On 13 Aug 2008, Kishore Mahbubani, in The Straits Times (Singapore), wrote about Indonesia's political miracle
According to Mahbubani:
1. Indonesia has become more democratic at a time when America has been slipping backwards.
2. Indonesia has a strong culture of openness and tolerance. The 'radical Islamist' parties get few votes; often less than 10 per cent.
Is Indonesia really improving?
In Indonesia, the rich are getting fatter and the poor are getting thinner.
The Indonesian president is a former general who worked for Suharto.
Members of the rich elite are promoting fundamentalism as a way of keeping themselves in power.
Duncan Graham, on 11 June 2008, wrote about FACING INDONESIA'S PROBLEMS CLEARLY / Indonesia's extended pre-adolescence.
Graham lists Indonesia's problems:
1. "Xenophobia is on the rise ... Religious intolerance is destroying places of worship and putting dissidents in jail. For most pluralism is a myth."
2. "Indonesia has more than 40 million unemployed and under-employed."
3. "The gap between the haves and have-nots is obvious, ugly and an awful threat to internal stability."
4. "The government continues to ignore its constitutional duty to spend 20 per cent of income on education. An estimated six million children don’t go to school and 1.5 million teachers are said to be unqualified. Indonesian education is way behind other Asian countries and slipping fast."
5. There are "badly run and poorly maintained transport systems."
6. There is "an unreformed bureaucracy."
7. There is "a corroded legal system."
8. All these factors "make doing business a continuous struggle. Claims for economic growth need to be considered sceptically: Indonesian statistics are notoriously elastic... "
9. "Corruption has grown since Suharto fell."
10. "Indonesian literature and film is still decades behind the rest of the world."
11. "The Indonesian army has long been used as a political police force suppressing internal separatists; if stories from closed West Papua are true the force is being applied with brutality and demands exposure."
Jakartass reminds us of some history:
26th October 2004 - "Following the trashing of bars by the self-styled Islam Defenders Front (FPI), it was reported that the National Police had yet to ‘interrogate’ any of the thugs. A full eye-witness account of the intimidation and extortion that occurred on Friday night was posted by the Reveller on Jakarta BlokM."
27th January 2005 - "According to reports, the leader of an anti-corruption watchdog devoted to exposing crimes by state officials has been arrested in Aceh province for improper handling of aid intended for tsunami victims. Farid Faqih, chairman of Government Watch (GOWA), and three members of the radical Islamic Defenders’ Front (FPI) were arrested on yesterday evening on suspicion of violating procedures in the storage and use of aid."
3rd August 2005 - "Indonesia's reputation as a bastion of moderate, tolerant Islam has been cast in doubt after the nation's ulemas council (MUI) issued 11 fatwas banning liberal Islamic thought, religious pluralism, inter-faith marriage, inter-faith prayers led by non-Muslims and women leading prayers attended by men."
Video: The Murder of Munir
1. In Indonesia, "Another timber company director pursued in a police crackdown on illegal logging in Riau province was acquitted of all charges by judges in the Pelalawan District Court last week." - Blatant snub of justice: Indonesia timber exec acquitted .
2. In Indonesia, "an independent team set up to investigate the riots (May 1998) found that 85 mostly ethnic Chinese women were sexually assaulted, but authorities dropped the inquiry, citing a lack of evidence.Ten years later the victims remain silent because they fear for their safety and have no faith in the country's justice system, according to a new report issued by the National Commission on Violence Against Women." - Victims of 1998 Indonesia riots still silent-report Reuters
3. The U.N. Committee Against Torture says it is "deeply concerned about numerous ongoing credible and consistent allegations" of abuse in the Indonesian justice system. The committee says no state official accused of perpetrating torture has been found guilty, this despite efforts to combat rights abuses. - U.N. body says torture widespread in Indonesia
4. Indonesia is still run by the military. "Former militia leader Eurico Guterres — the only Indonesian jailed for the destruction of East Timor that claimed about 1500 lives in 1999 — has been acquitted by a Jakarta court. The decision means all the men, most of them Indonesian military officers, charged by Indonesian prosecutors over the violence during the 1999 independence referendum have now been acquitted." - Jakarta judges clear ex-militia leader over Timor carnage
5. All Indonesian airlines including national carrier Garuda are banned from the European Union, on grounds of safety. - BBC NEWS Europe EU bans all Indonesian airlines
6. "There is evidence that 'the military encourage the radical religious violence largely responsible for creating Indonesia's terrorism problem'. The Indonesian military 'has a history of using terrorism for political purposes'..." - aangirfan: Terror and the military in Indonesia; Munir
7. "Indonesian human rights campaigner Munir was murdered... Muchdi is a former chief of the Army’s elite Special Forces (Kopassus). He was dismissed from the position in 1998 after Munir exposed his role in the kidnapping and torture of numerous pro-democracy activists." - aangirfan: Terror and the military in Indonesia; Munir
