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REFORMASI WEEKLY REVIEW
SUMMARY OVERVIEW
19 October 2018

Politics: Gerindra Chair Prabowo Subianto visited a conservative Islamic organization and denounced what he terms the “economics of stupidity”.  He reiterated his condemnation of foreign debt and private investment in resources.  The moves show that he continues to associate himself with Islamic groups beyond the mainstream, while putting forth economic critiques that may miss the mark (Page 2).

Justice: Charges from Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) prosecutors in the Riau‑1 power plant case allege that BlackGold shareholder Johannes Kotjo arranged share‑splits from the proceeds of markups (p. 5).  Two executives from the Lippo property group, Billy and Eddy Sindoro, are in KPK custody in different cases.  Billy allegedly bribed officials in Bekasi for permits for the grandiose Meikarta development, and the Bekasi District Chief is among those arrested (p. 6).  KPK prosecutors commenced the trial of PT Nusa Konstruksi Enjiniring (NKE) (p. 7).

Policy News: In the nationalization of the giant copper and gold mine of PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), an impasse is brewing over the handling of tailings, or mine waste.  PTFI has said that new regulations, issued by the environment and forestry minister in April, are impossible to fulfill.  And the head of state‑owned PT Inalum, which intends to purchase 51 percent, says that banks will not provide financing without a “resolution to the environmental issue”.  Nonetheless, the minister has not wavered and parliamentarians are critical of PTFI.  The president targets year‑end for executing the transaction, but more delays are possible before the shares change hands (p. 8).

Infrastructure: The Jakarta Light Rail Train (LRT) faces delays as central government officials blame the provincial administration for sloth.  But land acquisition in Setiabudi may be making belated progress (p. 10).

Economics: The labor minister hiked the minimum wage guideline by eight percent.  This outstrips inflation, but currency depreciation offsets the impact for exporters (p. 10).

Outlook: Three trends in particular can affect the presidential race  (p. 11).

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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