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Today's Headlines Politics

  • 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?

    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

    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'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

    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

    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

    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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  • Remarkable: Indonesian Energy Minister Dismissed over US Citizenship

    Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resource Minister Arcandra Tahar was dismissed (honorably) from his post by President Joko Widodo on Monday (15/08) after reports surfaced that indicated Tahar holds American citizenship. Indonesian law does not recognize dual citizenship (except for persons under the age of 18 years). Tahar had only just been appointed the country's Energy Minister in a cabinet reshuffle that took place on 27 July 2016 (Tahar replaced Sudirman Said). State Secretary Pratikno announced the Tahar's dismissal in the late hours on Monday.

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  • Update Cabinet Reshuffle Indonesia: Who Are the New Ministers?

    On Wednesday (27/07) Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo confirmed that he has reshuffled his cabinet, a move aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of his cabinet. Widodo also announced the names of the new ministers. Two names are very interesting: (1) Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who was Indonesia's finance minister between 2005 and 2010, and (2) retired army general Wiranto, who played a key role in handling security issues during the transition from Suharto's New Order to the Reformation era. However, his name is linked to human rights violations.

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  • Politics in Indonesia: Widodo to Announce Cabinet Reshuffle

    In local media it is reported that Indonesian President Joko Widodo will announce another cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday afternoon (27/07). The three ministers that - according to speculation in media - are set to be replaced are Industry Minister Saleh Husin, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said, and National Development Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil. It would be the second cabinet reshuffle that is undertaken by Widodo (in August 2015 he replaced six ministers in a cabinet reshuffle).

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Latest Columns Politics

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

    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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  • History of Indonesia: Politics and the Economy under Sukarno

    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.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Strengthen on Politics and Fuel Price Hike

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah have rebounded on Friday due to several internal and external factors. During the first trading session on Friday (17/10), the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, or IHSG) surged 0.94 percent to 4,998.14 points. Meanwhile, based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate had appreciated 0.26 percent to IDR 12,228 per US dollar by 12:30 pm local Jakarta time. Why do Indonesian stocks and the rupiah perform well on Friday?

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  • Moody’s Investors Service Positive about Indonesia’s Economy

    Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service stated that it maintains a stable outlook for Indonesia’s sovereign and corporate debt rating in the next quarters due to the country’s healthy credit fundamentals, solid macroeconomy, and reduced political tensions. Moody’s believes that Indonesia’s fundamentals are strong enough to offset the negative impact of external pressures such as looming higher US interest rates and slowing economic growth in China. Moody’s had raised Indonesia’s sovereign debt rating to investment grade in late 2011.

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  • Performance of the Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks in the Past Week

    Amid political uncertainty and a looming increase in US interest rates, Indonesian stocks and the rupiah exchange rate weakened considerably in the past week. Market participants are increasingly concerned about the situation in Indonesia’s parliament where a majority of political parties - named the Merah-Putih coalition (led by defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto) - is expected to undermine president-elect Joko Widodo’s reform programs as well as the democratic foundations of the country.

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  • Stock Market Update Indonesia: Down on Politics and Global Data

    Indonesian stocks plunged considerably on Thursday (02/10). The country’s benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) declined 2.73 percent to 5,000.81 points, the largest drop in almost six months. This poor performance was caused by both external and internal factors. Externally, various weak economic data from the USA and Europe as well as an appreciating yen impacted negatively on Asian stock indices. Internally, market participants responded negatively toward the inauguration of the new parliament.

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  • Battle Jokowi-Prabowo; Democratic Future of Indonesia in Jeopardy?

    More and more concerns have arisen recently regarding the democratic future of Indonesia. In fact, some media have reported that an impeachment of president-elect Joko Widodo, who will assume office on 20 October 2014, could become a reality as opposition in parliament - led by controversial and vindictive former army general Prabowo Subianto - is large. The Merah-Putih coalition, referring to the coalition of political parties that supported Subianto in the presidential election (which he narrowly lost to Widodo) will control 353 of the 560 seats in parliament.

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  • Prabowo Subianto Coalition Accepts Indonesia’s Constitutional Court Verdict

    It took almost six hours for the Constitutional Court of Indonesia (Mahkamah Konstitusi) on Thursday (21/08) to read out 300 pages of a lengthy 4,392-page verdict in the case filed by defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, who claimed that the result of Indonesia’s July 2014 presidential election was invalid due to widespread violations and fraud that allegedly occurred during the voting and counting processes. During the read out it became increasingly clear that the court would reject Subianto’s claims due to a lack of evidence.

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  • Constitutional Court Ruling: Prabowo Subianto Not Expected to Accept Defeat

    At 14:00 pm local Jakarta time zone, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) is expected to announce its decision on Prabowo Subianto’s election result challenge. The defeated presidential candidate filed a court case claiming that massive fraud and violations took place amid the voting and counting processes in the context of Indonesia’s July 2014 presidential election, won by Joko Widodo (securing 53.15 percent of the votes). Although the court’s decision is final and legally binding, Subianto not expected to surrender yet.

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