8. The Bali Bomb, Mossad, the CIA and the Indonesian military.
On 16 may 2008, Todung Mulya Lubis, Indonesia’s most prominent human-rights voice, was disbarred from practicing law by the Jakarta Regional Honor Board after another prominent lawyer, Hotman Paris Hutapea, filed a complaint against him for an ethics violation.
In a telephone interview with Asia Sentinel, Mulya Lubis called the decision “totally baseless and unlawful” and said he has little hope of winning an appeal.
“For me this is a conspiracy of corrupt lawyers who feel troubled and disturbed by my stand to play by the rules and consistently fight against corruption,” he said. “The accuser, Hotman Paris Hutapea, is known as the most corrupt lawyer in Indonesia, while I am regarded as symbol of an incorruptible lawyer. The judgment is outrageous and has killed my life, violated my right to practice law, and defied common sense and justice. I will appeal, but I am losing hope in the integrity of the Bar Association. The legal profession is rotten.”
Indonesia could be considered the classic new world order state.
Indonesia has an increasing number of billionaires and an increasing number of starving people.
It was the USA that put the military into power in Indonesia in 1965, and the military still pulls the strings.
The Indonesian elite increasingly use militarism and religious FUNDAMENTALISM to keep the FEUDAL SYSTEM in place.
Andre Vltchek, at Japan Focus (here), has written an excellent article about Indonesia:
"The New Face of Indonesia’s Islamic Fundamentalism: Pornography Ban Ignores the Starving"
"While the nation was off guard, distracted by soaring food prices, a collapsing road system and general hopelessness, the House of Representatives on March 25th 2008 passed a bill banning all pornographic websites, threatening to jail users and providers who will now face up to three years in prison or a substantial fine...
"At dark intersections, street children are begging, some offering themselves to exhausted motorists. Women carrying infants are begging next to the exhaust pipes of the cars...
"Several parts of the country have introduced Islamic sharia by-laws banning unaccompanied women from leaving the house after sunset. Muslim women are ordered to wear headscarves...
"Fully covered little girls are now a common site in some Jakarta neighborhoods as well as in many rural areas of Java...
"Of course the fight against corruption has stalled. It is too much to expect Indonesian Representatives to fight against graft, considering that many if not most amassed their own fortunes illegally.
"It is easier to attack images of lovemaking or sex than powerful people who are robbing the poorest of the poor...
"Just a few days before the bill was passed, I drove through the crowded and depressing streets of Jakarta. Howling sirens pushed me to the curb.
"Several escort vehicles and motorbikes drove by, protecting a brand new Porsche Cayenne 4WD. It was a vehicle of a legislators, a man who should be saving for a Honda Civic on his official salary. A few feet away, street children were playing barefoot in the gutter, one of them showing clear signs of malnutrition. Forgive me, but I call that pornography.
"While the government is fighting Internet porn, tens of millions of Indonesian women are forced by poverty and hopelessness into the countless brothels in Surabaya, Batam and Jakarta.
"Millions of women who are raped or get pregnant out of wedlock are abandoning their infants and children, some of whom are left in the garbage bins or on the street.
"Country girls go or are sent by their families as 'maids' into sexual slavery in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East. As they leave Indonesia, they wear headscarves, so the state need not worry about their fate..."
(Andre Vltchek—novelist, journalist, filmmaker and playwright—is a Japan Focus associate. His recent novel – Point of No Return –shows the New Order through the eyes of war as a correspondent.)
