Indonesia politics (update 21): Golkar split goes to court, Jokowi seeks Golkar in his coalition, party split renders Golkar ineffective; Jokowi studying ministry issues for first 6 months

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28 January 2015: Golkar split goes to court

Court opens trial for Golkar saga The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Wed, January 28 2015, 7:16 AM . The West Jakarta Court opened on Tuesday the first hearing of a trial on an internal dispute between two factions of the Golkar Party. Embattled Golkar chairman Aburizal Bakrie filed a lawsuit against a splinter group led by Agung Laksono, which had claimed a party national congress held in Bali was illegal. Calling itself the Presidium of the Golkar Party’s Saviors, Agung’s camp later held another national congress in Jakarta, which named him party chairman.The legal path was taken by Aburizal’s camp following a deadlock in reconciliation efforts between the two camps. - See more at:

11 January 2015: Jokowi seeks Golkar in his coalition, party split renders Golkar ineffective; Jokowi studying ministry issues for first 6 months

Interview on 29 December 2014: In chat with close Jakarta political observer just before the New Year, we hear that much rests on the splinter of Golkar, which has rendered Golkar non-functional at the national policy level amidst its legal uncertainties under the split in the party. This bolsters the ruling coalition. The Jokowi administration ministers are making studies of the key issues under their portfolios in the first six months, so there is not expected to be substantial shifts until then. However on maritime power, it's obvious from news headlines that Indonesia is asserting strongly its territorial power against encroaching fishing boats (one example, Malaysia-Indonesia: Confirms sinking of Malaysia fishing vessel

Jokowi wants Golkar in coalition The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Sat, January 10 2015, 7:00 AM; President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has applauded the Golkar Party’s plan to quit the Red-and-White Coalition in the House of Representatives, the leader of the party’s splinter group, Agung Laksono, claims.“I met him yesterday and he praised Golkar’s intention to quit that coalition,” Agung said as quoted by Antara news agency late on Thursday.... A splinter faction held a party congress in December last year and elected Agung as the party’s new chairman.

Loyal supporters ask Jokowi to fulfill campaign promises Sita W. Dewi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Fri, January 09 2015, 9:34 AM; Men, women and children from the Network of Urban Poor (JRMK) and the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC) came to meet with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Thursday, waiting for hours outside the State Palace to talk to him about promises he made during his campaign to be president and earlier as Jakarta governor. The strict protocol at the State Palace proved very different from their experience when Jokowi was at City Hall, when residents could talk to him without having to make an appointment. Is it still the same man, humble and caring, standing behind the strict palace protocol, or has the people’s leader changed into a different person? “I understand that everything is different now that he is the President. Back then, I came to City Hall almost every week. I came just before he arrived at the office in the morning and he would give us 15 minutes to two hours to listen to our grievances,” group representative Marno “Ujang” NP told The Jakarta Post in front of the State Palace.....

8 December 2014: Bakrie retains Golkar hold, in a setback for Jokowi

Bakrie's comeback - Political allies of Joko Widodo suffer a setback; Dec 5th 2014  | JAKARTA | Asia; "On December 3rd, at a conference on the island of Bali, members of Golkar, which is the second-largest party in parliament, re-elected Mr Bakrie as chairman for five more years. The tycoon-politician was the sole candidate after his main rival, Agung Laksono, who was expected to pose a serious challenge to Mr Bakrie's leadership, was purged from the party, along with his allies. Under Mr Bakrie's leadership, the party failed to put forward its own candidates for president or even vice-president in July's election. But in the run-up to the conference Mr Bakrie shored up support for his candidacy behind the scenes.... Supporters of Jokowi, who took office in October after a narrow victory in the presidential poll, had hoped a Golkar party led by someone other than Mr Bakrie might switch sides, giving the ruling party a majority in parliament. At present Jokowi's own Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, along with its four smaller allies, have about 44% of the seats. A Golkar defection would have left them with about 60%.... This now looks much less likely. Golkar's position within the rival "red-and-white" coalition, led by Prabowo Subianto, the losing presidential candidate, seems secure for the time being—though Mr Bakrie's re-election could yet be challenged if it turns out party rules were breached...."

26 October 2014 - presumed cabinet list (Jokowi Facebook posting confirms this half hour ago)

profiles here by

Breaking: Presumed List of Cabinet Ministers Leaked By Jakarta Globe on 03:54 pm Oct 26, 2014
A leaked list of the presumed cabinet of President Joko Widodo shows a high proportion of party and crony appointees; "Jakarta. The Jakarta Globe has obtained from a reliable source a list of the ministers expected to be named in an announcement later this afternoon and sworn into office on Monday. This list has been confirmed through two independent sources. Several of the names expected to be announced differ from an confirmed list obtained by Investor Daily last week. Among the notable changes are the removal of Kuntoro Mangkusubroto from the cabinet lineup, as well as the placement of Anies Baswedan as minister of primary and secondary education and culture.
One immediately striking feature of the list is the high number of politicians from President Joko Widodo’s coalition and associates of former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, Joko’s party patron. These include Megawati’s daughter, Puan Maharani, as coordinating minister for human development and culture, and Susi Pudjiastuti, who runs an aviation business, handling maritime affairs — the centerpiece of Joko’s policy platform. The Globe counts at least 19 such appointees in the list...."
Note the following:
National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) minister: Andrinof Chaniago
Coordinating minister for the economy: Sofyan Djalil
Minister of energy and mineral resources: Sudirman Said
Finance minister: Bambang Brodjonegoro
 - Deputy finance minster: Mardiasmo
Minister of cooperatives and small and medium enterprises: Anak Agung Gede Ngurah Puspayoga
 Minister of industry:  Saleh Husin
 Minister of trade: Rahmat Gobel
Minister of agriculture: Amran Sulaiman
Minister of forestry and environment: Siti Nurbaja
Minister of development of villages and underdeveloped regions and transmigration: Marwan Jafar

24 October 2014 - President Jokowi installed, enviro-forestry ministry, awaiting (vetted) ministerial line up

Indonesia’s Jokowi sworn in as president as economic problems mount - Hopes high for reform as president elected from outside military and political elite for first time in young democracy’s history
Reuters in Jakarta The Guardian, Monday 20 October 2014; "Indonesia’s Joko Widodo has taken over as president of the world’s third-largest democracy, with high hopes among supporters but pressing economic problems set to test the former furniture businessman.... The former Jakarta governor leader, widely known as Jokowi, won a narrow victory over an ex-general in July’s election, marking the first time in the fledgling democracy’s history that a president was elected from outside the military and political elite.. “This is the time for us to unite our hearts and hands, this is the time for us … to reach and realise an Indonesia that has political sovereignty, economic independence and cultural character,” Jokowi said in his inaugural speech to a packed parliament..."

