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REFORMASI WEEKLY REVIEW
SUMMARY OVERVIEW
18 May 2018

Politics: Opposition figures warned that the downfall of Malaysia’s prime minister last week is a harbinger for President Joko Widodo in 2019.  Examining the political circumstances of the neighboring countries sheds light on the likelihood of this (Page 2).  In the wake of church bombings in Surabaya and a series of subsequent arrests and clashes with terrorists, policymakers are reacting by engaging in largely rhetorical back‑biting with one another (p. 3).

Security: Churches and police headquarters were targets of attacks in Surabaya and Pekanbaru, while police apprehended dozens of terror suspects nationwide.  Events confirmed that Isis has inspired terrorism, while veterans of Syria’s war have disseminated bomb‑making know‑how.  Nonetheless, terrorist capabilities vary widely (p. 7).

Justice: Although the Perindo party of the media tycoon Hary Tanoesoedibjo has not yet competed in an election, a prominent member has already become a corruption suspect, as authorities apprehended the chief of South Bengkulu District (p. 11).

Policy News: Plans to designate several strategic maritime zones will likely serve to enhance the authority of the fisheries minister (p. 11).  The Constitutional Court rejected an appeal of the 2017 Financial Information Access Law (p. 12).

Appointments: The background of a new presidential economic aide sheds light on his potential policymaking impact (p. 12).

Economics: In the absence of pro‑growth reforms from the administration, monetary authorities have resorted to a rate hike to defend the rupiah from external forces (p. 13).

Outlook: Twenty years ago this week, President Soeharto sensationally stepped down, enabling a democratization process that proved unusually peaceful and fruitful.  But with institutional reforms still lacking, the fate of democratiza­tion, two decades later, still hangs in the balance (p. 14).

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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