Photo of Billionaire Indonesian government minister Bakrie
In 2006, Aburizal Bakrie was number 6 on the Forbes list of Indonesia’s richest people ( he was worth $1.2 billion )
Bakrie is a government minister. He is the Co-ordinating minister for the Peoples’ Welfare.
Now, in 2007, Bakrie is Indonesia's richest person.
Aburizal Bakrie and family (Bakrie Group): $5.4 billion
Sukanto Tanoto (April and Asian Agri): $4.7 billion
R. Budi Hartono: $3.14 billion
Michael Hartono (Budi and Michael Hartono, part owners of Djarum and BCA): $3.08 billion
Eka Tjipta Widjaja and family (Sinar Mas Group): $2.8 billion
Putera Sampoerna and family (Sampoerna Strategic): $2.2 billion
Martua Sitorus (Wilmar International): $2.1 billion
Rachman Halim and family (Gudang Garam): $1.6 billion
Peter Sondakh (Rajawali Group): $1.45 billion.
Eddy William Katuari and family (Wings Group): $1.39 billion (Sources: Aburizal Bakrie 1 forbes )
Mysteriously, the Suharto family does not appear on the list.
In 2004 Bakrie was Indonesia's chief economic minister. 
Bakrie was accused of nepotism.  In 2005, he became the Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare.
In May 2006 a drilling hole at Porong, Sidoarjo that was constructed without protective casings by PT Lapindo Brantas, a mining company of the Bakrie conglomerate, started a continuous release of hot mud that made many people homeless and threatens the local economy in East Java.
The May 1998 riots in Jakarta, apparently organised by the CIA and elements of the military, changed very little in Indonesia.
In 1998 Suharto stepped down and elections were held.
But, the generals, and families like the Suhartos, still pull the strings.
Indonesia's President Yudhoyono is a former Suharto general.
Melody Kemp, at onlineopinion.com, 10 January 2008, has an utterly brilliant article on Indonesia entitled:
The good, the bad and the hopeful - reflecting on Indonesia
The old town known as Kota (in Jakarta) ... is now a no-go area where violence and drug taking have escalated...
Toll roads still owned by the Soeharto family, are groaning with cars...
People look more stressed than before. As the cost of living hikes leave more and more poor behind, crime and meaningless jobs multiply alongside each other...
And the rich are richer... We stayed at the very popular Novotel... The hotel is now surrounded by multimillion dollar homes. Huge mansions bristling with stainless steel three-storey high windows and doubtless, an alarming number of bathrooms. I wondered hopefully if the owners paid taxes.
For the first time an Indonesian, the Minister for Social Welfare, made the list of Forbes 100 richest men. He is at the centre of the case of the ongoing destructive mud eruptions in East Java that have made life misery for many Indonesians. And for which the good Minister for Social Welfare refuses to take any responsibility.
Indonesia’s problem is not poverty but distribution. And the powers-that-be continue to refuse to acknowledge this - as do aid donors, including Australia. Policies that favour the rich, such as education fees, are still promulgated by the World Bank, eager it seems to live up to its reputation as an instrument of blind capitalism...
The World Bank, we were told by one of their consultants, had earmarked a US$800 million loan, ready to go.
Apparently no planning guidelines, or projects had been identified, nor guidelines for disbursal, monitoring or evaluation. It was simply a “give ‘em the loan and saddle ‘em with debt” strategy...
Soeharto, in effect, turned Indonesia into one huge franchising operation from which he and his family profited; and continue to do so.
The recent Bali Climate Carnival was held in Soeharto-owned hotels. While Sadam killed thousands and was hanged, Soeharto stole from and killed millions, and lives on. Justice is not a notable feature of Indonesia, or of American patronage...
The ABC Asian news services recently trumpeted that Jema’ah Islamiya had a membership of 9,000 ... What they failed to add was that in a population of 260 million, 9,000 does not represent recruitment success.
Repeatedly Islamic parties do poorly in the elections. Radical Islam is less popular than Family First.
But that could change. Officials in the Ministry of Religion are beginning to acknowledge that Indonesia could soon be an Islamic state given current Western inspired wars, impoverishment of Muslim communities, ongoing judicial corruption and mismanagement of community conflicts and misdirected aid...
Islamic schools are free and are used increasingly by the poor in the wake of user-pays education cost rises...
Indonesian’s major complaint to me was that user-pays education excludes the poor ...