Jakarta street party as Jokowi fever hits city October 20, 2014 by Michael Bachelard

President Jokowi Inauguration Street Party by Jakartaguy

Jokowi’s merging of environment, forestry ministries scorned by Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, Batam | Fri, 10/24/2014 10:05 AM; "President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s vow to protect the environment has come under question following his plan to merge two complimentary entities, the Forestry Ministry and the Environment Ministry, into a single ministry.... A conservation group, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), said on Thursday that the plan would be a setback to the country’s effort to improve the management of the environment, as the monitoring function of the Environment Ministry may diminish as it merges with the Forestry Ministry, one of the subjects of the monitoring.... Likewise, Greenpeace Indonesia chairman Longgena Ginting said that the focus of the ministry might be skewed toward exploiting forests.... Another thing that might be problematic in the future is the fact that the Environment Ministry is in charge of monitoring unruly public officials authorized to issue forestry permits and file lawsuits against them, while the Forestry Ministry who issues permits...."

Eight new ministerial candidates still under KPK consideration: Jokowi by The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 10/24/2014 10:42 AM; "President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo revealed on Thursday evening that he was still waiting for the result of probes being conducted by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on eight new ministerial candidates. Therefore, he, along with Vice President Jusuf Kalla, had yet to announce members of their Cabinet...."

‘No fat bank accounts’ for Jokowi’s ministerial candidates by The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 10/23/2014 6:52 PM; "Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) chief Muhammad Yusuf says his institution has not found evidence of suspicious bank accounts in its investigations into the 43 ministerial candidates proposed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla...."

House wants Jokowi Cabinet structure ready by next week by Margareth S. Aritonang The Jakarta Post/Jakarta, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 10/24/2014 10:08 AM; "The House of Representatives expects President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to announce his Cabinet structure early next week after it issues its recommendations regarding changes in the structure of the Cabinet...."

6 October 2014 - Speculation on ministerial jobs, Parliament opposition bloc holds together

Politicians in top posts limit progress on environment: Activists by Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Fri, October 03 2014, 9:38 AM; "As president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is set to announce his Cabinet this month, speculations are rife over who will fill the top jobs at the forestry and environment ministries, which bear the herculean task of managing forests, one of the country’s most coveted natural resources... Environmentalists agree that both posts should not be filled by political party members. “Some past forestry ministers were from parties, such as Mohamad Prakosa, Nur Mahmudi Ismail, MS Kaban and Zulkifli Hasan. But they didn’t excel at saving or managing forests,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia forest campaigner Yuyun Indradi.... “They won’t make much progress because environmental destruction is usually caused by corporations that have close ties with political parties,” he said.... Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) executive director Abednego Tarigan said that ideally, forestry and environment ministers should possess strong communication skills, which would be helpful in efforts to lobby corporations and other government agencies.“If we’re talking about [forest fire] cases, the corporations were brought to court only after they were pressured by civil society,” Abednego said...."

Indonesia’s Widodo Faces Emboldened Opposition - President-Elect’s Political Foes in Parliament Could Be Positioned to Dictate Policy; "President-elect Joko Widodo and his ruling coalition suffered another political setback Thursday after their opponents won control of key positions in the Indonesian parliament, a development that threatens to further weaken Mr. Widodo’s hand as he tries to push through a reformist agenda.... A coalition of parties that had supported former army Gen. Prabowo Subianto in his hard-fought presidential race against Mr. Widodo took the most important posts in the national legislature, including speaker, after members were sworn in to new five-year terms. They already control a majority of legislative seats.... Unless he can lure members of the coalition to his side in the next few weeks before taking office, Mr. Widodo will face a parliament resolutely hostile to him and his programs, which include reducing inequality in a nation of 250 million people and revamping the nearly-trillion-dollar economy.... The five parties in the Subianto-led coalition have defied expectations since the election in July that some would defect to Mr. Widodo in exchange for cabinet posts and other traditional incentives—which the reform-minded new leader has been reluctant to hand out.... Instead, they have hung together and formed a powerful bloc in parliament that has already tasted success in opposing the new president. That puts them in a strong position to dictate public policy and increase their power despite Mr. Widodo holding the nation’s highest office...."

Editorial: Take a Stand to Save Nation’s Democracy By Jakarta Globe on 12:29 am Oct 06, 2014; "The House of Representatives, or DPR, and People’s Consultative Assembly, or MPR, are two state institutions through which the people’s will is supposedly voiced.......We are powerless as we witness the slow demise of the country’s democracy; all we can do is wait for another five years to get involved and — hopefully — use our votes to take the power away from KMP.... But should we wait that long? Is our middle class too divided, blinded and too lazy to fight back? With a divided mass media, it’s not easy, but we must take a stand before it’s too late...."

29 September 2014

Party of Indonesia president-elect denied parliament speaker role; JAKARTA  Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:01am EDT; (Reuters) "Indonesia's highest court on Monday rejected a legal challenge by president-elect Joko Widodo's party to a law that prevents it from filling the role of parliamentary speaker, complicating efforts to push through economic reforms. Widodo's Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P) won just under 20 percent of the total vote in April's parliamentary election, the biggest share of any political party. But lawmakers in the outgoing parliament in July rushed through a change to a previous law that allowed the biggest party in parliament to automatically appoint a speaker, arguing that the appointment should be based on a vote. "It's not just that this robs us of the right as a party to select the speaker of the (parliament) but also affects the sustainability of the incoming government of Widodo," PDI-P lawmaker Trimedya Panjaitan told media...."

