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Today's Headlines Politics

  • 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 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?

    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

  • 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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  • 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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