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Today's Headlines Politics

  • 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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  • Survey Shows High Degree of Confidence in Jokowi's Indonesia

    A survey from Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) shows that Indonesians' confidence in the performance of President Joko Widodo's government has risen. The survey signals that some 67 percent of the Indonesian population are satisfied with the government's performance, significantly higher compared to 42 percent in 2015. Reform-minded Widodo, often called Jokowi, has been in office since October 2014. However, he has to guide the nation amid global and domestic challenges (sluggish economic growth, low commodity prices and monetary policy changes of key central banks that trigger capital inflows/outflows).

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  • Regional Political Tensions: ASEAN Divided in South China Sea Case

    After an international tribunal came to the conclusion earlier this week that China has no legal claims to most of the South China Sea, there exists a lack of unity among Southeast Asian nations as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to respond to the matter. Among ASEAN officials there was no agreement to issue a joint statement regarding the ruling of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration as ASEAN member nations are split on the matter.

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  • Politics Indonesia: Joko Widodo to Decide for another Cabinet Reshuffle?

    There has been rising speculation in Indonesia in recent months that Indonesian President Joko Widodo will decide for another cabinet reshuffle as several ministers are held responsible for the disappointing performance of their ministries (that have reacted too slow to implement new government guidelines, for example those guidelines set in the series of economic policy packages that have been released since September 2015). On 12 August 2015, Widodo had already reshuffled his cabinet, replacing six ministers.

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  • Regional Elections in Indonesia: Indonesia Votes for Local Leaders

    Today (09/12) millions of Indonesians head to the ballot boxes to vote for new regional leaders i.e. nine provincial governors, 36 mayors, and 224 district heads. These elections are important as the process of decentralization in the post-Suharto era has transferred considerable authority and power to the regions. As such, the regions now have a larger role and greater responsibility regarding economic development. Around 100 million people are eligible to cast a vote in the world's third-largest democracy. Today, 9 December 2015, has been declared a public national holiday.

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  • Politics of Indonesia: House Approves 2016 State Budget

    Late on Friday evening (30/10), after 11 hours of discussion, Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) approved the 2016 State Budget. This is good news for the government as it now has the opportunity to reform fiscal policy and continue with its development programs. The government budget deficit is expected to rise to 2.15 percent of the country's gross domestic product (from 1.9 percent of GDP in the revised 2015 edition), a bit closer to the maximum three-percent-of-GDP rule that is allowed by Indonesian law.

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  • Joko Widodo Presents Indonesia’s 2016 State Budget Draft in Parliament

    On Friday (14/08) the Indonesian government unveiled its 2016 State Budget draft at a session in the House of Representatives (DPR). The draft is important as it shows government targets regarding the macroeconomy of Indonesia and it shows on what fields the government will focus in terms of public spending. The government - led by Indonesian President Joko Widodo - is optimistic that economic growth will finally rebound after four years of slowing economic growth as its 2016 GDP growth target was set at 5.5 percent (y/y).

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  • 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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Latest Columns Politics

  • 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

    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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