28 September 2014

Indonesian politics - Don't touch those ballots , Sep 26th 2014, 5:55 by J.F. | SINGAPORE
(Jokowi) did not offer voters promises of glory or elegant speeches (he is in fact a notoriously awkward public speaker); instead, he ran on a record of good governance and constituent service, earned during his tenure first as mayor of Solo, his hometown, then as governor of Jakarta. When Indonesians elected him president, the old order took it on the chin. Early this morning, that order fought back.... After ten hours of debate, Indonesia's parliament voted 226-135 to end direct elections of local politicians. Indonesia's 34 provincial governors, as well as more than 500 mayors and regency heads, or bupati, will now be chosen by regional legislatures, rather than being elected by the people they are supposed to serve. The measure was largely supported by parties that backed Prabowo Subianto, who lost the presidential election to Jokowi; and largely opposed by Jokowi-supporting parties. As the Wall Street Journal explains, the vote's result was uncertain, until legislators from parliament's largest party—the Democratic Party, of which Indonesia's current president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is also a member—walked out of deliberations and abstained from the vote.... Supporters of the bill argued that direct local elections were expensive: the vice-chair of Mr Prabowo's Gerindra party said that eliminating them would save 60 trillion rupiah ($5 billion) over five years. As this outstanding primer from the Asia Foundation notes, that is less than one-fourth the annual cost of Indonesia's fuel subsidies. Besides, Indonesia's constitutional court ruled that from 2019, local and national elections would be held simultaneously, which would reduce electoral costs. Supporters also argued that direct local elections encourage corruption, a problem rarely solved by handing more power to political insiders. And that is what this bill is really about: seizing power back from the people, who made the "wrong" choice for president.... "

Yudhoyono disappoints Indonesian  people with Dems’ walkout by The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Fri, September 26 2014, 12:10 PM; "...Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) secretary general Tjahjo Kumolo said on Friday that President and Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) had broken the hearts of the Indonesian people with the decision of his lawmakers to walk out of the plenary meeting on the regional elections (Pilkada) bill at the House of Representatives (DPR).... During the meeting, lawmakers from the Democratic Party, which supported direct elections, decided to walk out because the 10 amendment points proposed by their party had been rejected. Therefore, when the voting was conducted, votes from the camp supporting direct elections, which consisted of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the Hanura Party, only totaled 135, which were far fewer than the 226 votes cast by the camp supporting indirect elections, which consisted of the Golkar Party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the United Development Party (PPP) and the Gerindra Party..."

30 July 2014

Jokowi goes online for Cabinet by Sita W. Dewi and Yuliasri Perdani, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Fri, July 25 2014, 8:36 AM; "... Social media played a major role in his presidential-election victory and now president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has embraced the same tool to recruit his ministers. At the same time he is easing pressure from those seeking places in the Cabinet and attempting to win over his opponents... Amid rumors and media speculation about his Cabinet choices after he is sworn in as president on Oct. 20, Jokowi and his team have produced an online poll called “People’s Choice for an Alternative Cabinet” published on In the survey, the team is putting forward three different names for each ministerial post in a Cabinet of 34 ministers. The poll also provides an option should respondents wish to propose another name. It is expected citizens will respond enthusiastically to this Indonesian Idol style of recruitment as it will be the first time they have been involved in Cabinet formation.... Several big names have been tossed into the hat. Former Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University rector Azyumardi Azra has been touted as a potential religious affairs minister, while popular economists including National Economic Council member Aviliani, Gadjah Mada University (UGM) academic Sri Adiningsih and energy expert Kurtubi have been suggested as potential candidates to fill economic posts.
Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politicians, including Rieke Dyah Pitaloka, Pramono Anung, Maruarar Sirait, Puan Maharani, Hasto Kristiyanto and Eva Kusuma Sundari are also on the list..... From the current Cabinet, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu, Coordinating Economic Minister Chairul Tanjung, Bank Indonesia (BI) Governor Agus Martowardojo, former trade minister Gita Wirjawan and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan are also among the favorites..... The poll also includes some prominent figures from the camp of Jokowi’s rival Prabowo Subianto. Among them are Religious Affairs Minister and United Development Party (PPP) deputy chairman Lukman Hakim Saifuddin and Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil from the Gerindra Party...."
Previous news story - Kalla envisions future Cabinet | The Jakarta Post;

Here is the list of ministerial candidates, and the ones close to plantation industry issues are highlighted.

Berdasarkan KAUR, berikut adalah para kandidat menteri (candidates for minister):
1.Menteri Koordinator Politik, Hukum, dan Keamanan: Jenderal TNI Budiman; Jenderal TNI Dr Moeldoko; Jenderal TNI (Purn) Sutiyoso.
2.Menteri Koordinator Perekonomian: Chairul Tanjung, Dahlan Iskan, Gita Irawan Wirjawan.
3.Menteri Koordinator Kesejahteraan Rakyat: Muhaimin Iskandar, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, Alwi Shihab.
4.Menteri Dalam Negeri: Abraham Samad, Agustin Teras Narang, Pratikno.
5.Menteri Luar Negeri: Don K Marut, Makmur Keliat, Raden Mohammad, Marty Muliana Natalegawa.
6.Menteri Pertahanan: Andi Widjajanto, Mayor Jenderal (Purn) TB Hasanuddin; Jenderal TNI (Purn) Ryamizard Ryacudu.
7.Menteri Hukum dan HAM: Artidjo Alkostar, Saldi Isra, Zainal Arifin Mochtar.
8.Menteri Keuangan (Finance): Hendrawan Supratikno, Raden Pardede, Agus Martowardojo.
9.Menteri ESDM: Arif Budimanta, Luluk Sumiarso, Tumiran.
10.Menteri Perindustrian: Anton Joenoes Supit, Poempida Hidayatulloh, Tri Yogi Yuwono.
11.Menteri Perdagangan (Trade): Mari Elka Pangestu, Soetrisno Bachir, Sri Adiningsih.
12.Menteri Pertanian (Agriculture): Arif Wibowo, Bustanul Arifin, Iman Sugema.
13.Menteri Kehutanan (Forestry): Frans Wanggai, M Prakosa, Satyawan Pudyatmoko.
14.Menteri Perhubungan: Marsekal TNI (Purn) Chappy Hakim, Danang Parikesit, Ignasius Jonan.
15.Menteri Kelautan dan Perikanan: Jamaluddin Jompa, Kadarusman, Rokhmin Dahuri.
16.Menteri Tenaga Kerja dan Transmigrasi: Rieke Dyah Pitaloka, Rizal Sukma, Wahyu Susilo.
17.Menteri Pekerjaan Umum: Bayu Krisnamurthi, Ilham Akbar Habibie, Tri Mumpuni Wiyatno.
18.Menteri Kesehatan: Fasli Jalal, Ribka Tjiptaning, Ali Ghufron Mukti.
19.Menteri Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan: Abdul Munir Mulkhan, Hilmar Farid, Yudi Latif.
20.Menteri Sosial: Dadang Juliantara, Eva Kusuma Sundari, Hasto Kristiyanto.
21.Menteri Agama: Azyumardi Azra, Lukman Hakim Saifudin, Siti Maulida.
22.Menteri Pariwisata dan Ekonomi Kreatif: Garin Nugroho, Jeffrie Geovanie, Mira Lesmana.
23.Menteri Komunikasi dan Informatika: Ferry Mursyidan Baldan, Nezar Patria, Onno W Purbo.
24.Menteri Sekretaris Negara: Maruarar Sirait, Pramono Anung Wibowo, Yuddy Chrisnandi.
25.Menteri Riset dan Teknologi: I Gede Wenten, Romi Satria Wahono, Yohannes Surya.
26.Menteri Koperasi dan UKM: Abdul Kadir Karding, Khofifah Indar Parawansa, Nusron Wahid.
27.Menteri Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Anak: Lies Marcoes Natsir, Nani Zulminarni, Puan Maharani.
28.Menteri Lingkungan Hidup (Environment): Chalid Muhammad, Charlie Heatubun, Dodo Sambodo.
29.Menteri Pendayagunaan Aparatur Negara dan Reformasi Birokrasi: Eko Prasojo, Tri Rismaharini, Agung Adi Prasetyo.
30.Menteri Pembangunan Daerah Tertinggal: Akbar Faizal, Andrinof Achir Chaniago, Indra Jaya Piliang.
31.Menteri Perencanaan dan Pembangunan Nasional: Aviliani, Faisal Basri, Revrisond Baswir.
32.Menteri Perumahan Rakyat: Rhenald Khasali, Suprihanto Notodarmojo, M Ridwan Kamil.
33.Menteri BUMN: Hendri Saparini, Kurtubi, Emirsyah Satar.
34.Menteri Pemuda dan Olahraga: Adhie MS, Anies Baswedan, Herry Zudianto.

