Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines Politics

  • Indonesia Political Update: Prabowo Controls Majority in MPR

    After a long plenary session of the People’s Consultative Assembly (or MPR), Zulkifli Hasan has been elected as the Speaker of the MPR for the period 2014-2019. Zulkifli Hasan, a former Indonesian Forestry Minister, is backed by the Merah-Putih coalition and thus his election constitutes another blow for president-elect Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi). The Merah-Putih coalition is a coalition of six political parties that support vindictive defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.

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  • 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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Latest Columns Politics

  • 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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  • 2019 Presidential Election Indonesia: Widodo-Amin vs Subianto-Uno

    2019 Presidential Election Indonesia: Widodo-Amin vs Subianto-Uno

    It was a very exciting afternoon and evening on Friday (09 August 2018), especially for those who follow contemporary Indonesian politics as well as those who love sinetron (Indonesian soap operas) since there occurred plenty of drama. At the end of the day it became clear that two pairs (consisting of a presidential and vice-presidential candidate) will compete in the 2019 presidential election: (1) Joko Widodo and Ma'ruf Amin versus (2) Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno.

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  • Economy of Indonesia is Facing Several Big Challenges

    Economy of Indonesia is Facing Several Big Challenges

    There are doubts whether Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP) growth can reach 5.2 percent year-on-year (y/y) in full-year 2018 as Indonesia is experiencing a couple of major challenges. Challenges include the global trade war, the fragile rupiah, Bank Indonesia's higher benchmark interest rate, the current account deficit, and political tensions ahead of the 2019 legislative and presidential elections. Currently, Indonesia Investments' forecast for Indonesia's economic growth is set at 5.2 percent (y/y) in 2018.

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  • CEOs' Optimism about Indonesian Economy & Politics Falls Slightly

    CEOs' Optimism about Indonesian Economy & Politics Falls Slightly

    Chief executive officers (CEOs) in Indonesia have become slightly less optimistic about the Indonesian economy and politics. This makes sense considering the presence of simmering global trade tensions, sharp rupiah depreciation against the US dollar, and Bank Indonesia's recent series of interest rate hikes.

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  • Local Elections Indonesia: Run-Up to the 2019 National Elections

    Local Elections Indonesia: Run-Up to the 2019 National Elections

    The local elections that are held tomorrow (Wednesday 27 June 2018) are regarded a run-up to Indonesia's 2019 legislative and presidential elections. Tomorrow's results are a barometer to measure the political mood in the country with regard to next year's elections. After all, residents in the nation's four most populous provinces - West Java, East Java, Central Java, and North Sumatra - will visit the ballot boxes to vote for new governors. In total, 17 governors, 39 mayors and 115 regents will be elected across Indonesia on Wednesday.

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  • Foreign Workers in Indonesia: a Threat or Tactic to Gain Votes?

    Foreign Workers in Indonesia: a Threat or Tactic to Gain Votes?

    The issue of foreign workers has been the topic of much debate in Indonesian media in recent weeks. Ahead of the 2019 legislative and presidential elections political opponents of Indonesian President Joko Widodo are seemingly using this topic to gain popularity and to incite criticism on the government, or even to incite anxiety in society. Lets take a closer look at what it is about and whether criticism or anxiety is grounded or that we are simply dealing with another hoax.

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  • Presidential Election Indonesia 2019: Another Jokowi-Prabowo Battle?

    Presidential Election Indonesia 2019: Another Jokowi-Prabowo Battle?

    Indonesia's 2019 presidential election is likely to become another battle between incumbent President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Gerindra party Chairman Prabowo Subianto. Both men had already been engaged in a fierce contest in 2014, one that was only narrowly won by Jokowi. On Wednesday evening (11/04) Subianto formally accepted the mandate of the Gerindra party to compete as presidential candidate in the 2019 presidential election (scheduled for 17 April 2019).

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  • In Times of Elections Consumer Goods Companies Are Great Stock Picks

    In Times of Elections Consumer Goods Companies Are Great Stock Picks

    Consumer goods companies listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange are expected to experience two good years in 2018 and 2019 due to the presence of the "political years" (regional elections in 2018 followed by legislative and presidential elections in 2019). Traditionally, consumption rises amid these "parties of democracy" and therefore those consumer goods companies with strong brands are expected to see rising sales in this period.

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  • Looking Back at 2017 & Forward to 2018: Widodo's Performance

    Looking Back at 2017 & Forward to 2018: Widodo's Performance

    It was a solid year for the Indonesian economy. The macroeconomic fundamentals of the nation have strengthened due to the hard work of the Indonesian government under the leadership of President Joko Widodo. However, there is no room for complacency as there remain major bottlenecks, while legislative and presidential elections - in which voters can approve or disapprove Widodo's performance - are scheduled for 2019.

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