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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.
Politics: Surya Paloh’s National Democrat (Nasdem) Party used a high profile National Working Meeting (Rakernas) to register ambivalence about the work of the Anti Corruption Commission (KPK). The stance highlights the party’s poor prospects for attracting voters who want change, even though Nasdem is one of only three new parties contesting the election (Page 2).
Surveys: Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo (‘Jokowi’) commands a gaping lead in a trustworthy new survey by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Widodo garnered support from 35 percent of respondents, versus 11 percent from the second ranked figure, Gerindra founder Lt Gen (ret) Prabowo Subianto. CSIS determined that support for PDI P would increase by two-thirds if the party backs Widodo (p. 2).
Justice: The Hambalang kickbacks scandal is implicating an increasingly wider and higher level group of figures. Court testimony indicated complicity by Sylvia Soleha, whom a palace official identifies as a “close acquaintance” of the first lady. Testimony also focused attention on a possible role by Widodo Wisnu Sayoko, whom reports identify as a relative of the president. The developments exacerbate negative publicity affecting President Yudhoyono and his party, and the mounting pressure of KPK investigations seems to weigh increasingly on executive decision making, contributing to defensiveness and risk aversion (p. 6). In the Kernel Oil case that ensnared the energy sector regulator Rudi Rubiandini, KPK investigators will summon the new military chief, Gen Moeldoko, but not the president’s son, Edhie Baskoro (‘Ibas’) (p. 11).
Policy News: Policymakers appear determined to ban raw mineral ore exports on 12 January. The coordinating economics minister acknowleges that the move will reduce 2014 exports by US$4 billion. By comparison, the 2013 current account deficit is on a pace to reach US$32 billion, and therefore the ban will exert added pressure on the rupiah, which has already lost 22 percent of its value this year. Ideological rigidity has supremacy over economic prudence (p. 12). The government may hike the minimum palm methyl ester content for diesel fuel from 10 percent at present to 20 percent or more. In theory, fully achieving the target could curb diesel imports by US$3.2 billion next year, but impediments will include capacity constraints and inadequate price incentives. The policy may also divert CPO exports, drive up CPO prices, cause food inflation and require additional subsidy spending (p. 15).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.