I think, upon due reflection, that any investment in Indonesia is foolhardy at the moment, and for the foreseeable future.
This is nothing to do with trusting joint venture partners, but is connected with political changes over the last 12 months. The new “porn laws” are just the latest in a string of gradual restrictions, bringing a de facto version of Sharia law to Indonesia. Ache has had full Sharia Law for almost six years. Now Cianju and Tasikmalaya have started new ‘familiarisation” of Sharia Law, “educating” women on the need to wear headscarves in public etc. In Bandung 25 Christian Churches have been forced to close in the last year alone . In Tangerang, the local government have just banned the sale of food during Prayer times on Friday. In Batam, the police have started approaching girls in short skirts and warning them about dressing ‘provocatively”. In Jakarta, the sale of alcohol in supermarkets is now forbidden. Brothels, massage parlours and bars are constantly being raided by the police.
Meanwhile in Papua the giant Freeport mine descends into chaos, with four police dying today in more clashes with protesters.
If I had to make a prediction, I would say that most Westerners will be out of Indonesia within 3 years, and breakaway states will be fighting civil wars well before then. It will make 1998 look like a storm in a teacup.
Indonesia used to be a fun, tolerable country with a majority Islamic population. It is rapidly moving to a hard line 1980s Iran style Islamic state. Most westerners got out of Iran by 1982. it took just 3 years. I think Indonesia will go the same way. Why would you invest in such insanity?