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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: President Joko Widodo finally delivered a speech denouncing expressions of prejudice for political ends. Blunting the impact was an awkward choice of words, which triggered headlines about “an excess of democracy”. In fact, the president decried politicized sectarianism (Page 2). Opponents of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (‘Ahok’) are attempting to bring another charge of blasphemy against him, using a 2.5‑year‑old video. In a tight election race, it risks image damage with potential swing voters (p. 2). A tabloid report suggests that the president is disgruntled with the finance minister for not setting more aggressive economic targets (p. 3). Wiranto recruited conventional generals into his revamped Hanura Party leadership (p. 5).
Justice: The money‑laundering investigation surrounding Bachtiar Nasir, head of the National Movement to Usher in Decrees of the Clerics (GNPF-MUI), indicates ties to a Turkish foundation active in Syria (p. 5). National Awakening Party (PKB) parliamentarian Musa Zainuddin entered custody in the Maluku roads case. Prosecutors say nearly two dozen mid‑level Public Works officials took kickbacks (p. 6). A revived case regarding regional infrastructure allocations could yet embroil PKB Chair Muhaimin Iskandar (p. 6).
Policy News: With a key Freeport shareholder acting as an advisor to Donald Trump, the mining company’s contract dispute may have unpredictable consequences for bilateral ties. Room exists for common ground – but a resolution could take months (p. 7). Plans are afoot for a Decree-in-Lieu-of-Law (Perppu) on Bank Secrecy, to enable tax inspectors to open bank account details, ahead of the international Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI) (p. 12). Finance Ministry officials say that they have secured parliamentary approval to apply excise taxes on plastic packaging (p. 12). Land Bill deliberations could commence in April (p. 13).
Regional Elections: Results confirm Wahidin Halim as the winner of Banten’s gubernatorial contest, while the laborious vote‑count in Aceh remains inconclusive (p. 14).
Jakarta: Purnama carefully rebutted criticism about recent flooding. He emphasized that it proves that his Ciliwung River Normalization project – which his opponents malign – must continue (p. 15). The Semanggi Interchange expansion should be ready by July (p. 16).
Appointments: Maj Gen Jaswandi takes over as Jakarta Region commander (p. 16).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.