Indonesia “Catches the Fever”

Indonesia: Tony Abbott BURNS at protest in Java

People in Jakarta respond to the latest Abbptt “charm offensive. February 25th, 2015.”
People in Jakarta respond to the latest Abbott “charm offensive.” February 25th, 2015.

Indonesia: “FUCK ABBOTT” protest hits Australian embassy

February 25th, 2015. Updated March 11th.

To Know Him is To Despise Him. The ” Love” Spreads to Australia’s Northern Neighbour!

The Australian Prime Minister receives the respect he deserves in Jakarta.
The Australian Prime Minister receives the respect he deserves in Jakarta.

The execution process for the condemned Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is turning into quite a protracted saga. Apparently the men cannot be executed until as many Australians as possible believe there is a chance they will be saved from execution and as many Indonesians as possible cheer the execution as an affirmation of patriotic and independent Indonesia.

It is not hard to see that the protests in Indonesia are state approved if not sponsored. It is also clear that the size of the crowds is growing and by the time the executions actually take place there may be tens of thousands of sincere people on the streets of Jakarta all to wave a fist in the face of the Abbott.

The CIA and cohorts have known for a long time that manufactured social movements can under the right circumstances take on a life of their own. The entire hippie movement is a classic and well documented example. CIA provided the drugs, the leadership and the philosophy that enabled a large and apparently authentic movement to form. One more idiotic statement from Abbott between now and the execution and this whole event could turn out to be very damaging to the Indonesia/Australia relationship.

Given the fact that the poor wretched Prime Minister cannot help but make idiotic comments, as they are an honest expression of his character, chances are high that Australians will be asked to recoil in horror at the sight of Indonesians loudly celebrating the deaths of the Australians and not understand that it has nothing to do with them, nor Chan and Sukumaran. This is all about a chronically misfiring hapless clown, the Abbott .

Angry Indonesians have compared Tony Abbott to Shylock, the moneylender in The Merchant of Venice who demanded a pound of flesh when his rival defaulted on a loan.

“Australians need a prime minister, not a Shylock and drug dealer’s cousin,” a banner said at a protest held on car-free Sunday at Jakarta’s famous Hotel Indonesia roundabout.”

Bali nine executions: Tony Abbott compared to Shylock in campaign to repay tsunami aid

http://www.smh.com.au/world/bali-nine-executions-tony-abbott-compared-to-shylock-in-campaign-to-repay-tsunami-aid-20150222-13lhtz.html

Senior government figures expressed concerns Mr Abbott had derailed efforts to save the Bali Nine duo from execution, after linking the men’s fate to Australia’s aid donation following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that killed more than 200,000 in Indonesia.” the Daily Mail.

The haunted look of the doomed. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
The haunted look of the doomed. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The One Man Diplomatic Catastrophe.

Two Australian citizens Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukuraman are awaiting execution in Indonesia. The Australian Federal Police supplied the Indonesian police with the information that led to the arrests knowing that if convicted the men would face the death penalty. The Australian convicted drug smugglers were always going to be executed.

If you look at the situation from the point of view of the new Indonesian President Widodo this is an easy way for him to build credibility. By simply doing nothing, President Widodo gets to look strong and independent and help mollify the security establishment.  If he intervened and stopped the executions he would gain nothing. This Australian government has made it’s status as the dedicated slave of the United States, Britain and Israel perfectly clear. Sparing the two condemned men will have no material benefit to Indonesia and would see the new President lose a lot of credibility. The idea that public hectoring would help in this situation is just ridiculous. You wonder how anyone could possibly be so stupid, but it is just the view from “Australia world”.

The typically disastrous statement from the Australian Prime Minister, where he bitterly remarked that since Indonesia was going to go through with the executions perhaps they should return the money Australia donated following the 2004 Tsunami means that now many Indonesians will probably cheer the executions as a way to poke Abbott in the eye.
The Prime Minister truly has that effect on people right across the board. He has a remarkable talent for generating disdain and loathing.
The whole furore in Australia about the impending executions of Myuran Sukumaren and Andrew Chan is typically vapid and hypocritical for several reasons..

The Australian Federal Police Put them on Death Row.

The condemned men Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran at sentencing.
The condemned men Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran at sentencing.

