Rich and Poor in Indonesia
In 2009, there are to be elections in Indonesia, which has the world's 4th largest population.
Will Indonesia get a Chavez? Or a General? Or a housewife who likes to go shopping?
In 1998, Suharto was toppled as President of Indonesia, reportedly by the CIA working with certain generals.
Reportedly, the CIA were hoping to replace Suharto with a younger general, someone like Prabowo, who would give more contracts to Americans, rather than to the Suharto family members and Chinese cronies.
Unfortunately for the CIA, the military was not a united body.
Sukarno had been toppled by the CIA and MI6 in the mid 1960s and so Megawati was not a great fan of the USA.Sukarno
Megawati was accused of being a lightweight housewife who was being controlled by certain nationalist generals. Many of her followers were disappointed by her conservatism and inaction.
Reportedly the CIA and certain generals planned an event to change the political situation. In 2002 the Bali Bombings took place. After the 2004 elections, American-trained General (retired) Yudhoyono became president.
1. The rich have got richer and the poor have got poorer. Malnutrition is common.
Indonesia has become more like Israel-Palestine; with the poor sometimes pushed off their land; and the homes of the poor hidden behind high walls.
2. The military are untouchables when it comes to 'crimes' such as East Timor massacres.
Indonesian President General (retired) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and former president Megawati Sukarnoputri are now neck-and-neck in the opinion polls. (The General vs the Lady)
No signs of a Chavez.
The Indonesia News Blog (The General vs the Lady) is relatively kind to Yudhoyono:
"Under Dr Yudhoyono, who on Sunday announced his plan to stand for re-election in 2009, Indonesia has made significant progress.
"The former general appointed capable technocrats, who have shaken up key departments and delivered economic growth of 6.3 per cent in 2007, the best performance in over a decade.
"The anti-graft authorities have tackled a wide array of corruption cases, which according to Transparency International's latest survey is starting to pay off. This should help restore confidence among foreigners who frequently cite bribery as a deterrent to investment.
"Thanks to four years of political stability and peace, for example in several religious and secessionist hotspots, Indonesia has begun to shrug off its reputation as a chaotic, dangerous, hopeless country.
"Critics say Dr Yudhoyono is too consensus-driven, reflecting the fact that his tiny Democratic Party relies on Golkar, and a hodge-podge of smaller parties for support in parliament..."