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REFORMASI WEEKLY REVIEW
SUMMARY OVERVIEW
26 August 2016

Politics: The veteran Partai Demokrat parliamentarian Ruhut Sitompul lost his post as party spokesperson, in part for volubly endorsing the election bid of Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama (‘Ahok’) (Page 2).

Justice: A major figure in the National Mandate Party (Pan), Southeast Sulawesi Governor Nur Alam, became a corruption suspect in a case pertaining to graft in the issuance of permits for nickel mining in 2008 10. The case could conceivably enable the independent Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) to uncover political connections behind companies that planned to take part in multi billion smelter projects (p. 2). A Public Works Ministry official entered custody in the KPK’s investigation of kickbacks on road building in Maluku. The case highlights the vulnerability of President Joko Widodo to negative publicity from persistent budgeting markup schemes (p. 5).

Policy News: Interim Energy Minister Luhut Panjaitan decided to disband seven special reform teams established by his predecessor. In addition to impacting the ministry’s performance, the move clouds the outlook by marking a swing back to conventional practices that have long burdened the sector – however, Panjaitan’s ‘interim minister’ status renders even this uncertain (p. 6). The 13th phase of the government’s economic package attempts to simplify procedures and reduce costs for developers of low income housing estates. The policies are well intentioned, but obstacles will likely persist in the absence of meaningful reform of governance, especially among regional officials with authority over permitting (p. 8). The new land affairs minister, Sofyan Djalil, pledged to boost efforts to certify land ownership titles, but the legal and regulatory complexities will require a comprehensive approach (p. 9).

Economics: The finance minister discussed her reasons for optimism about Indonesia’s potential, while underscoring the importance of institutional performance in fostering certainty and delivering services (p. 10).

Appointments: Golkar leaders revived the career of the scandal plagued Melchias Markus Mekeng, who takes over as chair of Commission XI on Finance (p. 12).

Jakarta: Officials affirmed that Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) is on schedule (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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