The drug smugglers are on Death row in Indonesia awaiting execution because the Australian Federal Police specifically chose to arrange for the smuggling syndicate to be arrested in Indonesia.
The information that led to the arrests came from the Australian Federal Police, there was no need to have them arrested prior to their return to Australia. The Australian Federal Police have never sought to offer a reasonable explanation for their decision to choose to cause the arrests to happen in Indonesia where the Death penalty is in place for such crimes. All the AFP have ever offered was some self-serving nonsense about “It was a successful operation.”
Australian Officials chose to put them in the Death Row position for unknown and unexplained reasons. So Australia complaining about the results of an Australian policy decision is obviously a joke.

Principled Opposition?

The other thing is that when a couple of Australians face execution suddenly we see a great deal of supposedly “principled” opposition to the death penalty. It is all rather laudable in it’s way but is also rather a joke in it’s provincialism and inconsistency.
When Indonesia executed the “Bali bombers” no one in Australia offered a word of protest. If you want to oppose the death penalty on principle, a perfectly decent position, surely that opposition has to demonstrate it’s principled nature by extending to all cases, even when the suspect is deeply unpopular?

Usn d Unmanned Aircraft to Execute Unknown People for Spurios Reasons is not worthy of comment in
Using Unmanned Aircraft to Execute Unknown People for Spurious Reasons is not worthy of comment in “Australia world”

US Drone Killings Don’t Count?

The bigger example is the United States extrajudicial killings in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. In Pakistan the United States sentenced people to death by drone on the basis that from the air they looked like the person might be a supposed “militant.” This is in a region of Pakistan where men go armed so anyone could be accused and killed at any time by the US on this basis.

“McClatchy’s April review of drone strikes revealed that at least 265 of up to 482 people that the CIA killed during a 12-month period ending in September 2011 were not senior al-Qaeda leaders, but were instead “assessed” as Afghan, Pakistani and “unknown extremists.” Corroborating media accounts show that US drones killed only six top al-Qaeda leaders during the same period.”

Classified documents reveal CIA drone strikes often killed unknown people — RT USA

http://rt.com/usa/cia-drone-strikes-unknown-targets-293/

Christopher Havardhis execution by US drone was not even announced for six months. The Australian government had no comment.
Christopher Harvard Executed without trial by a US drone strike in November 2013 his execution by US drone was not even announced for six months. The Australian government had no comment.

US Drones Executed Two Australians in Yemen in November 2013 without trial.

A US drone attack killed two Australian citizens Christopher Harvard  and Daryl Jones (New Zealand dual citizen) on November 19th, 2013 in Yemen. This fact did not even emerge until April 2014 at which point it was largely ignored. The Australian Government did not offer a word of comment. How can it possibly be that when Indonesia is going to execute two Australian citizens after a trial and many appeals this is cataclysmic yet when the USA executed two Australian citizens without trial it was not worthy of comment?

The men were alleged to be members of the al Qaeda Yemen branch, al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, a known and rather obvious CIA, Mossad (and the rest)  front with their underwear bomber ushered onto a plane without a passport or ticket by a handler who videotaped him the whole flight . With their “iconic martyred leader” Anwar al Awlaki of the previous Pentagon visits and extensive contacts with the US government and not forgetting the Kouachi brothers, the  classic patsies in Paris last month in the “Clash of Civilisations cartoonist” attack number one on Charlie Hebdo.

In addition to sentencing Australians to death without trial it is also clear that part of the “information grid” that is used to find, provide and deliver attacks on drone targets is based in the Pine Gap US spy base in Central Australia.

So a US facility based on Australian soil was used to help execute without trial or evidence an Australian citizen and no -one has a problem with that? Apparently not in “Australia world”.

The drone program initially was supposed to be an assassination program aimed at “important militant leaders” They began in Yemen in 2002 and Pakistan in 2004. The program degenerated to the point of these “signature strikes” when people and nearby civilians were killed on the vague and meaningless suspicion from camera footage from the sky.
Thousands of civilians have been killed by this program which peaked in 2010-11 under Obama.
If you had principled opposition to the death penalty surely you might have an issue with those techniques?

There will be no candles in Sydney for the innocent civilians of Waziristan slain by our “Dear friend” and “great ally” the United States.  No candles even for the Australians killed in Yemen without trial.  But of course, they are “other’ people aren’t they? Their deaths are not worth mentioning or even considering to the casual Western supremacist living in”Australia world’.

They certainly got the eyes right!
A Caricature of the Australian PM behind bars in the Jakarta demonstration.

