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Today's Headlines Politics

  • Political News Indonesia: Joko Widodo Reshuffles Cabinet

    Political News Indonesia: Joko Widodo Reshuffles Cabinet

    Nearly one year after inauguration, Indonesian President Joko Widodo reshuffled his cabinet on Wednesday (12/08) due to the perceived disappointing performance of several ministers as Indonesia’s economy has continued to slow in 2015. Widodo installed six new ministers in a ceremony at the State Palace in Jakarta. The reshuffle aims to boost investors’ confidence in Indonesian assets. Today, the rupiah and Indonesian stocks are weakening severely due to China’s decision to devalue its yuan.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Down on China’s Yuan Devaluation

    Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Down on China’s Yuan Devaluation

    Indonesian stocks are experiencing a remarkable fall on Tuesday (11/08). In the first trading session, the benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index) plunged 2.15 percent to 4,646.95, its lowest level since early March 2014 and leading declines among Southeast Asian stock indices. Stocks in Asia have been hit by China’s decision to allow its currency to weaken against the US dollar (the yuan fell 1.6 percent against the US dollar after the move dragging down other Asian currencies including the Indonesian rupiah).

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  • Will Indonesia Ban Consumption & Distribution of Alcohol?

    Will Indonesia Ban Consumption & Distribution of Alcohol?

    After having banned the sale of alcoholic drinks in minimarkets, Indonesia may see the birth of another law concerning alcohol. Several secular and Islamic political parties seem to back a bill prohibiting the sale, production, distribution and consumption of drinks that contain over 1 percent alcohol. This bill is among the 37 so-called priority bills expected to be passed this year. Although the new bill had been first proposed in 2012 by two Islamic parties - National Development Party (PPP) and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) - it had laid on the shelf.

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  • Political Update: Pact Awesome Indonesia & Red-White Coalitions

    Tensions within Indonesian parliament may have eased after the two opposing coalitions signed a limited power-sharing pact on Monday (17/11) after weeks of negotiations. This pact is expected to reinforce investor confidence in Indonesian politics amid improved political certainty. Previously, parliament was divided into two rival coalitions: the Awesome Indonesia Coalition (Koalisi Indonesia Hebat), which backs Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and the Red-White Coalition (Koalisi Merah-Putih), which is led by Prabowo Subianto.

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  • 'Working Cabinet' of Joko Widodo; Analysis of Indonesia's New Cabinet

    The new cabinet of Indonesia, which had been announced by Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday (27/10), will be inaugurated this morning at 10:30 am local Jakarta time zone, followed by a plenary cabinet meeting at 14:00 pm. Reactions from people and markets are mixed. Although it is positive that the cabinet includes several professional technocrats (contrary to political party politicians) on key positions such as the Finance Ministry and the Coordinating Ministry for Economics, there is criticism on the ‘reformist nature’ of the cabinet.

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  • New Cabinet of Indonesia (2014-2019): Meet Joko Widodo’s Ministers

    After a week of speculation, Indonesian President Joko Widodo presented the composition of his working cabinet on Sunday afternoon (26/10). The final composition took some time as 8 of Widodo’s ministerial candidates failed to pass the screening of the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK). Although Widodo was not forced to have his candidates screened by these two institutions, he wanted to make sure that they have clean records in terms of corruption.

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  • Market Wants Jokowi to Announce Composition New Indonesian Cabinet

    It remains unknown whether President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Vice President Jusuf Kalla will announce the names of the ministers inside the new cabinet today. On Wednesday (22/10) it was reported that a number of ministerial candidates failed to pass the screening of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK), which made Jokowi decide to seek for additional candidates. The market, however, would like to know the composition of the cabinet as soon as possible.

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  • Cabinet Joko Widodo: Market Waiting for Indonesia’s Ministerial Candidates

    The market is eagerly awaiting the names of the ministers inside the cabinet of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). However, the market needs to be a bit more patient as there has been a problem with the initial list that was submitted by Jokowi to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK). Reportedly, 30 percent of the ministerial candidates mentioned on the list did not pass the screening of the KPK due to (perceived) corrupt behaviour or troubled financial records.

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  • Inauguration Joko Widodo Boosts Indonesian Stocks, Bonds & Rupiah

    Indonesian stocks, bonds and the rupiah exchange rate performed well ahead of - and during - the inauguration of Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as Indonesia’s seventh President on Monday morning (20 October 2014). At 10:45 am local Jakarta time, when Jokowi was making his speech in front of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), the Jakarta Composite Index had surged 1.36 percent to 5,097.25 points, while the rupiah had appreciated 0.78 percent to IDR 12,015 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index.

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  • Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo Becomes Indonesia’s 7th President Today

    Today (Monday 20 October 2014) Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, will be inaugurated as the seventh President of the Republic of Indonesia, effectively ending the decade-long leadership of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The inauguration will take place in Jakarta’s DPR/MPR building, the seat of government for the Indonesian legislative, while most of the celebrations will take place around Monas (National Monument) in Central Jakarta. Jokowi is likened by many due to his humble background and his reform-mindedness.

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Latest Columns Politics

  • 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

    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 & 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

    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

    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?

    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

    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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  • Elections Signals Big Questions on Indonesia's Future Democracy

    Elections Signals Big Questions on Indonesia's Future Democracy

    Recent elections in Indonesia have met with a great deal of attention and look to be a decisive moment for the country. We are looking at a country that has major financial problems and also is making a decision about the direction of its democracy. Prabowo Subianto has pledged to conduct a rollback in some of the aspects of Indonesia’s democracy. So the supporters of Indonesian democracy will be watching very closely to see how the recent election events will unfold.

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