Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines Politics

  • Yudhoyono to Issue Presidential Decree to Block Regional Elections Law

    Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced to issue a presidential decree to override parliament’s approval of the controversial regional elections law. This new bill passed the House of Representatives (DPR) on Friday last week. Immediately institutions and people objected to the bill - which abolishes direct elections for regional leaders (leaving it to regional legislatures to elect mayors, district heads and governors) - as it is considered a step back for the country’s young democracy and reduces transparency.

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  • Update Indonesia’s Regional Election Law: SBY Has ‘Plan B’

    Incumbent Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) announced on Tuesday (30/09) that he prepares a plan to undermine the new bill - accepted by Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) - that blocks direct elections for regional leaders (leaving it to regional legislatures to elect mayors, district heads and governors). Many institutions and people have objected against the new bill as it is regarded a setback for the democratization process in Indonesia. SBY also immediately expressed its concern about the passing of the new bill.

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  • Economy of Indonesia: Regional Election Bill and US Economic Data

    The most controversial and heatedly debated news story from Indonesia in the past week was parliament’s approval of a new bill that puts an end to direct voting in the regions. This means that it are not the people but instead the regional legislatures that will elect mayors, district heads and governors. Critics say this is a major setback for the democracy process of Indonesia and will make local elections prone to corruption, collusion and nepotism as Indonesia’s legislatures - both at the national and regional level - are believed to be corrupted to a high degree.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Weaken on New Bill and Wall Street Fall

    Indonesian stocks and rupiah exchange rate weakened considerably on Friday (26/09) after Indonesian parliament approved a new bill that puts an end to direct local elections. Moreover, market sentiments were negative after stocks on Wall Street plunged on Thursday because of increasing concern about the global economy as well as consumers’ problems with Apple's latest software updates and new product launches (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) resulting in a 3.8 percent slide of Apple shares.

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  • Democracy in Indonesia: Parliament Passes Bill to End Direct Local Voting

    Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) passed a controversial bill in the early morning of Friday (26/09) that is widely criticized by media and analysts. After a walk out of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party (the largest party in parliament having 148 out of 560 seats) in the plenary session, parliament agreed that direct voting in the regions will be scrapped, thus leaving it to the regional legislatures to elect mayors, district heads and governors. Critics say this bill is a setback for democracy.

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  • Indonesia under Jokowi’s Cabinet: Technocrats vs Party Politicians

    Indonesia’s seventh president Joko Widodo (better known as Jokowi), who will take office in late October 2014 thereby replacing incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), said that during the next five years the Indonesian government will consist of 34 ministries of which 18 are headed by technocrats and 16 by “professional” party politicians. This structure is basically the same as that of the current SBY-led government. In modern Indonesian history the distinction between technocrats and party politicians has been an important one.

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  • Indonesian Constitutional Court Rejects Prabowo Subianto’s Election Challenge

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

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  • Ruling in Prabowo Subianto’s Court Case Expected on Thursday

    The security status in Jakarta has been raised one day ahead of the ruling of Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) on Thursday (21/08) as the Jakarta administration anticipates public protests. The Constitutional Court will decide on defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto’s claims that the election result of Indonesia’s July presidential election was influenced by massive fraud and violations (in both the voting and counting process). According to the official result Joko Widodo won with 53.15 percent of the votes.

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  • Joko Widodo Aims to Cut Indonesia’s Expensive Energy Subsidies

    Soon-to-be president of Indonesia Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) stated that he intends to cut the large fuel and electricity subsidies once in office. Indonesia’s Revised State Budget of 2015 (RAPBN 2015) allocates IDR 363.5 trillion (about USD $31.2 billion) to energy subsidies. This figure accounts for about 18 percent of total government spending (IDR 2,019.9 trillion) set for 2015. Although the energy subsidies aim to support the poorer segments of Indonesian society, they cause complex problems in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.  

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  • Joko Widodo ‘Jokowi’ Officially Wins Indonesia’s Presidential Election

    On Tuesday evening (22/07), the General Elections Commission (KPU) officially declared Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, the winner of the 2014 presidential election. Jokowi beat Prabowo Subianto, a controversial former army general, by 53.15 to 46.85 percent. Subianto did not witness the announcement. Several hours earlier, when news started to spread about a Jokowi win, Subianto announced to withdraw from the vote-counting process. He will challenge the result in the country's Constitutional Court (the ruling is expected in late August).