Other interesting news:
  • REDD+ agency hopes for committed new govt by The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Sat, July 26 2014, 12:20 PM; ".... indigenous groups were estimated to hold the rights to around 45 million hectares of forest currently being misused as commercial concessions. REDD+, setup this year to protect rainforests and peatland, has advocated the rights of indigenous people and local communities, including the 2012 Constitutional Court verdict stating that customary forests should no longer belong to the state..."
  • Lame duck SBY slips in Freeport deal by Raras Cahyafitri and Satria Sambijantoro, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Sat, July 26 2014, 11:42 AM; "...Less than three months before the administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is due to leave office, it sealed a strategic deal on Friday with the local unit of US giant miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc., which ensured the company would continue to operate after its license expires in 2021...."

24 July 2014

I checked with a source who's a Jokowi supporter, who had this to say: "I am holding the jubilation at least until two things happen: i) Golkar crosses over from Prabowo side, giving Jokowi 2/3 majority in parliament thus he cannot be impeached. Currently, the parties backing Prabowo have threatened impeachment on the first few days in parliament* and b) Prabowo finally concedes."
*refer to 11 July posting (below), Indonesia’s Parliament in a extraordinary session, amended the constitution. Referred to in the Indonesia media as the "Law on MD3", the next leader of Parliament will be chosen by MPs, rather than awarded to the party winning the most seats i.e. Jokowi's PDI-P....

23 July 2014

Another milestone is the cabinet announcement in Oct 14. Key ministrial posts are those in finance, trade, state-owned enterprises, economic development, energy and mineral, industry, health, education, cooperatives, small medium enterprises and the Head of the Investment Coordinating Board. From "Jokowi Wins; Bright Future for Indonesia," 23 July 2014, UOBKayhian

Joko Widodo elected Indonesian president, July 23, 2014 - 8:13AM; Michael Bachelard, Indonesia correspondent for Fairfax Media;; "A man raised in a squat built on a river bank has been elected to be Indonesia’s next president. Joko Widodo, who hopes not just to dominate Indonesian politics but to wrest it from the hands of Indonesia’s old, corrupt elite, was late last night pronounced the winner of the country’s presidential election with a convincing 53.15 per cent of the vote. President Joko will not begin his five-year term until October 20, but last night he suggested that his success, which was driven by the work of thousands of volunteers, not party apparatchiks, signalled a flowering of hope in Indonesian politics. The election, in which he claimed support “from artists to rickshaw drivers,” had been a “cultural event, not merely a political event”, adding: “Politics is full of fun; politics has some wisdom; politics is freedom”.... But Mr Prabowo, a former army strongman and now three-time failed presidential candidate, tried to pre-empt the announcement by “withdrawing” from the entire election process, saying it was the result of “massive cheating that is structured and systematic”... Mr Prabowo’s legal representative has said, however, his withdrawal meant he no longer had standing as a candidate to launch a Constitutional Court challenge, and therefore he would not take that route.... The final count of almost 135 million votes, which were cast on July 9, showed the new president elect and his running mate Jusuf Kalla had won by a comfortable margin of 6.3 per cent, or 8.4 million votes.

22 July 2014: 

Jokowi named president-elect, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | July 22 2014 | 9:41 PM; The General Elections Commission (KPU) announced the official final vote tally and named Joko "Jokowi" Widodo president-elect with a total vote of 70,997,833, or 53.15 percent, on Tuesday evening.
Indonesian Stocks, Rupiah Slump as Prabowo Rejects Vote  By Harry Suhartono and Yudith Ho  Jul 22, 2014 5:11 PM GMT+0800,; "Indonesian stocks retreated from a 13-month high and the rupiah snapped a four-day rally after presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto withdrew from the vote count, heightening concern the outcome will be challenged.... Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo is set to be declared the winner of the closest presidential contest in a decade. Streets in the capital Jakarta were quiet with a visible police presence near the commission’s headquarters. Investors may have to wait until as late as August for certainty on the nation’s next leader if an appeal is filed to the Constitutional Court....."

22 July 2014, 1.30pm: "...The KPU is scheduled to declare the winner at 4 p.m. Tuesday. The official vote tally at the KPU headquarters in Jakarta had reviewed results from 22 of 33 provinces as of Monday night. According to earlier vote-count results, Jokowi-Kalla was in the lead with a total of 41,127,377 votes, or 51.4 percent of the total of about 80 million legitimate votes. Jokowi was winning in 14 provinces while Prabowo was leading in the remaining eight provinces....."

11 July 2014, 3pm update: Worries of "stealing" the election?
Prabowo supporters also worry about Jokowi stealing their election. We are hearing political sources alleging that some big wins for Prabowo in Java at 65% has been under-reported by pro-Jokowi pollsters at 52% instead, while various domestic & most foreign media remain biased against Prabowo.

