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Preserve Reformasi

Preserve Reformasi                                                                                                            October 1, 2019 Commentary by Wayne Forrest Things can come suddenly in Indonesia. If you haven’t been observing Indonesia closely since President Jokowi was reelected with a solid mandate in April, you might think that things would be going well for him leading up to his October 20 inauguration. But you would [...]

Election Idul Fitri

Indonesians have begun the mass movement (mudik) that occurs annually at the conclusion of Ramadhan, the holy fasting month. Idul Fitri/Lebaran is a back-to-one’s-roots moment relocating millions out cities to be with their families. Jakarta suddenly becomes a quiet, small town. The holiday’s message of peace, inclusiveness, and forgiveness could not have come at [...]

A Positive Narrative

If I look back over the past year, the story lines surrounding Indonesia have mostly been negative. Of course, part of the reason is that the main principle of the media is that “bad news sells”. On Indonesia’s side there have been natural disasters (flooding, mudslides, eruptions etc.), commercial concerns (halal import restrictions, local content [...]

Pancasila to the Rescue

May 31, 2017 Some say today’s Indonesia is not your father’s Indonesia. A political scientist I know believes that in 15 years all of Indonesia will be under sharia law. I am not so sure. The heart of the secular basis of Indonesia’s republic has always been the Pancasila or 5 principles. They are: Belief [...]

Is Barbie Guilty ?

I will be visiting Indonesia next week and will likely be asked about President Trump's trade policy, articulated in his recent executive orders.  Will Indonesia, one of 16 countries under review with a large trade deficit, be penalized.  Is it really a trade "cheater" ? The US runs a congenital deficit with Indonesia mostly because [...]

Where Are The Technocrats ?

I have been watching the rupiah flirt with 12,000, remembering 1998 time when it dropped from 2400 to 15,000, and the long period in 2010 and 2011 when it was steady at 8,800-9200. Its tough to see the currency move lower and growth rates in the 5% range when its generally known that Indonesia's population [...]

Bima vs Puntadewa

CEO Notes Bima                                            Puntadewa Indonesia’s Presidential campaign has now kicked off in earnest and although the two candidates don't have too many differences over the substance of their economic policies, they do differ markedly in character and personality. And its character [...]