Indonesia: Protesters throw ‘druggie’ Tony Abbott BEHIND BARS at Jakarta protest

Sources.

Indonesians on Twitter hit back at Tony Abbott’s Tsunami aid comments by taking to the streets | Daily Mail Online

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2962755/CoinForAustralia-Indonesians-streets-Twitter-collect-money-Australia-protest-against-Tony-Abbott-s-comments-linking-Tsunami-aid-Bali-Nine-clemency-bid.html#ixzz3Skk99Saw
Tony Abbott: Indonesia should reciprocate tsunami aid by sparing Bali Nine pair | World news | The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/18/tony-abbott-indonesia-reciprocate-tsunami-aid-sparing-bali-nine-pair

Shylock – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shylock

Indonesians on Twitter hit back at Tony Abbott’s Tsunami aid comments by taking to the streets | Daily Mail Online
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2962755/CoinForAustralia-Indonesians-streets-Twitter-collect-money-Australia-protest-against-Tony-Abbott-s-comments-linking-Tsunami-aid-Bali-Nine-clemency-bid.html

Bali nine: Julie Bishop concedes Tony Abbott’s tsunami aid comment seen as ‘unhelpful’ by Indonesia
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bali-nine-julie-bishop-concedes-tony-abbotts-tsunami-aid-comment-seen-as-unhelpful-by-indonesia-20150224-13n4i2.html

Bali nine executions: Tony Abbott compared to Shylock in campaign to repay tsunami aid
http://www.smh.com.au/world/bali-nine-executions-tony-abbott-compared-to-shylock-in-campaign-to-repay-tsunami-aid-20150222-13lhtz.html

Classified documents reveal CIA drone strikes often killed unknown people — RT USA

http://rt.com/usa/cia-drone-strikes-unknown-targets-293/

Drone strikes unpopular across globe, says US survey – Newspaper – DAWN.COM
http://www.dawn.com/news/1030154

July 2014 Update: US covert actions in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia | The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2014/08/01/july-2014-update-us-covert-actions-in-pakistan-yemen-and-somalia/

Drone strikes in Pakistan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_strikes_in_Pakistan

Drone strikes based on work at Pine Gap could see Australians charged, Malcolm Fraser says – ABC News
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-28/australians-could-be-charged-over-us-drone-strikes-fraser/5416224

Why Drones Work: The Case for Washington’s Weapon of Choice | Brookings Institution
http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/2013/06/17-drones-obama-weapon-choice-us-counterterrorism-byman

Drone Warfare “Signature Strikes” | Global Research
http://www.globalresearch.ca/drone-warfare-signature-strikes/5324491

Drone Strikes – Indicators Database | Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project
http://www.pewglobal.org/database/indicator/52/

Killer Drones Are a Lethal Extension of American Exceptionalism | Global Research
http://www.globalresearch.ca/killer-drones-are-a-lethal-extension-of-american-exceptionalism/5421866

Obama Has Killed More People with Drones than Died On 9/11 | Global Research
http://www.globalresearch.ca/obama-has-killed-more-people-with-drones-than-died-on-911/5423282

The Case Against Drone Strikes on People Who Only ‘Act’ Like Terrorists – The Atlantic

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/08/the-case-against-drone-strikes-on-people-who-only-act-like-terrorists/278744/

‘Signature Strikes’ and the President’s Empty Rhetoric on Drones | Arianna Huffington
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/signature-strikes-and-the_b_3575351.html

Indonesians on Twitter hit back at Tony Abbott’s Tsunami aid comments by taking to the streets | Daily Mail Online
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2962755/CoinForAustralia-Indonesians-streets-Twitter-collect-money-Australia-protest-against-Tony-Abbott-s-comments-linking-Tsunami-aid-Bali-Nine-clemency-bid.html

Underwear bomber was CIA double agent who located al-Qaeda mastermind for Yemen drone attack | Daily Mail Online
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2141573/Underwear-bomber-CIA-double-agent-located-al-Qaeda-mastermind-Yemen-drone-attack.html

Was Underwear Bomber a False Flag? A Fellow Passenger Testifies
http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/7590-was-underwear-bomber-a-false-flag-a-fellow-passenger-testifies

The Al Qaeda Underwear Bomber: Another Foiled False Flag | Global Research
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-al-qaeda-underwear-bomber-another-foiled-false-flag/30782

