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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: The law minister’s approval of an inflated ‘Reconciliation Leadership’ roster, with 11 vice chairs, paves the way for Golkar to convene its long awaited extraordinary congress on 23-26 May. But other potential sources of tension remain (Page 2). The United Development Party (PPP) recruited a former chair of the Anti Corruption Commission (KPK), Taufiequrrahman Ruki, to serve in its leadership. This marks a rare but welcome instance of a credible figure entering party politics. For PPP, such moves could help its image (p. 3). The president issued a landmark order to examine suspected mass graves from 1965 66 (p. 4).
Justice: Supreme Court Secretary General Nurhadi is under scrutiny as a witness in two cases investigated by the KPK, including one embroiling the Lippo Group. A search of his home discovered stacks of cash in multiple currencies, and he is under a six month travel ban. Prosecutions that disrupt irregular networks can bring about tactical gains in improving legal certainty – but lasting progress will require reforms of institutions (p. 5). KPK members revived scrutiny of the electronic identity card (e KTP) case, questioning a former vice finance minister (p. 7).
Policy News: The government’s 12th phase of its economic package alleviates administrative and regulatory burdens on small business start ups. But without bureaucratic reform efforts, oppressive rent seeking will persist (p. 9) Parliamentarians are attempting to require all companies to spend 2-3 percent of “profit” on corporate social responsibility, but experience suggests that the proposal is unlikely to pass (p. 9).
Electoral System: Passage of a revised Regional Head Election Law seems possible next month, as legislators and the government agreed on certain key aspects (p. 10).
Economics: The Public Works Ministry registered faster spending in the first quarter, relative to the same quarter last year, which bodes well for stimulus and the alleviation of bottlenecks. But, ironically, weak revenues may limit the ministry’s potential (p. 12)
Jakarta: In another high profile example of an unconventionally vigorous approach, Governor Basuki Purnama (‘Ahok’) sacked the North Jakarta mayor, apparently for having acted sluggishly in recent land-clearance efforts (p. 12). Investigators continue to summon testimony from Budi Heru Hartono – the governor’s his intended running mate next year. This fuels uncertainty about their planned independent ticket (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.