Remember America August 2020 Commentary by Wayne Forrest On the 17th of this month Indonesia celebrates the 75th anniversary of Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta's audacious declaration of independence from Dutch colonialism. With only a collection of militias and officers (some trained by the recently departed Japanese), an air force that consisted of one plane
Rays of Hope July 2020 Commentary by Wayne Forrest, President We're close to America's Independence Day, typically a time of public celebrations, parties, and mass gatherings. Of course, this year these events honoring the birth of our democracy are severely hampered by the pandemic. Indonesia modeled its Republic on ours, but only in part.
The Souls of Two Pilots June 2020 Commentary by Wayne Forrest, President Over the past few months I have been trying to make sense of our current pandemic and find a coherent truth in the cacophony of news reports and government policies. How is our economy going to open ? What are we doing about
Is Indonesia a COVID-19 Outlier? May 2020 Commentary by Wayne Forrest Reading the press must be troubling for Indonesian leaders. Many accounts describe an out-of-control virus, compromised healthcare system, and an impotent government reaction. Typical is this comment by a Carnegie Endowment scholar: "The government's disregard for data, reliance on military personnel for crisis
A Stronger Response Indonesia's President, Joko Widodo, joined the ranks of statesmen around the world who have grudgingly sharpened their response to the COVID-19 threat. Although the confirmed cases are still below 2,000, Indonesia has now become fully engaged in an effort to mitigate the effects of the pandemic based on recent grim projections.
Disruption Commentary by Wayne Forrest A popular Indonesian cartoon that has emerged since the onset of the coronavirus (COV-19) shows a series of boxes filled with various symptoms (severe cough, joint pain, runny nose, stomach ache, fever, headache, etc.) with lines all connecting to one containing the cause: masuk angin. Literally meaning the wind
Salvage Job by Wayne Forrest Building Indonesia’s new capital in East Kalimantan may turn out to be easier than preserving its current capital. However, the “capital” I mean is what has been invested in Indonesia’s state-owned insurance and pension system, not Jakarta, a city sinking due to ground water loss and climate change. Once
2019: A Year of Treading Water by Wayne Forrest Politics dominated 2019 as it was an election year characterized by a stormy Presidential campaign, violent demonstrations by supporters of the losing candidate (Prabowo), and a serene October inauguration. Economically, Indonesia tread water, reinforced its value-added and resource nationalism priorities, maintained its macro stability and
Better Late Than Never Commentary by Wayne Forrest In September President Jokowi had an eventful meeting with Rodrigo Chaves, the World Bank’s Country Director in Indonesia, who told him that out of 33 multinationals relocating production out of China due to its trade/tariff war with the US, 23 went to Vietnam, the rest to
Onward/Backward Commentary by Wayne Forrest I recently met an Indonesian friend who had switched from an Iphone, which he had proudly used for years, to a Huawei phone. I was taken aback, but Huawei meets Indonesia’s local content rules and Apple doesn’t (although you can buy them as they were given a waiver because