Northerntruthseeker: Exposing The Fraudulent Detroit “Underwear” Bombing: Terrorism 101: Governments ARE The Terrorists!
http://northerntruthseeker.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/exposing-fraudulent-detroit-underwear.html
Drone killing of Christopher Harvard in Yemen | Crikey
http://www.crikey.com.au/2014/04/22/an-australian-killed-to-the-studied-indifference-of-his-government/

Townsville man Christopher Harvard is one of two Australian extremists killed in Yemen by a US Predator drone strike | The Courier-Mail
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/townsville-man-christopher-harvard-is-one-of-two-australian-extremists-killed-in-yemen-by-a-us-predator-drone-strike/story-fnihsrf2-1226887128585

Yemen drone strike: parents of Australian killed demand answers | Australia news | The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/04/yemen-drone-strike-parents-of-australian-killed-demand-answers

xymphora: Al Qaeda’s air force
http://xymphora.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/al-qaedas-air-force.html

Anwar al-Awlaki – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_al-Awlaki

FBI Documents Suggest al-Qaida Terrorist Was Informant

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/al-awlaki-fbi-informant/2014/10/03/id/598410/

Enemy or Asset? FBI documents show radical cleric Awlaki communicated with federal agent in ’03 | Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/10/01/enemy-or-asset-fbi-documents-show-radical-cleric-awlaki-communicated-with/

» Dead French Terrorists Linked to Pentagon Dinner Guest Anwar al-Awlaki Alex Jones’ Infowars

http://www.infowars.com/dead-french-terrorists-linked-to-pentagon-dinner-guest-anwar-al-awlaki/

U.S. Government: Documents Pertaining to Awlaki Being an Asset on “An Agency” Payroll Are All Classified

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/10/06/u-s-government-documents-pertaining-to-awlaki-being-an-asset-on-an-agency-payroll-are-all-classified/

US ordered to release memo in Anwar al-Awlaki drone killing | World news | The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/21/us-release-memo-anwar-al-awlaki-drone-killing

Activist Post: 15 Signs The Charlie Hebdo Attack Was A False Flag
http://www.activistpost.com/2015/01/15-signs-charlie-hebdo-attack-was-false.html

The Charlie Hebdo False Flag in Paris: Theory, Evidence and Motive
http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/01/13/the-charlie-hebdo-false-flag-in-paris-theory-evidence-and-motive/

Say Hello to Joko Widodo.

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Indonesian President Widodo.

Say Hello to Joko Widodo
October 23rd, 2014.

Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi was sworn in as the President of Indonesia on Monday October 19th 2014.

Jokowi is the seventh Indonesian President since the eviction of the Dutch colonialists in December 1949. (although independence had been declared in August 1945)

 Indonesia – Wikipedia

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation with an estimated population of just over 250 million people exceeded by only China, India and the USA.

According to the CIA fact-book, Indonesia comprises an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, of which approximately 6,000 are populated. More than half the Indonesian people live on the island of Java (57%) and more than 80% of the population are Muslim, but the population is an incredibly intricate and diverse tapestry of different ethnic and cultural groups,  more than 700 languages are spoken across Indonesia.
In terms of human and social development, Indonesia seems to have passed through the most difficult stages and appears to stand at the edge of tremendous growth and prosperity if the growth can be managed responsibly and with an eye on the long term.

The CIA fact-book states that literacy is above 90% for both sexes that almost all the urban population has access to “improved” drinking water, but this falls to only three quarters in rural areas.
Who is Jokowi?
Jokowi is the populist and apparently incorruptible Governor of Jakarta, former mayor of Surakarta.
Prior to entering Politics Jokowi studied and ran small businesses with mixed success. As a politician he has clearly been a resounding success and as the leading figure in the Indonesian Democratic party Struggle. He belongs to the populist tradition in Indonesia, a faction that has essentially been engaged in a power struggle against the Indonesian Military (TNI) since the nation’s foundation. This is a power struggle that has been dominated by the Military faction, General Suharto ruled Indonesia for more than 30 years after ascending to power in a CIA approved military coup in 1965.
The thing that really sticks out regarding Jokowi’s background is that unlike so many of his predecessors and indeed his Presidential electoral rival Praboyo Subianto, he has never lived overseas as far as I can tell. He has not been “inducted”: into the mindset of the Western elite. He is lacking the Oxford sojourn, the visiting fellowship at the Brookings Institute, the study at the Royal United Forces Institute. The IMF posting. You get the idea.