The outcomes are quite contested. What's real in the midst of this uncertainty was a big political action on the eve of Presidential polling day - 8 July. Indonesia’s Parliament in a extraordinary session, amended the constitution. Referred to in the Indonesia media as the "Law on MD3", the next leader of Parliament will be chosen by MPs, rather than awarded to the party winning the most seats i.e. Jokowi's PDI-P. PDI-P currently leads a smaller coalition than the Prabowo's Gerindra-led coalition (see coalition map below). PDI-P says it will seek a judicial review of MD3 in the Constitutional Court. News link:

11 Jully 2014, 11am update:
"Prabowo’s game plan" by Edward Aspinall and marcus Mietzner - 10 July 2014,'; "On the basis of this smaller number of quick counts, Prabowo Subianto has also claimed victory. Consequently, Indonesia is now set for a period of significant political confusion, uncertainty, and even instability, in the weeks leading to the formal announcement of the results by the KPU on 22 July.... How can this confusion have arisen? We wish to be very clear that this is not a matter of a range of equally credible quick counts showing a wide range of potentially legitimate results. Rather, the confusion is part of Prabowo Subianto’s strategy to steal the election, a strategy that evidently has been long in the making. Reportedly, one of Prabowo’s chief campaign strategists, Rob Allyn, has been known for exactly this kind of strategy: to produce surveys which create the impression that an electorally weak candidate is competitive, and use the subsequent confusion among the electorate to manoeuvre this candidate into a more favourable position. Allyn has been known for this strategy in US and Mexican elections, and he has apparently found a very fertile ground in Indonesia to apply the same method...."

10 July 2014, 10am update: Both sides claim victory, final results 22 July.

Narrow Finish as Indonesia Presidential Candidates Stand Their Ground By Jakarta Globe on 12:45 am Jul 10, 2014;

source: screenshot of website with various "quick counts" -
showing 4 for Jokowi-JK and 4 for Prabowo-Hatta

Narrow Finish as Indonesia Presidential Candidates Stand Their Ground By Jakarta Globe on 12:45 am Jul 10, 2014; ".....At least 11 pollsters performed quick counts of the election and announced the results on Wednesday, although by the late evening most of the results were not final yet and still a few percentage points away from 100 percent.... Quick count results typically don’t differ much from the actual final tally, as was the case in the April 9 legislative election, when polls predicted the PDI-P won between 18 and 20 percent of the vote to lead all 10 parties in the running. The official result from the KPU showed that the PDI-P won 18.95 percent.... The results of the 11 quick counts on Wednesday, though, were divided, although most of the pollsters — seven — declared Joko the winner, while the four called it for Prabowo.... SMRC, the Indonesia Survey Circle (LSI), Indikator Politik Indonesia and Kompas were among those calling the election for Joko, saying he won by a clear margin of 4 to 6 percentage points.... Meanwhile, the Indonesia Voter Network (JSI), the National Survey Institute (LSN), the Indonesia Research Center (IRC) and the Center for Policy Studies and Strategies Development (Puskaptis) — which are less known to the public — showed Prabowo in the lead, albeit by the narrowest of margins, collecting 50 to 52 percent of the vote over Joko’s 48 to 49 percent.... Both camps have disputed the quick count results deemed unfavorable to their sides...."
9 July 6pm note: PDI-P and Megawati declared victory but no concession from Prabowo then.
It seems that big corporate donors sure made a big push Prabowo to win but Jokowi-JK prevailed and their lead grew.
For plantations, Prabowo sounded more bullish on upstream and biodiesel topics. Jokowi has warned on special interests and those companies falling short on various issues of governance.

But PDI-P is still rather nationalistic and we should expect differences; as seen elsewhere in the world. 
Our reader SK notes this: Now the question is who will be in the cabinet? Will Jokowi co-opt more competent bureaucrats from Demokrat? We might also wonder how will Jokowi'srelationship with Megawati and daughter-son evolve.

Exit polls: Jokowi-JK win 52.7% vs 47.2%. 9 July 2014 update, 4.15pm.
Several polling organisations find for Jokowi-JK victory, 5.5%-age points ahead of the Prabowo team. This is ahead of the 3%-age point narrowing lead just before polling day.

LSI, SMRC dan IPI: Jokowi-JK Menang 52,7% Vs 47,2%,; Kompas' quick count.

30% of voters are below 30 years old,

Noon data shows Jokowi-JK doing better in rural zones and weaker in urban.

Rupiah Forwards Jump Most Since February on Signs Jokowi Leading; Indonesia’s rupiah forwards jumped the most since February and dollar bonds extended gains as Joko Widodo said unofficial counts at polling booths showed him leading the presidential race.

POLLING DAY! 9 July 2014 update, 9am.

Thanks to our reader SK, two negatives on Jokowi's campaign - apparent campaign planning and excecution problems in PDI-P and an alleged TNI program:

Also from SK, Exit polls in foreign voting show strong support for Jokowi; (Bahasa); Singapore 83% and Hong Kong 79% for Jokowi-JK. 

For those interested in policy directions, UOBKH Research, 8 July on final debate: The final round of the presidential debate was a heated one with Jokowi-Kalla on the attack. Kalla raised the issue of Newmont divestment, graft regarding the people surrounding Prabowo and conditional coalition offered by Prabowo. Jokowi also attacked his rival’s promises and questioned how they would ever realise those plans....

• Increase food productivity. Jokowi believes Indonesia should increase food productivity through the timely provision of seeds, fertilisers and irrigation improvements. Jokowi will build an additional 1m ha of rice paddy fields to support the growing need for food. He will also fight the “special interest” groups that control food, energy and the environment. Conversion from oil to gas: Jokowi believes the mind set for energy consumption should be changed by converting oil into gas in transportation and improving the public transportation system. Repairing environmental damage: Jokowi believes Indonesia should start repairing the environment by repairing 2m ha of forest, repairing the river flow and repairing the cities. Jokowi also proposed a single zoning map for the nation.

• Self sufficiency in food. Policies will be enacted to achieve self sufficiency in food and food must be affordable to the entire community. Develop the food quality and nutrition community, as well as mitigation, so that there is no damage to the food. Probowo will add 2m ha of rice paddy fields. Increase oil production. Raise oil & gas production, reduce imports and develop diversified energy sources through increase in exploration, enhanced oil recovery and research. Sustainable development in environment. Address the environmental global climate change. Conserve the
ecosystem maintained order. Improve the quality of water, air and soil.

• Increase cattle population. Both parties agree that to control soaring cattle prices, especially during Lebaran; more cattle will need to be given to the villages. Both parties agree to eventually eliminate cattle imports and provide additional supply during the Lebaran season

Candidates Conceptual views, operational plans and beneficiaries - summary by UOBKH from Jakarta Globe and Kompas with views on stock market beneficiaries

source: UOBKH 8 July 2014 - please refer to source report for complete versions

7 July 2014 update:

News and view on the 5th and final Presidential Debate on Food Security, Energy, Environmental Issues. Also, interesting to note that Jakarta Globe wonders about a situation of "no clear winner" of the election, worries about TNI (armed forces) role and which are the key swing voting regions.....

