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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 predicament of Golkar’s speaker of parliament, Setya Novanto, deepened when the legislature’s Ethics Court (MKD) resolved to consider charges brought by Energy Minister Sudirman Said. Novanto initially sought to launch legal counter measures against Said, but the Golkar treasurer reconsidered and instead acquiesced to the MKD process. In preparation for potentially momentous hearings, five of parliament’s 10 parties abruptly reshuffled their representatives on the court. Golkar leaders had already inserted new MKD members earlier this year, but the party replaced all three again, with personal loyalists of Novanto. Novanto may be confident that he will ultimately garner support from parliament’s pivotal neutral party, former President Yudhoyono’s Partai Demokrat. However, indications suggest that new revelations may emerge from a far longer transcript of the entire recording of Novanto’s conversation (Page 2).
Justice: Pertamina officials disclosed that importing through the company’s own Integrated Supply Chain (ISC), rather than the offshore subsidiary Petral, has saved US$133 million so far this year, through better pricing efficiency. Nonetheless, energy sector officials, including the minister, face skepticism not only from the opposition but also from PDI Perjuangan (p. 8).
Policy News: The president assigned specific cabinet members to serve as personal contact points for investors from specific international regions, if obstacles impede projects. The initiative shows welcome concern about the priority of boosting inflows – but, in practice, the added web of responsibilities are unlikely to provide breakthroughs (p. 7). A trade minister regulation simplifies horticultural imports by eliminating a requirement for Importer Registration (IT). However, importers of certain fruits and veg¬etables still require a cumbersome recommendation from the agriculture minister (p. 10).
Appointments: The Chamber of Commerce (Kadin) yet again elected a coal sector figure as its chair – Recapital owner Rosan Roeslani. Kadin’s longstanding lack of forward looking input into policy formulation seems likely to persist (p. 10).
Economics: Medco Energy owner Arifin Panigoro claims to be in the process of making a US$2 billion purchase of 76 percent of the copper and gold mine Newmont Nusatenggara (NNT). Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli enthusiastically backed the plan. However, a Newmont official denied that discussions have occurred (p. 12).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.