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#43475 - 06 Feb 07 08:57 Coup in Indonesia 2007
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Is there a military Coup d'etat brewing????

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Economist.com

Indonesia:
Old soldiers who refuse to fade away

Feb 1st 2007 | JAKARTA
From The Economist print edition



Indonesia's president is worried by the rumblings from former strongmen. But perhaps more worrying is the slowness of democracy to deliver results

Claudio Munoz

TWO retired chiefs of Indonesia's armed forces have badly rattled Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the former general who became Indonesia's first directly elected president in 2004. Try Sutrisno and Tyasno Sudarto are publicly accusing the president of failing to solve the country's high unemployment and inflation. They, and other old soldiers, claim that the “chaos” in Indonesia justifies undoing the constitutional amendments that introduced direct elections for president and replaced a partly appointed parliament, packed with soldiers, with a fully elected one. Last month, on hearing that a rally was to be staged outside the State Palace to demand his downfall, Mr Yudhoyono cut short a foreign trip.

In the end the rally drew only a few hundred people. A poll taken a few weeks earlier showed that, despite high public dissatisfaction over the economy, the president's personal approval rating was 67%, which is higher than the share of the vote that won him the presidency three years ago. Nevertheless, Mr Yudhoyono has felt compelled to fight back. On January 25th he accused his detractors of trying to put the nation under a state of emergency and described their demands for a return to the old order as “ahistoric and illogical”.

Military bosses, who dominated politics under President Suharto's regime, have seen their power and perks chipped away since its downfall in 1998. Provincial and local governments used to be run by appointees, usually uniformed ones, but now both governors and mayors are elected. A large share of tax revenues has been transferred to local authorities, though so far with disappointing results: much has either been misspent or gone unspent. This has allowed those who lost out to complain that Indonesia's “experiment” in local democracy has failed.

The government is gingerly trying to prise from the army's hands the thousands of businesses it owns. These help to pay its regular expenses—but much of the money slips into officers' pockets. It has also been removing from the army those jobs that should belong to the police, such as anti-terrorism investigation. The harrumphing ex-strongmen, all army types, were irked when the president chose an air-force man, Djoko Suyanto, as his chief of the armed forces. They also dislike the proposals that would allow soldiers accused of ordinary crimes to be tried in civilian courts.

The military men have plenty of gripes but there seems little chance that they will take the law into their own hands. Alvin Lie, a parliamentarian from the small National Mandate Party, says that in the past the army “has only moved when the masses are moving” and there is no sign of such public unrest. A man who might have the charisma to whip up the masses, says Mr Lie, is ex-General Wiranto, another ex-chief of the armed forces, who has just formed a new party as his base for a shot at the presidency in 2009 (he was beaten by Mr Yudhoyono in 2004). But Mr Wiranto's party is stuffed with former military men and lacks democratic credentials.

Paul Rowland of the Jakarta office of the National Democratic Institute, an American think-tank, says that Indonesians are disappointed with Mr Yudhoyono's over-cautious style but believe him to be an honest man who is trying his best. They give him credit for not hiding himself away whenever there is a crisis, unlike his predecessor, Megawati Sukarnoputri (who, as it happens, is also plotting a comeback).

So far, the most plausible potential challenger to Mr Yudhoyono in 2009 is his vice-president, Jusuf Kalla, who is as decisive and impetuous as his chief is indecisive and circumspect. In some senses they are a good match but, says Muhammad Hikam, another parliamentarian, Mr Yudhoyono urgently needs to show he is boss. Mr Hikam argues that those who blame Indonesia's slow progress on the constitutional changes are wrong: rather, he says, it is all down to the “management failure” of the Yudhoyono administration.

Mr Lie is not so sure, believing that the process is also hampered by the extensive consultation that the current constitution demands. For the anti-discrimination bill that he is promoting, Mr Lie has had to spend a year staging forums around the country, inviting all interested parties to comment and carefully recording their responses. Otherwise the bill, even if passed by parliament, could be challenged in the constitutional court by anyone claiming to be injured. “It's one of the consequences of being transparent,” he sighs.

Indonesia has an enormous bureaucracy, which gobbles up one-eighth of all public spending. But much of it is dead wood. Mr Yudhoyono has tried to set up his own high-powered team, modelled on the West Wing of the White House, but this has met with resistance from ministries which see their turf threatened.