Video of debate #5:

Jul 5, 2014 Politics; As It Happened: Indonesian Candidates Square Off in Final Debate;; “Mr. Subianto, a former army general, and Mr. Widodo, governor of the capital Jakarta, have agreed on many points in the past three debates – covering everything from the economy to foreign policy – so for many the debate was more about the differences in their style and tone…. The agriculture sector employs tens of millions and contributes nearly a quarter of Indonesia’s GDP, but a lack of advanced technology and a focus on cash crops such as palm oil means the country relies heavily on food imports….”
Final debate #5: “Prabowo at loss, Jokowi in command,” by Kurniawan Hari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta Sun, July 06 2014, 11:07 AM; “Prabowo reiterated his ambitious plan to develop 2 million hectares of land to ensure a sustainable rice supply for the country…. Prabowo said the biggest farming problem Indonesia faced was that it was losing 60,000 hectares of farmland a year to real estate and factories. Citing data from the Agriculture Ministry, he said that for next year alone, the country needed at least 730,000 hectares of additional land to cover the loss.The retired three-star general then explained that his government would introduce new types of fertilizers to boost agriculture production. He believed that new fertilizer introduction alone would be able to increase rice production by 40 percent. “We are using outdated fertilizers,” said Prabowo. When asked about his plan to boost oil and gas production and explore renewable energy sources, both Prabowo and Hatta emphasized the importance of the upstream industry. Hatta said that Prabowo would honor the existing oil and gas contracts but would try to renegotiate the contracts….”

Indonesia’s Tight, Dirty Presidential Race May Be Decided in West Java By Randy Fabi & Kanupriya Kapoor on 08:47 am Jul 07, 2014;
Close Call: What if Indonesia’s Election Yields No Clear Winner?  By Wellian Wiranto on 08:18 am Jul 07, 2014;

Editorial: The TNI Must Stay Out of Politics By Jakarta Globe on 11:59 pm Jul 06, 2014; Category Editorial, Opinion;
Editorial: Endorsing Jokowi; The Jakarta Post | Editorial | Fri, July 04 2014, 10:08 AM;
Exit polls show Jokowi victory overseas; The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Election Watch | Sun, July 06 2014, 1:40 PM; “Exit polls at voting stations abroad are showing the Joko “Jokowi” Widodo-Jusuf Kalla presidential ticket is ahead in the overseas vote… “I hope it is indicative of what the result will be in the domestic voting,” Jokowi was quoted as saying by Antara after the fifth and final presidential debate at Bidakara Hotel in Jakarta, early on Sunday… Jokowi-Kalla campaign spokesman Anies Baswedan said volunteers had conducted exit polling at each voting station all over the world…. “We got the result from our volunteers monitoring the election. I’m happy and Insya Allah [God willing] I will forward this message to all Indonesians, so that those who watched the balloting and vote-counting processes can carefully examine the results,” said Anies…. He expressed hope the result would be a bellwether for domestic voting on July 9….”
Another key regional issue is the annual mid-year dry season peat smog haze often thought to be linked to farmer land clearance, and some timber and palm oil plantations...  Satellite detects 18 hotspots in Sumatra; The Jakarta Post, Pekanbaru | Archipelago | Mon, July 07 2014, 6:37 AM; “The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite operated by Singapore detected 18 hotspots across Sumatra Island on Saturday…. “So far, the number of hotspots is not worrying, however, we should remain watchful,” Saqlul Amri, head of the Riau disaster mitigation office (BPBD), said in a statement as quoted by Antara on Sunday…. Of the total 18 hotspots, four were found in Rokan Hilir regency, he said….”

4 July 2014 update:

Interview #2 Presidential race heats up, foreigners worry? In the last two weeks, I've been in touch with six (6) people who represent large business interests in Indonesia including in palm oil (domestic and international owners) and three (3) Malaysians who work and/or are invested in Indonesia palm oil.

  • View of Indonesia invested MNC interests
  • Indonesia domestic business interests
  • Malaysia observers
Click here: /khorreports-palmoil/2014/07/interview-2-presidential-race-heats-up.html

 What some have said about the four (4) Presidential Debates (fifth and final soon):
We focus a bit more on the short-medium term economic policy approaches relevant for resource-based investors. Readers can find more material in some of these links and sources. Palm oil sector investors will be likely also interested in the upcoming, final debate #5.
  • Debate #5: to cover topics including energy and agriculture.
  • Debate #4: UOBKayHian Regional Morning Notes, 1 July 2014, Politics: Debate Round #4 - Human Resource Development, Science & Technology, “A marked divergence in implementation policies and programmes by the vice presidential candidates. The average of seven national polls shows Jokowi’s lead reduced to 3%....”
  • Debate #3: Indonesian Presidential Candidates Hold Third Televised ... 
  • Debate #2: Presidential Election Indonesia 2014: 2nd Television Debate Jokowi-Prabowo; “Sunday evening (15/06), the second debate… The debate, the theme of which was ‘development of the economy and social welfare‘, was characterized by a nationalistic and protectionist tone… The reason why both candidates stress protectionism and are eager to evoke nationalistic sentiments is because this strategy is an important vote earner. The threat or idea of Indonesia’s economy being dominated by foreign, particularly western forces, finds easy breeding ground in a country that has a long colonial history. Subianto in particular tries his best to evoke these sentiments, not only by his words but also by the way he dresses… For example, when answering the question what can be done about the country’s wide trade deficit (and current account deficit), Subianto answered that it can be done by reducing the role of foreigners in the country’s oil & gas sector, thus leaving more resources for the benefit of Indonesia…. Jokowi felt the need to follow suit in order not to lose out on votes and also stressed, on several occasions, that foreign participation in the Indonesian economy should be curbed. For example, he stressed that with the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, inflows of foreign businesses - for example - the aviation industry, should be curtailed through protectionist measures… On other topics, Jokowi was more foreign investor-friendly. For example, regarding contract renegotiations with foreign companies in the country’s mining sector. Jokowi said that although some contracts are unfair from an Indonesian point of view, these contracts need to be respected as they had once been approved. However, when contracts have expired or in case of new contracts, the government should make sure that it contains fair conditions for Indonesia. ….” Source: www.indonesia-investments.comVideo link: 2nd debate (Indonesian language)
  • Debate #1: Politics: Presidential Debate Round #1; UOBKH research said: “Our take on the first round of the Presidential Debate is that Jokowi-Kalla offer a track record in implementation while Prabowo-Hatta are idealists….”
Also in the news: Indonesian presidential election: Young voters talk politics, BBC News  - ‎Jun 29, 2014;
Energy and biofuels policies?
Palm oil watchers will be interested in the biodiesel policy outlook under the candidates. Keoni Indrabayu Marzuki wrote on 25 June 2014 on the topic “Indonesia’s Post-Election Energy Policy: Growing Economic Nationalism?” noting the following: “The energy visions offered by Prabowo-Hatta and Joko Widodo-Kalla have similar tones. Both candidates will pursue energy policies that are oriented towards energy sovereignty and self sufficiency. Rhetoric from both candidates strongly indicates that the overall economic policy, as well as energy policy, will lean towards economic nationalism. Moreover, both candidates explicitly state that they will revise the Oil and Gas regulation to be in accordance to Article 33 of the Indonesian Constitution to exert greater control over Indonesia’s energy sources….notable differences. For example, Joko Widodo – Kalla propose to formulate a strategic reserve to ensure long-term energy security, enhance domestic oil production and introduce new investment schemes to encourage investor participation. Prabowo-Hatta alternatively, propose special plantations dedicated to biofuel material production. Yet, biofuel and development of renewable energy have already been pursued by the current administration… It is unlikely that the SBY administration’s energy diversification and nuclear energy programmes are going to be discontinued by either pair of candidates as they are already underway…. Regardless of who wins the election, there is not likely to be any significant shift in energy policies from the current administration. Despite their nationalistic rhetoric, it remains unlikely that they can translate such a posture into policy. Rather, both candidates are likely to be more pragmatic given their business backgrounds which will tend to make them less ideological…. To avoid being exploited by foreign powers, the next administration would need to formulate win-win contracts keeping in mind Indonesia’s future needs.”