The Departing President SBY
The Departing President SBY

Predecessors and rivals.

By way of contrast, Jokowi’s predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono managed two stints of military training in the United States. In 1975 he attended Fort Benning,and took the Airborne and Rangers course, he returned in 1981-82, and took the “ Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning and in training with the 82nd Airborne Division. also spent time in Panama and went through the jungle warfare school. “
Jokowi’s electoral rival Praboyo Subianto had a similar experience, Praboyo attended the Advanced Infantry Officers Course at Fort Benning in the southern US state of Georgia in 1985.

The Defeated Candidate Prabowo. His history is more than a little sinsiter. Will his backers seek revenge?
The Defeated Candidate Prabowo. His history is more than a little sinsiter. Will his backers seek revenge?

The very candidacy of Praboyo was in fact something of an insult to the Indonesian people and a potent symbol of the power exerted today by the worst elements of the former Suharto military regime.
Praboyo appears to have been Suharto’s most ruthless and violent henchman “disappearing” Democratic activists sometimes and on other occasions simply murdering activists as a warning to others. While many Indonesians may prefer to excuse or ignore the criminal excesses of the TNI during their Occupation of East Timor, Praboyo’s crimes were committed against any and all who threatened the Security of the State, most of the crimes he oversaw were in East Timor, but the same wicked tactics were used against peaceful Javanese activists right up until Suharto’s May 1998 fall from power Praboyo was trying to stem the tide of Democracy by imprisoning people and murdering them after having tortured them. “Troops under Prabowo’s command kidnapped and tortured at least nine democracy activists in the months before the May 1998 Riots” and were “also suspected of organising the 1997–98 activists kidnappings in Indonesia of another 13 activists (who all remain “missing”) between February 1997 and May 1998
The Praboyo candidacy almost appears as though the “TNI faction” chose the candidate with the most criminal history because if he won, he’d have even more to lose from any loss of the immunity of the military.
the Jakarta Post and the Guardian-Divergent Views of Corruption.
Commenting on Yudhoyono’s legacy Margareth S. Aritonang writing in the Jakarta Post on October 20th stated
“ During his 10 years leading the government, outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has developed the Indonesian Military (TNI) by increasing its budget and endorsing regulations that strengthen its authority, but has done nothing to make sure the military becomes more accountable to higher powers.”

President invests in TNI, limits oversight – National – The Jakarta Post

“Yudhoyono’s lack of concrete action to reform the TNI has protected the institution from law enforcement efforts, nurtured its culture of impunity and, in contrast to other state institutions, left it untouched by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).”

“Unlike his obvious attempt to improve the TNI through soaring funding that reached Rp 95 trillion (US$78.4 billion) in the proposed 2015 state budget, the largest amount given to any state institution, Yudhoyono had apparently ignored plans to amend the 1997 Law on Military Tribunals throughout his leadership terms. “

“Critics believe that the amendment would lay the foundation for a progressive change within the TNI as it would allow external oversight to enforce accountability and transparency.”

“Nothing was heard of the fate of the amendment until today, although reports of soldiers committing crimes continued to touch the nerves of the Indonesian public, especially last year when 12 members of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) brutally murdered four detainees at the Cebongan Penitentiary in Yogyakarta.”

“As long as the 1997 military tribunals law remains intact, the TNI will be able to keep dealing with the misconduct of soldiers as an internal affair.”

“Reform within the military institution will never take place as long as the [military tribunals] law is maintained,” Wahyudi Djafar from the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) said recently.

“A lack of control over the TNI’s enormous power will enable soldiers to take excessive measures in the name of state security.”

From this I think that it can be concluded that President Yudhoyono was rather reluctant to encroach on his former Military colleagues or take any actions against their wishes. This is a very perilous issue for Jokowi, if he displeases the TNI with reforms that make the military legally accountable, there is a strong likelihood that “rogue elements” of the Indonesian military will seek to destabilise the nation and the Jokowi leadership by engaging in a campaign of “synthetic terrorism,” and/or igniting sectarian violence in one of the many socially vulnerable areas of the vast and tremendously diverse nation.

