Category: Economics

President Soeharto left office in 1998 amid public fury about the special treatment given to his six children. Dr Helen Pausacker writes that in the 20 years since, Soeharto’s children have seen their influence decline, but continue to live prosperous lives and have made several attempts to launch political careers of their own.

To mark 20 years since the fall of Soeharto and the New Order regime, Indonesia at Melbourne is speaking to a range of prominent figures about their views on the reform process. Today we speak to Alexander Downer, Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1996-2007.

During Soeharto’s 32 years in power, a small number of privileged business tycoons were able to accumulate extraordinary amounts of wealth. Professor Howard Dick and Jeremy Mulholland look at what has happened to Soeharto’s cronies and the relationship between power and capital since the fall of the New Order.

How has the Joko Widodo administration performed on economic management? How successful has the tax amnesty program really been? And has the government’s perceived new emphasis on ties with China changed Chinese involvement in the economy? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues and more with Dr Yose Rizal Damuri, in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

President Joko Widodo’s economy-focused cabinet reshuffle on 27 July has been described as evidence of his growing talent for managing political relationships. But as Matthew Busch writes, while the reshuffle might be a political success, it should not be assumed the gloss extends to the economy.

Over the past few years, the idea that Indonesia will be the next rising power in Asia has grown in prominence among academics and political and business leaders. But Professor Richard Robison argues that a number of characteristics of the Indonesian state mean that these “great power” aspirations will remain unfulfilled.

Indonesians often complain about kelas menengah ngehe, or the “awful middle class”, on social media. But despite the ubiquity of the term, there is little consensus on how to define it. Who are the awful middle class? And what makes them so ngehe? Dr Salut Muhidin takes a look at the phenomenon.

Since the 1990s, inequality has risen faster in Indonesia than in any other East Asian country except China. What is causing rising inequality, and how is the Jokowi administration addressing it? What still needs to be done? Dr Matthew Wai-Poi, from the World Bank in Jakarta, examines Indonesia’s rising divide.

Inequality in Indonesia has reached record levels. What is driving this inequality, and what does Indonesian society look like as a result? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues and more with Dr Matthew Wai-Poi in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Indonesian oil and gas exploration has been described as “in crisis”, with analysts pinning the blame on excessive and contradictory regulations and an inefficient bureaucracy. Senior ABC journalist Helen Brown spoke to Andang Bachtiar about his efforts to improve data access in the sector in this piece for Indonesia at Melbourne.

What is resource nationalism, what is driving its emergence in Indonesia, and what does it mean for the country? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues with PhD candidate Eve Warburton in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Indonesian diplomats have been encouraged to promote the country’s exports and attract more foreign investment. But as Awidya Santikajaya writes, unless trade liberalisation is also part of the discussion, their efforts will not come to much.