Khor Reports notes on key Indonesia-Malaysia plantation topics:
·        One of the key plantation business issues is the relative ease of labour access in Indonesia versus escalating problems facing Malaysia (there are rising reports of a slump in Indonesia migrant workers seeking work in Malaysia[3]). It seems that Malaysia palm oil will be missing more and more the reliable Indonesia-sourced workers for their estates, as opportunities in Indonesia prove more attractive than the risky move to join the migrant labour pool; widely said to be fraught with frequent harassment in Malaysia.
·        Competition via export duty tariffs and downstream capacity-build up in Indonesia.
·        Industry support via biodiesel mandates.
·        Mooted foreign ownership limits.
·        Cooperation over sustainability approaches.
[3]Reuters article:, “Indonesian applicants for jobs in Malaysia's palm oil sector plunged to 38,000 in 2013 from more than 120,000 in each of the previous two years, according to data from the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur.” Khor Reports has previously noted that, East Kalimantan minimum wages (pushed up in part by transport costs and its oil & gas sector) exceed Sabah non-documented workers; Malaysia is trying to get Bangladesh workers for its plantations via a G2G arrangement.
 17 June 2014 - One survey shows  Prabowo-Hatta surpassing Jokowi-Kalla who have been on a narrowing trend. Indonesia surveys were off base when some earlier expected a solid Jokowi-PDIP win in the legislative elections. Sample size was not terribly big for this one and some say that Indonesia voters can change their minds with a large 40% proportion as undecided in other surveys.

I'm also hearing on Indonesia sources that many civil servants are not be terribly keen on Jokowi given his public "shaming" of Jakarta bureaucrats. Thus, they tend to be Prabowo supporters.

Prabowo-Hatta’s electability at 44.64%, says survey
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Election Watch | Mon, June 16 2014, 11:21 AM
"The electability of the Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa pair has exceeded that of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo-Jusuf Kalla, a survey commissioned by the Strategic Development and Policy Research Center (Puskaptis) shows. The survey put the electability of the Prabowo-Hatta pair at 44.64 percent and their rival ticket at 42.79 percent. “Prabowo-Hatta has surpassed Jokowi-Kalla by around 1.67 percent. This data shows that Prabowo-Hatta pair is experiencing a positive trend, with electability up by around 5.36 percent. Meanwhile, support for the Jokowi-Kalla ticket has started to stagnate and entered a negative phase or down by around 1.75 percent,” said Puskaptis director Husin Yazid in Jakarta on Sunday, as quoted by Antara news agency. From the results of the survey, which was conducted from June 6 to June 12, Prabowo-Hatta is leading in Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, Java, and Sumatra while Jokowi-Kalla fare better in Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua-Maluku.... The survey involved 2,400 respondents in 115 regencies and municipalities across 33 provinces. The survey was conducted via a face-to-face interview with a sampling error of +/-1.8 percent and a trust level of 95 percent."

Prabowo-Hatta popularity climbing: Analysis; The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Election Watch | Thu, June 12 2014, 12:48 PM;

Presidential candidates share thoughts on people’s economy in second debate; The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Sun, June 15 2014, 11:45 PM;
Jokowi struggles to nix attacks questioning his Islamic faith; Sita W. Dewi and Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, Tasikmalaya, West Java/semarang | Headlines | Fri, June 13 2014, 9:43 AM;
 Interview #1: Presidential politics and Indonesian palm oil. We've been chatting with Malaysia and Singapore palm oil industry specialists and noticed significant interest in the upcoming Indonesia Presidential vote. Early in the week, we had the opportunity to talk to a Khor Reports reader who was interested to talk about it, and so we present to you this interview. Political changes can bring major shifts in resource development policies as well as a different approach to NGOs such as seen in Australia. On the buy side, in major consuming countries, we should note the rise of right wing nationalistic parties who gained more power especially in the European Parliament.

Interviewee #1: Indonesian voter, palm oil industry senor manager, who was part of the student demonstrations in the 1998 ousting of Suharto. A Jokowi supporter./khorreports-palmoil/2014/06/interview-1-presidential-politics-and.html

9 June's Update 2 is for Jokowi sugar milll update plan.
Khor Reports comment:

We've been keeping an eye on this and expected increasing economic nationalism once Jokowi failed to get a large majority in the earlier polls. A plantation expansion moratorium for large companies is in regulations with a 100,000 hectare cap to be implemented but still subject to negotiation on the finer details. One way to lift this ceiling is to be publicly listed in Indonesia - but there is uncertainty as to the public float expected. This situation has not been tested, but we suspect that a significant public float[1] may find favour with Indonesia's economic and financial sector development policies.