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Latest Columns Politics

  • Overview of Widodo Administration (2014-2019); Accomplishments and Failures

    Overview of the Widodo Administration (2014-2019); What Are the Accomplishments and Failures?

    There was a new kid on the block in national politics ahead of Indonesia's 2014 elections. Joko Widodo (often called Jokowi), gained tremendous popularity among Indonesians when he was Governor of Jakarta (2012-2014). This popularity was based on his humble background as well as his humble behavior, his eagerness to reform existing structures and patterns, and his “pro-people” attitude. Previously, Widodo (who is an ex-furniture businessman) had been mayor of Solo (Central Java) from 2005 to 2012. His time as mayor was a success. However, he would really step into the national spotlight once he had won Jakarta’s gubernatorial election in 2012.

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  • Road to Indonesia’s 2019 Presidential Election: Gap Narrows after 1st Presidential Debate

    Road to Indonesia’s 2019 Presidential Election: Gap Narrows after 1st Presidential Debate

    On Thursday 17 January 2019 the first debate between the two presidential pairs - (1) Joko Widodo & Ma'ruf Amin and (2) Prabowo Subianto & Sandiaga Uno - took place at Hotel Bidakara in Pancoran (South Jakarta). It is the first one of a total of five planned debates between the presidential and vice-presidential candidates in the months ahead of the legislative and presidential elections that are scheduled for 17 April 2019 (although the date of the 5th debate is yet to be determined).

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  • Political Update: Preparing & Bracing for the Big Political Year of 2019

    Political Update: Preparing & Bracing for the Big Political Year of 2019

    We have entered 2019, which means we have entered a huge political year with the legislative and presidential elections scheduled for 17 April 2019. Indonesia is a young democracy that is maturing – hence experiences growing pains – and where various sides are engaged in a battle to get a hold of the highest political power in Indonesia.

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  • Indonesia's Energy Subsidy Spending Far Above Target in 2018

    Indonesia's Energy Subsidy Spending Far Above Target in 2018

    Ahead of the legislative and presidential elections (scheduled for April 2019) the Indonesian government is unwilling to impose impopular measures. One of the side-effects is that subsidy spending has gone beyond the target that was set in the 2018 State Budget. Lets take a closer look at spending on energy subsidies in Indonesia so far this year.

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  • CEOs’ Perceptions of the National Economy and Politics Improves in Q4-2018

    CEOs’ Perceptions of the National Economy and Politics Improves in Q4-2018

    It are challenging times for businessmen and investors in Indonesia. An escalating trade war between the United States and China is felt by emerging markets including Indonesia. For example, the rupiah has weakened to a 20-year low against the US dollar. Meanwhile, Indonesia's legislative and presidential elections are scheduled for April 2019 and the results can have big consequences for the country's investment climate.

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  • Road to the 2019 Presidential Election; Visions and Missions

    Road to the 2019 Presidential Election; Visions and Missions

    On 23 September 2018 the campaign period officially started for Indonesia’s 2019 presidential election. This period runs up to 13 April 2019 (while the election is scheduled for 17 April 2019). Despite the start of the campaign period it has remained rather calm between the two opposing sides: (1) incumbent President Joko Widodo with Islamic clerk Ma’ruf Amin versus (2) Gerindra Chairman Prabowo Subianto with businessman Sandiaga Uno.

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  • Jakarta Administration Revokes Principle Permits Reclaimed Islands

    Jakarta Administration Revokes Principle Permits Reclaimed Islands

    The local Jakarta administration has officially revoked principle permits for the development of 13 artificial islands (reclaimed islands) in the bay of Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta. For now, the decision means a complete stop to all activities related to the ambitious land reclamation project north of Jakarta.

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  • Road to the 2019 Elections: Widodo Picks Islamic Scholar, Subianto Picks Businessman

    Road to the 2019 Elections: Widodo Picks Islamic Scholar, Subianto Picks Businessman as Running Mate

    It is finally clear which pairs will compete in Indonesia’s 2019 presidential election. On Saturday August 10th, 2018 (only hours before the deadline ended), political parties officially registered their presidential and vice-presidential candidates at the General Elections Commission (in Indonesian: Komisi Pemilihan Umum, or KPU). As was widely assumed, only two pairs will compete in the 2019 presidential election. Thus, there are also two coalitions of political parties.

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