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Reformasi: The Struggle for Power in Post-Soeharto Indonesia is a non-fiction narrative that charts the course of Indonesian politics between 1996 and 2001.

2 October 2015

Politics: Revelations from the North Sumatra judicial bribery case are apparently embroiling more leadership figures from Surya Paloh’s National Democrat (Nasdem) Party. Nasdem’s prominent secretary general, Rio Patrice Capella, remained conspicuously absent from a party gala after his questioning as a witness last week. Meanwhile, new testimony damages the former head of the Nasdem Party Court, the lawyer Otto Cornelis Kaligis. For President Joko Widodo, public scrutiny of Nasdem could render the party more manageable (Page 2). Energy Minister Sudirman Said divulged insights about behind the scenes dynamics in years past (p. 5).

Policy News: The second phase of the government’s policy package lifted markets by offering interest income tax exemptions for resource exporters, as well as value added tax (VAT) exemptions for transportation equipment and parts. The package also streamlines and accelerates processes for obtaining forest use permits – which have long impeded resource projects without contributing to environmental stewardship. Overall, the package reflects well on the practicality of decision making under the new coordinating economics minister. President Widodo had told ministers that he wanted the package to “have more kick” (p. 6). Trade Minister Tom Lembong made progress on the implementation of deregulation, issuing four revisions of problematic decrees while revoking five others. Among the changes are relaxed enforcement mechanisms for requirements that have burdened importers, such as port screening to ensure compliance with Indonesian language labeling rules and National Standards (SNI) (p. 8). A third policy package lacks promise at present (p. 9).

Regional Elections: Constitutional justices made two changes that improve the 2014 Regional Head Elections Law. Single ticket races are permissible, and requirements are somewhat less onerous for independent candidates (p. 9).

Infrastructure:The government reversed itself and accepted China’s offer to finance a high speed rail link between Jakarta and Bandung (p. 11).

Economics: Slight deflation occurred in September, which the coordinating minister attributed in part to weak demand (p. 13).

Jakarta: Governor Purnama appears well positioned for a 2017 election (p. 13).

Reformasi Weekly Review provides timely, relevant and independent analysis on Indonesian political and policy news. Delivered electronically every Friday, Reformasi Weekly is written by Kevin O’Rourke, author of the book Reformasi. For subscription information please contact. Reformasi Weekly is a product of PT Reformasi Info Sastra.
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