances in 2nd Round?

    Ahok Wins 1st Round Jakarta Election, but What Are His Chances in 2nd Round?

    Although all quick count results show that the Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama - Djarot Saiful Hidayat pair won the first round of Jakarta's 2017 gubernatorial election, the Anies Baswedan - Sandiaga Uno pair may feel like the moral winner of this election as there is only a small margin (less than four percent) between both pairs. The winner of the second round, ergo winner of the election, will thus be determined by those who voted on the Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono - Sylviana Murni pair in the first round (this pair cannot participate in the second round).

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  • Live Update Jakarta Gubernatorial Election: Quick Count Results

    Live Update Jakarta Gubernatorial Election: Quick Count Results

    Starting from 7:00 am local Jakarta time on Wednesday (15/02), the capital city of Indonesia is voting for their next governor. There are more than 13,000 polling places spread across Jakarta to accommodate the 7.1 million eligible voters. Although actually in more than 100 provinces, cities and districts the regional heads are being elected today, most attention goes to Jakarta where ethnic and religious tensions are high due to the participation of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok), a Christian, ethnic Chinese politician who is being prosecuted for blasphemy.

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  • Indonesia to Replace Oil Recovery Scheme by Gross Profit Sharing

    Indonesia to Replace Oil Recovery Scheme by Gross Profit Sharing

    Indonesia's Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry targets to replace the cost recovery scheme in the oil and gas industry in January 2017. Instead, the government would use contracts with a gross profit sharing mechanism. The new scheme would simplify procedures (making the investment climate more attractive) while Indonesia "continues to prioritize the interests of the nation and optimize the use of local resources and labor", Deputy Energy Minister Arcandra Tahar said. The proposed changes will not affect existing contracts between contractors and the Indonesian government.

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  • Business Environment in Indonesia Needs Political Stability

    Business Environment in Indonesia Needs Political Stability

    The business environment in Indonesia needs political stability as well as a conducive investment climate to grow. However, if there exists a high degree of social unrest then the central government can offer as many incentives as it wants but entrepreneurs will be hesitant to engage in investment and business expansion. Currently, there is quite some unrest in the capital city of Jakarta. Ever since a manipulated video of Jakarta Governor Basuki Cahaya Purnama (Ahok) surfaced in which he allegedly insulted Islam, there has been outrage among Islamic hardliners. This brings economic costs.

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  • Interview with Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla

    Interview with Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla

    Indonesian newspaper Bisnis Indonesia printed an interesting interview with Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Wednesday (19/10). Kalla is one of the few political veterans of Indonesia, having been born during the Japanese occupancy of the Dutch East Indies, before Indonesia existed. He was VP under Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2004-2009), leader of Golkar, Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare (2001-2004), and Minister of Trade & Industry (1999-2000). Before he became fully committed to politics he developed a successful business empire.

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  • Indonesia Investments' Newsletter of 16 October 2016 Released

    Indonesia Investments' Newsletter of 16 October 2016 Released

    On 16 October 2016, Indonesia Investments released the latest edition of its newsletter. This free newsletter, which is sent to our subscribers once per week, contains the most important news stories from Indonesia that have been reported on our website over the last seven days. Most of the topics involve economy and political-related topics such as the new Energy minister, GDP growth, credit ratings, the food and modern retail sectors, property prices for foreign buyers, cement sales, coal price, car sales, and more.

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Latest Columns Politics

  • Indonesian Politics: Ahok Withdraws Appeal against Blasphemy Conviction

    Indonesian Politics: Ahok Withdraws Appeal against Blasphemy Conviction

    To us it came as a surprise to learn this morning that former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok) decided not to appeal against his controversial blasphemy conviction earlier this month when the Jakarta Court found him guilty of insulting Islam and therefore sentenced him to two years in prison, a case that is regarded a setback for Indonesian pluralism and religious tolerance.

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  • Wake up Call for Indonesia: What Can We Conclude from Ahok's Verdict?

    Wake up Call for Indonesia: What Can We Conclude from Ahok's Verdict?

    Around the globe media reported about the controversial decision of the Jakarta Court to hand a two-year prison sentence to former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok), a much tougher sentence than had been demanded by prosecutors. Ahok, a Christian from Chinese descent, was imprisoned on grounds of blasphemy. However, most analysts assume Ahok is victim of a flawed and corrupt political and judicial system.