The Guardian’s Simon Tisdall described Jokowi as “a political outsider determined to confront the moneyed, self-serving ruling elites of the nation’s capital “ the comment on corruption that follows is telling. “a country where corruption is said to be rife.” But the Guardian has not apparently been able to determine the veracity of these allegations at this point in time. They have heard the rumours but they are not yet sure!
The contrast between the honesty of the Jakarta Post as opposed to the obfuscation of the Guardian tends to indicate two obvious things.
1. The Indonesian people are sick of Corruption and Malfeasance on the part of public officials. The Military are still somewhat above the law and are apparently unwilling to be accountable to public officials or for public monies.

“ exempted military personnel from being investigated by the KPK (National Corruption Commission) over any alleged misuse of the huge amount of state money granted to the organisation. In 2012, the Defense Ministry was in the spotlight over alleged irregularities in the $470 million procurement of six Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKK fighter planes that might have caused $50 million in losses to the state, an allegation quickly denied by the government.” (Source)
2. Western elites, are perfectly happy with corrupt military rule in Indonesia and the consequences faced by the Indonesian people are simply irrelevant.

President Jokowi will face a number of pressures from numerous power groups, both locally and internationally

Economic Reform-the Fuel Subsidy is Very Controversial.
Several Jokowi aides have indicated that one of the first Economic reforms President Jokowi intends to implement is to cut the government fuel subsidy which some describe as expending at least 14% and as much as 25% subsiding the lifestyles of the middle class. Joko claims that he plans to divert the savings gained by cutting the subsidy to Health and Education services and also towards improved infrastructure. Jokowi aides have criticised the outgoing President Yudhoyono failure to implement this reform. Will Hickey writing in the Jakarta Post this February had a different view of the issue. writing
“all Indonesian economic activities, from cheap discount flights to Bali, to buses, trucks and cars on the Jasa Marga toll roads to the gridlock in Sudirman and Blok M, to ojek (motorcycle taxis), to container ports in Surabaya and the electricity generated by the state power monopoly PT PLN, are predicated on the availability and low costs of subsidised fuels.”

“Unfortunately, all subsidy reform to date — as studies by the likes of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) show — has only discussed a strategy for raising prices on the consumer.”

“A 2012 updated International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) study titled A Citizens’ Guide to Energy Subsidies in Indonesia, mentions a problem with hidden producer subsidies (such as tax incentives, investment credits and domestic market obligations), but goes on to mostly indict the consumer as the largest culprit.

“The study does acknowledge that hidden producer subsidies are just too difficult to pursue. So that is the entire strategy: Ignore deeper issues and stick it to the consumer as “the rich” may benefit unjustly. “ ominously Mr Hickey notes that “No one is willing to take a heavy hand with the fuel subsidy issue before the election, but the markets will force them to do so after. “ The enthusiasm for this reform or these cuts is very strong among the Western Financial Papers, and we can assume that the objections to the subsidy from the likes of the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg are not borne out of their concern for the car-less Indonesian working class or anything similar. It doesn’t fit the models they proscribe.
Regardless of the merits of this change, the Widodo government is likely to face harsh judgement and coercion from the Bankers if they fail to cut the subsidy, and will probably face demonstrations and much internal anger if they go ahead. Jokowi’s ability to work with these divergent interests without alienating either group will probably be his first major challenge.

International Relations. A Likely Secondary Priority.
Despite the thirty year stint under a CIA strongman, Indonesia is a founding member of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM), the major challenge of the Jokowi government will be similar to the challenge facing Australia and many other regional nations. The challenge is to manage China’s ascent and the United States relative decline in as non-violent way as possible. It is not in the Indonesian interest that US China rivalry be allowed to descend into armed clashes of any kind.
There is little doubt that in International relations the Jokowi government will opt for moderate and conciliatory policies that seek to minimise conflict between nations. The foreign policy is likely to be business as usual, with other policy areas having precedence.
Everyone knows what Indonesia needs.
Indonesia ‘s needs and the needs of the Indonesian people are the same as anywhere else. Indonesia needs development and stability and the curtailment of political and military corruption will strengthen the state immeasurably. Indeed, rogue military elements, far from being the “protectors of the nation” represent the only real threat to the Indonesian state’s stability and development along with their Western Intelligence allies. .
It is one thing for an individual such as Jokowi to be “clean” but ensuring that entrenched systemic corruption is addressed may well be beyond President Jokowi’s reach. Ultimately President Jokowi will be judged on his ability to represent the interests of the Indonesian people in the face of the threats and demands of Western Neo-Liberals and the entrenched corrupt Indonesian power elite whilst maintaining peace and stability. We should all wish him well.
James Robertson. .