Opinion: No Indonesian Welcome Mat for the IMF

Opinion: No Indonesian Welcome Mat for the IMFOn Sept.1 and 2, Managing Director Christine Lagarde and the IMF are scheduled to visit ndonesia. While President Joko Widodo and some of his ministers have already rolled out the welcome mat for them, it should be put back in the closet. This is an organization that in part was behind the Indonesian economic crisis…

OPINION: Indonesian Executions Harm Jokowi, Country

OPINION: Indonesian Executions Harm Jokowi, CountryIf the world thought Indonesia was getting a warm, fuzzy and forward-thinking leader when it elected Joko Wido president last year, the pending second round of executions of several foreigners on drug charges should finally put an end to that. President Joko does not have to push these state-sanctioned killings ahead. He could stop them,…

Indonesia Executions Reveal a Darker Jokowi

Indonesia Executions Reveal a Darker JokowiIndonesia's shocking weekend executions of six drug convicts, five of them foreigners, unleashed a diplomatic storm but more tellingly revealed much about President Joko Widodo and his approach to government. Coming from obscurity and sweeping into office on a wave of popular desire for reform – much of it spurred by disgust over official corruption…

Indonesia’s Political Disgrace

Indonesia’s Political DisgraceAt a time when Indonesia has won widespread praise for electing a new president who emerged from the democratic reforms of the last decade, cynical political party interests used a lame-duck session of the legislature in the early hours of Friday to eliminate the direct election of local mayors and governors. The action, which was…

Reality Bites Indonesia’s Jokowi

Reality Bites Indonesia’s JokowiThe promises Indonesian President-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo made during the campaign for president seemed at times too good to be true, among them his insistence that his cabinet would consist of “professionals” rather than party hacks. That is why it was a sad day for legions of Jokowi backers last week when it was announced…

Calm Transition Shows Indonesia Outshining Thailand

Calm Transition Shows Indonesia Outshining ThailandTransparency, or the lack of it, is providing a clear contrast between Southeast Asia’s two largest economies, one of which is cementing a well-deserved reputation for messy but peaceful democratic rule while the other is growing increasingly opaque under military control. While Thailand lingers in doubt over its future under a military junta, the aftermath…

Indonesia’s Joko: Role Model for Asian Pols

Indonesia’s Joko: Role Model for Asian PolsThe election of Joko Widodo in Indonesia is not just a victory for a maturing Indonesian democracy – a peaceful election whose fairness is not seriously doubted, probably not even by the loser Prabowo Subianto, despite his allegations of fraud. But the result has been noted around Asia and beyond not just for the successful…

The Meaning of Jokowi for Indonesian Politics

The Meaning of Jokowi for Indonesian PoliticsThere was a feeling of relief among many Indonesians when the waiting was finally over on March 14 and the most popular politician in Indonesia, Jakarta Gov. Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, got the OK from former President Megawati Sukarnoputri to run for president in July under her party banner. The news was greeted with cheers, a…