Why Indonesia should take a leading role in ASEAN

Indonesian President Joko Widodo listens during the 2nd ASEAN-United States Summit, part of the 25th Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Related Summits at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, 13 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Pattharapong Rattanasevee, Burapha University

ASEAN would benefit from stronger leadership. But Indonesia, the country best placed to take up that role, appears unwilling.

Indonesia could be the leader that ASEAN needs, but it intentionally refrains from asserting its influence over the association. Read more…

Australia and Indonesia in it for the long haul

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott walk into a meeting room for a plenary session at the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, 15 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Two and a half years ago, the then Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, launched a White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century. Despite being electronically burned by the current Australian government, in an act of foolish partisanship, it continues to provide a reference point in Australia’s dealings with its region. Read more…

Overcoming the Australia–Indonesia cultural divide

A painting by Bali Nine ringleader Myuran Sukumaran of Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo with words on the back of the painting 'people can change'. (Photo: AAP).

Author: John McCarthy, AIIA

The probable executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, and Australia’s responses thereto, risk pushing the Australia–Indonesia relationship into another downturn.

Fifteen years ago, Australians assumed that the end of Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor, and the advent of post-Suharto democracy, would presage an era of tranquillity in bilateral relations. Read more…

Development will stop the Natuna Islands becoming a security flashpoint

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping as he arrives for the APEC leaders meeting in Beijing on 11 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto, RSIS

Indonesia’s Natuna Islands could become yet another security flashpoint in the South China Sea. The islands’ proximity to the disputed areas in the South China Sea, and isolation from Jakarta, makes it one of Indonesia’s most vulnerable regions. Read more…

Indonesia’s interest rate cut is surprising but justified

This picture taken in Jakarta on 28 August 2013 shows an Indonesian clerk handling a stack of Indonesian rupiah notes at a money changer office in Jakarta. (Photo: AAP)

Author: David Nellor, NUS

Bank Indonesia (BI) surprised everyone when it eased monetary policy at its February meeting. Moving into line with global trends, it cut the policy interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 per cent, even though analysts had predicted no change. While the change is surprising, it has a sound rationale but is not without risk. Read more…

Domestic controversy plagues Jokowi

Author: Marshall Clark and Yasmi Adriansyah, ANU

Indonesian President, Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi) decision to embark on his first official overseas visit has been overshadowed by domestic controversy. The planned meet-and-greet with the leaders of Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines seemed to be a way of escaping the domestic tensions between two of the country’s key law-enforcement institutions: Read more…

Rising inequality hampers poverty alleviation in Indonesia

Indonesian children sort oysters at a slum area in North Jakarta. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Riyana Miranti, University of Canberra, Alan Duncan and Rebecca Cassells, Curtin University.

How effective was Indonesia in addressing poverty and inequality in the decentralisation period?

In the first decade of the decentralisation period, from 2001–10, Indonesia’s GDP grew at an average annual rate of only 5.4 per cent. Read more…