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  • Rising Influence Hardline Islam & Billionaires Club on Indonesian Politics

    Rising Influence Hardline Islam & Billionaires Club on Indonesian Politics

    After having carefully followed the 2017 gubernatorial election in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta, there are a couple of worrying signs. One, the rising influence of hardline Islam on Indonesian politics (and prosecution). Two, the rising influence of a handful of Indonesian "billionaire" businessmen, led by controversial Prabowo Subianto, who seek the highest political power within Southeast Asia's largest economy. Three, the cooperation between the two aforementioned forces as they each strive to fulfill their (separate) ambitions.

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  • Politics in Indonesia: Why is the Jakarta Election Important?

    Politics in Indonesia: Why is the Jakarta Election Important?

    Jakarta's gubernatorial election is important for two reasons: (1) it is an important test case to determine the current state of religious and ethnic tolerance (pluralism) within Indonesia, and (2) it forms a prelude to Indonesia's 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections. Today, the second round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election is held, a tight race between incumbent Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) and former education minister Anies Baswedan.

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  • Politics of Indonesia: Has Democracy Gone Over the Top?

    Politics of Indonesia: Has Democracy Gone Over the Top?

    At the inauguration of the People's Conscience Party (Hanura)'s new central leadership board on Wednesday (22/02), Indonesian President Joko Widodo said "Indonesian democracy has recently gone over the top". He referred to the various controversial cases and demonstrations that have emerged in recent months involving hate speech related to race, religion, ethnicity and class.

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  • Politics in Indonesia: Jakarta's 2017 Gubernatorial Election

    Politics in Indonesia: Jakarta's 2017 Gubernatorial Election

    It is not a coincidence that ethnic, religious and social tensions have risen in Indonesia ahead of Jakarta's gubernatorial election on 15 February 2017. Indonesian Police is currently making over hours as various people, including political and religious leaders, have been reported to police for blasphemy or hate speech. One of the people that is being trialed is incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama Tjahja (Ahok), who is one of the three men who compete to become the capital's next governor.

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  • Politics of Indonesia: Anti-Ahok Demonstration with Political Motives

    Politics of Indonesia: Anti-Ahok Demonstration with Political Motives

    On Friday (04/11) a massive demonstration is scheduled to be staged in Jakarta. In this protest rally thousands of people are expected to gather to ventilate their disapproval of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Cahaya Purnama (better known as Ahok). The rally is organized by a coalition of Islamic groups including hard-line group Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) which has often used violence to achieve their targets. The Muslim groups accuse Ahok of blasphemy by misquoting Quranic verses during a speech in Kepulauan Seribu, off the coast of Jakarta, in early October.

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  • Analysis Performance & Accomplishments Indonesia Under Jokowi

    Analysis Performance & Accomplishments Indonesia Under Jokowi

    After two years in office, the time is ripe now to take a look at the performance and accomplishments of the government under the leadership of Joko Widodo, often called Jokowi. Indonesia's seventh president was a bit unlucky. In the first year of his rule, commodity prices were at multi-year lows (curbing Indonesia's foreign exchange earnings) amid sluggish global economic growth, while capital outflows from Indonesia occurred on the back of monetary tightening in the USA, sending the rupiah to a 17-year low in September 2015.

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  • Politics Indonesia: Arcandra Tahar & Ignasius Jonan Back in Cabinet

    Politics Indonesia: Arcandra Tahar & Ignasius Jonan Back

    On Friday (14/10) Indonesian President Joko Widodo appointed Ignasius Jonan as Indonesia's new Energy and Mineral Resources Minister. Jonan is the nation's former Transportation Minister who was replaced by Budi Karya Sumadi in a cabinet reshuffle in late July 2016. Meanwhile, the position of Energy and Mineral Resources Minister had been empty (although for the time being filled by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan) after the dismissal of Arcandra Tahar in mid-August 2016.

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  • Economic Update Indonesia: What about Economic Growth in 2015?

    Although Indonesia’s economic growth slowed further in 2014, there is optimism that growth will accelerate in 2015 despite sluggish global economic conditions (curbing Indonesia’s export performance) and Bank Indonesia’s relatively high interest rate environment. Indonesia’s central bank has raised its BI rate several times over the past one and a half years in an effort to combat high inflation (caused by fuel price hikes), curb capital outflows ahead of US monetary tightening, limit the current account deficit and support the rupiah.

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