The Jokowi-Kalla team is ahead in the polls, albeit with a narrowing lead according to pollsters.  From our previous checks with our senior Jakarta contacts (in November 2013), we heard that Jokowi is a popular politician but that the strategic, tactical and administrative talent was not with him, but actually with his deputy. Knowledgeable Jakarta observers were thus questioning how he would function without his former able deputy. Thus, this may suggest that his new deputy - Jusuf Kalla - has an important role to play, assuming Jokowi's more political front-man role. Kalla hales from Southern Sulawesi in eastern Indonesia and his father, Hadji Kalla was part of the Garuda Movement in Sukarno’s time. Sukarno aimed to empower the indigenous business leaders, so a few were identified and Hadji Kalla and Ahmad Bakrie were among them. Hadji Kalla was from Sulawesi of Bugis ethnicity. Their business started there and is mostly still there today (interview of Jakarta banker in 2012). Kalla is from Golkar, which has proposed resource nationalism.

On the 100,000 hectare ceiling policy and earlier talk of advanced policy plans for a 30% foreign-equity cap (with sell down required)[2] please refer to our posting here: /khorreports-palmoil/2014/03/at-sidelines-of-poc-2014-1-on-new.html.

Jokowi on Plantations Moratorium: "Widodo plans an expansion moratorium on some plantations, especially owned by large companies, those with tax problems or mired in social conflict, and plantations that are ecologically unsustainable, according to his policy document"

[1] In separate news, Indonesian palm oil firm Sinar Mas Agro plans stake sale in 2015 Reuters-Jun 3, 2014: "The Indonesian stock exchange in January required companies to make shares amounting to at least 7.5 percent of their paid-up capital available to the public in a bid to increase market liquidity and trading volumes.... Sinar Mas Agro will comply with the regulation, Director Jimmy Pramono told reporters.... The company currently has a market value of 18.7 trillion rupiah ($1.6 billion). PT Purimas Sasmita, a unit of Singapore-listed Golden Agri-Resources Ltd, owns 97.2 percent and the remaining 2.8 percent is in public hands";

[2] For those who remember Malaysia plantation history, you will recall its policy that required foreign plantation owners to sell down to a similar level, alongside its New Economic Policy.

News excerpts on sugar:

...Sugarcane Farmers Association (APTRI) chairman Soemitro Samadikoen told last Wednesday that presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had promised in a meeting to overhaul state-owned sugar mills to boost national sugar productivity. “Jokowi said that if he is elected, he will prioritize sugar mill improvement. Up to five sugar mills will be improved each year,” he added....;
Modern sugar mill starts operation in Central Java; Suherdjoko, The Jakarta Post, Blora, Central Java | Business | Mon, June 09 2014, 10:29 AM;

News excerpts on palm oil:

Bloomberg, June 5, 2014 reports, "Widodo to keep Indonesia ore ban, limit expansion of plantations" the following: Indonesian presidential frontrunner Joko Widodo will keep an export ban on mineral ores that has rattled global metals markets, his running mate for the July election, Jusuf Kalla, said in Jakarta yesterday.... Widodo aims to boost exports of processed minerals and give incentives for local miners, and will also seek to limit the expansion of plantations to help achieve food self-sufficiency, according to a yet-to-be released 129-page policy document for his campaign obtained by Bloomberg News. “We must not export our earth for cheap and not get any results out of this,” Kalla told Bloomberg News, after meeting businessmen to present their policies for the July 9 election. “We must export goods with high value.” The policy plans signal the country’s next government is likely to build on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s efforts to turn Indonesia from a commodity-based economy into an exporter of manufactured goods. Indonesia, the world’s largest nickel ore producer, banned ore exports in January, causing a jump in the price of the metal while halting copper output at units of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. and Newmont Mining Corp....  “Indonesia must do subsidy reform, which means the additional cost to finance infrastructure will be from cutting the fuel subsidy,” Ichsan said in an interview yesterday. Widodo’s policy document calls for a revision of the country’s oil and gas law to increase legal certainty for investors.... Plantations Moratorium - Widodo plans an expansion moratorium on some plantations, especially owned by large companies, those with tax problems or mired in social conflict, and plantations that are ecologically unsustainable, according to his policy document. The country is the world’s largest producer of palm oil, second-biggest rubber grower and third-biggest robusta coffee and cocoa producer.... Widodo wants to cut food imports and achieve rice and corn self-sufficiency by 2018, the document said. He also aims to reduce imports of soybeans, a staple protein source, to 25 percent of domestic demand from 65 percent currently......

More on the Jokowi-Kalla policies here: "A document on the vision, mission and working programs of presidential hopeful Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his running mate, Jusuf Kalla, has revealed an aggressive approach to reforming the economy, education and security.... Jokowi-Kalla programs make up the so-called Nawacita — a Sanksrit term for nine programs — authored jointly by Jokowi, Kalla, chair of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Megawati Soekarnoputri, and a team of academics and professionals..."

Muhammad Jusuf Kalla ... was the 10th Vice President of Indonesia from 2004 to 2009 and Chairman of the Golkar Party during the same period. He was unsuccessful as Golkar's presidential candidate in the Indonesian presidential election, 2009....Before Kalla declared himself as the running mate for Joko Widodo in the upcoming Indonesian presidential election, 2014, a 2012 poll place his popularity among likely voters in the top three contenders for the presidency and ahead of his own party's nominee Aburizal Bakrie....In 2009 Kalla ran in the Indonesian presidential election with former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Wiranto as his running mate, finishing third with 12.4% of the vote....

UOB Kayhian reports on 02 June 2014, "STRATEGY – INDONESIA, Politics: Watch Out For Undecided Voters" the following: According to the May 14 nationwide poll by Indikator Politik Indonesia, Jokowi is still leading the presidential election poll but his popularity is declining while  Prabowo’s is rising. The poll indicates there are undecided voters who can be the  swing factor in the 2014 Presidential Election. 85% of Indonesian voters do not  associate themselves with a certain party. Honesty, care for the people and  leadership skills are the top three traits desired by Indonesians. This poll was  conducted with 1,220 samples with a 2.9% margin of error at 95% confidence level.... If the presidential election were to be held today, 51% of the voters would choose Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla as the president and  vice president respectively, down from 58% in March....32.4% of the voters would choose Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa as the president and vice president respectively, up from 23.3% in March. Undecided voters could make this a tight race.... 16.6% of the voters have not decided.... Focus on 2015 fundamentals. We believe that it will be wiser for investors to focus on  the fundamentals of Indonesia in 2015 because Indonesian businesses will find a way to  adjust their business plans according to the new regulations regardless of the eventual winner. Aside from certain sectors such as construction that could benefit, it could be  business as usual for the other sectors... PDI-P has always been pro-labour while Gerindra is known for its people economic policy. All of these could potentially translate to higher benefits for working class and purchasing power for mass population....

Our posting on the parliamentary elections: /khorreports-palmoil/2014/04/indonesia-parliamentary-elections.html