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Today's Headlines Politics

  • '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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  • Strong Performance Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah on Friday

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah exchange rate strengthened considerably on Friday (17/10) due to speculation that president-elect Joko Widodo will raise prices of subsidized fuels soon after his inauguration as Indonesia’s seventh President on Monday 20 October 2014. Furthermore, a meeting between Widodo and powerful opposition leader Prabowo Subianto on Friday morning also managed to ease concerns about political stability in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Lastly, rising indices on Wall Street added positive market sentiments.

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  • Joko Widodo Meets Prabowo Subianto, Indonesia’s Political Tensions to Ease?

    Political uncertainties in Indonesia brought on by the rivalry between president-elect Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) and defeated candidate Prabowo Subianto may have eased somewhat as both men met on Friday morning (17/10) in Jakarta. After the meeting Subianto stated that he fully supports the Jokowi-led government, while Jokowi stated that he is open to receive criticism from opposition in the House of Representatives (DPR). Jokowi will be inaugurated on 20 October 2014 as Indonesia’s seventh president.

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  • JP Morgan and Standard & Poor’s about Indonesia’s Equity Market

    Executive director of equity research at JP Morgan Securities Indonesia Aditya Srinath painted a positive picture about the equity market in Indonesia despite the lingering risks emerging from domestic political instability and looming capital outflows due to higher US interest rates in the second quarter of 2015. Srinath stated that Indonesia’s economic resilience so far as well as falling domestic interest rates among Indonesian financial institutions are positive signs for the equity market.

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  • 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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Latest Columns Politics

  • Indonesia Condemns US' Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital of Israel

    Across the world, leaders express criticism on US President Donald Trump's decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. Moreover, Trump announced that the American embassy is to be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While Trump claims that these decisions constitute a step to advance the peace process and emphasizes that the US will continue to facilitate the peace process between both sides, fierce criticism unleashed following Trump's statements.

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  • Will Indonesia Move the Capital Away from Jakarta & Java Island?

    The Indonesian government is still studying the possibility of building a new capital city in Indonesia, thus replacing Jakarta that has become overcrowded with approximately 10 million official residents (the real figure may be much higher as many unregistered Indonesians live in the capital). Moreover, every morning there is a huge inflow of people (originating from the satellite cities around Jakarta) who are heading to their office or place of work. This causes great pressure on the city's fragile infrastructure.

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  • Indonesian Politics: Ahok Withdraws Appeal against Blasphemy Conviction

    To us it came as a surprise to learn this morning that former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok) decided not to appeal against his controversial blasphemy conviction earlier this month when the Jakarta Court found him guilty of insulting Islam and therefore sentenced him to two years in prison, a case that is regarded a setback for Indonesian pluralism and religious tolerance.

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  • Wake up Call for Indonesia: What Can We Conclude from Ahok's Verdict?

    Around the globe media reported about the controversial decision of the Jakarta Court to hand a two-year prison sentence to former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok), a much tougher sentence than had been demanded by prosecutors. Ahok, a Christian from Chinese descent, was imprisoned on grounds of blasphemy. However, most analysts assume Ahok is victim of a flawed and corrupt political and judicial system.

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  • Rising Influence Hardline Islam & Billionaires Club on Indonesian Politics

    After having carefully followed the 2017 gubernatorial election in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta, there are a couple of worrying signs. One, the rising influence of hardline Islam on Indonesian politics (and prosecution). Two, the rising influence of a handful of Indonesian "billionaire" businessmen, led by controversial Prabowo Subianto, who seek the highest political power within Southeast Asia's largest economy. Three, the cooperation between the two aforementioned forces as they each strive to fulfill their (separate) ambitions.

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  • Politics in Indonesia: Why is the Jakarta Election Important?

    Jakarta's gubernatorial election is important for two reasons: (1) it is an important test case to determine the current state of religious and ethnic tolerance (pluralism) within Indonesia, and (2) it forms a prelude to Indonesia's 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections. Today, the second round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election is held, a tight race between incumbent Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) and former education minister Anies Baswedan.

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  • Politics of Indonesia: Has Democracy Gone Over the Top?

    At the inauguration of the People's Conscience Party (Hanura)'s new central leadership board on Wednesday (22/02), Indonesian President Joko Widodo said "Indonesian democracy has recently gone over the top". He referred to the various controversial cases and demonstrations that have emerged in recent months involving hate speech related to race, religion, ethnicity and class.

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  • Politics in Indonesia: Jakarta's 2017 Gubernatorial Election

    It is not a coincidence that ethnic, religious and social tensions have risen in Indonesia ahead of Jakarta's gubernatorial election on 15 February 2017. Indonesian Police is currently making over hours as various people, including political and religious leaders, have been reported to police for blasphemy or hate speech. One of the people that is being trialed is incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama Tjahja (Ahok), who is one of the three men who compete to become the capital's next governor.

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  • Politics of Indonesia: Anti-Ahok Demonstration with Political Motives

    On Friday (04/11) a massive demonstration is scheduled to be staged in Jakarta. In this protest rally thousands of people are expected to gather to ventilate their disapproval of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Cahaya Purnama (better known as Ahok). The rally is organized by a coalition of Islamic groups including hard-line group Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) which has often used violence to achieve their targets. The Muslim groups accuse Ahok of blasphemy by misquoting Quranic verses during a speech in Kepulauan Seribu, off the coast of Jakarta, in early October.

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  • 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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