Into this come the Muslim carpetbaggers from Malaysia and Saudi Arabia using Syhari’a principles to influence Indonesian children to take up the puritan form that they espouse.
I noticed a greater number of swathed heads and long gowns as well as an increase in the number of tragic threadbare beards...
But the message is the Saudi influence is biting.
The way to combat radical Islam is not by weapons, spies and training police, but by supporting the majority of moderate Muslims who want a good education for their children to open the doors of opportunity for which they don’t have the key.
There are lots of palatial new mosques being built in Indonesia, the world's biggest Moslem country.
Meanwhile state hospitals and state schools are as neglected as any in the Congo; the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer.
Indonesia is a democracy and its government opposes Islamic extremism?
Indonesia's President, Susilo Bangbang Yudhoyono, was one of Suharto's generals. Yudhoyono was trained in America.
Suharto married a Catholic and some of his key generals were Christian.
Suharto used the Islamists to do his dirty work, frustrate democracy and help keep the elite in power.
Suharto sided with the orthodox Moslems against the pro-democracy moderate Moslems.
President Yudhoyono, friend of America, may be little different from Suharto.
"In 2004-06, there was a spate of attacks by hardline Islamist militias, such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI)... The FPI’s 2005 march on the Liberal Islam Network headquarters and verbal threats to their leadership was not prosecuted by the state...
"Jemaah Islamiyah, the regional terrorist group, is not a proscribed entity in Indonesia. Mere membership in JI is not a crime and many JI leaders, such as Abu Bakar Ba’asyir and Muhammad Iqbal Rahman (Abu Jibril), freely proselytize..." - Islamist Thuggery and Official Complacency Challenge Secular ...
The British military, the American military and the Indonesian military have long used the Moslem extremists to promote their right-wing agenda.
"Cabinet papers show that British spies, including MI6, supported Islamic guerrillas in order to destabilise Sukarno." (Revealed: Healey admits role in British dirty tricks campaign to overthrow Indonesia's President Sukarno, By Paul Lashmar and James Oliver, The Independent - 16 April 2000) The Secret State: MI5 (Home Office/MoD), The Security Service and ...
Indonesian special forces regiment Kopassus is trained by the Americans.
Kopassus 'set up a Moslem terror group called Komando Jihad.'
According to Dr Damien Kingsbury, head of philosophical, political and international studies at Deakin University: "Kopassus... has engaged in... hostage rescue missions. The first was in 1981, when a Garuda aircraft was hijacked.... Kopassus... set up the Islamic organisation Komando Jihad that hijacked the plane in 1981 and which has since emerged as Jemaah Islamiah." We must not get back in bed with Kopassus - theage.com.au
Jakarta human-rights activist Bonar Naipospos told Asia Times Online: "General Suparman is one of the generals who was behind the extremist Jihad groups. He set up militias composed of gangsters and religious fanatics to counter student demonstrations in 1998. One of these militias, Pram Swarkasa, became the embryo of Laskar Jihad." Asia Times We must not get back in bed with Kopassus - theage.com.au
According to a news story in the Sydney Morning Herald, November 2, 2002:
"Some time around the 30 October 2002, senior officers in the Indonesian military HQ gave a piece of information to a military attache from a Western embassy in Indonesia -the source of explosive used in the October 12 bombing in Bali was the head of the counter-terrorism unit with the army's special forces."
The father-in-law of the officer concerned is Hendropriyono, Indonesia's spy chief.
Allegedly, Kuwaiti citizen Omar Al Faruq played a part in the Bali bomb plot. Al Faruq was arrested in Bogor on June 5, 2002 and handed over to US authorities. Al Faruq was able to escape from custody.
Former Indonesian State Intelligence Coordinating Board (BAKIN) chief A.C. Manulang was quoted by Tempo as saying that Al-Faruq was a CIA-recruited agent.
The airline manifest of Garuda airlines shows that at least two generals from Jakarta visited Bali three days before the bombings and that they returned to Jakarta one day before the Sari Club was blown up. This was confirmed by armed forces chief General Sutarto, who claimed that General Djaja Suparman was on vacation, while General Ryamizard Riyacudu, chief of staff, was said to have gone to Bali for health reasons.
Malnutrition you may not get to hear about in the ...