Indonesian democracy is still a work in progress. An authoritarian, centralised regime has been replaced with one whose elaborate checks and balances are only beginning to be tested. Some constitutional tweaks may be needed but, mainly, politicians and officials need more time to learn on the job. If Indonesians ever lose patience, they should look north to Myanmar and Thailand, to remind themselves that military men don't have the answers.


Copyright © 2007 The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group. All rights reserved.

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Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#43489 - 06 Feb 07 10:14 Re: Coup in Indonesia 2007 [Re: riccardo]
Piss Salon Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 27 Jun 06
Posts: 4039
Loc: Jakpus
Dude, this has been brewing ever since SBY won and Mega lost. Remember all the meetings involving all the 'losers' began almost immediately after SBY was elected when it became apparent they were going to be left with little if no power.

Everybody was there except Amien Rais, including the blind fool Gus Dur.

This meetings became more sinister when SBY passed over Army boss Ryacudu for the TNI's top position in favor of a ... gasp ... shock ... flyboy. I remember talking to the former senior Army general prior to the decision, who said it would never happen because the Army generals would not stand for it. Wrong buddy.

(By the way, have you been following the story about the Air Force's illegal land grab near Bogor, involving the shooting of demonstraters (see what happens when your man is king))

Anyway, back to the thread, if anybody was to lead a coup it would have been Ryacudu, with the backing of all the 'losers'. This appears to be over with though. For the conspiracy theorists, do you remember the stash of weapons discovered in the home of one of Ryacudu's proteges after his recent death? A connection to a coup plot?
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place within us love that truly gives, tenderness that truly unites, self-offering that tells the truth and does not deceive, forgiveness that truly receives, loving physical union that welcomes

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#43492 - 06 Feb 07 10:22 Re: Coup in Indonesia 2007 [Re: Piss Salon]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Gen. Ryamizard Ryacudu IS, in fact, an integral part of this group of disgruntled generals, I just think the writer might not have been able to get her tongue or typewriter around the spelling of his name....

_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#43509 - 06 Feb 07 11:30 Re: Coup in Indonesia 2007 [Re: riccardo]
Piss Salon Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 27 Jun 06
Posts: 4039
Loc: Jakpus
That's what I said.

And yes, difficult name. Whenever I think about it I think of the delightfully seedy Tiga Kuda (three horses) in Cikini.
_________________________
place within us love that truly gives, tenderness that truly unites, self-offering that tells the truth and does not deceive, forgiveness that truly receives, loving physical union that welcomes

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#43569 - 06 Feb 07 22:55 Re: Coup in Indonesia 2007 [Re: Piss Salon]
doremi Offline
Member+++

Registered: 17 Jan 07
Posts: 488
Loc: slouch couch
I really wish that these so-called leaders would get their act together and think about the country's well being instead of their own (may be I'm living in the land of OZ). Going back to the military regime or perhaps the Taliban-like regime??? (scary thought)

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#43595 - 07 Feb 07 01:20 Re: Coup in Indonesia 2007 [Re: doremi]
Polar Bear Offline
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Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Quoting: nwgirl
I really wish that these so-called leaders would get their act together and think about the country's well being instead of their own (may be I'm living in the land of OZ). )


NW - to be fair, living in NSW is just as crappy. Here the gov kept tellnig us we had lots of water, we just needed a few restrictions. then a few more. Now its panick time and we have almost run out......

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#43632 - 07 Feb 07 05:05 Re: Coup in Indonesia 2007 [Re: Polar Bear]
doremi Offline
Member+++

Registered: 17 Jan 07
Posts: 488
Loc: slouch couch
PB, drought season in NSW? is it summer now?

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#43634 - 07 Feb 07 05:38 Re: Coup in Indonesia 2007 [Re: doremi]
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Quoting: nwgirl
PB, drought season in NSW? is it summer now?


Its drought 365 days a year now.

Everyone blames the weather, global warming etc, but of course the answer is more complex. Overfarming, too large a population concentrated in too small an area etc.

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#43635 - 07 Feb 07 05:40 Re: Coup in Indonesia 2007 [Re: Polar Bear]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Quoting: Polar Bear
Now its panic time and we have almost run out......


Call in Halliburton, they can lay down a pipe in a couple days from Jakarta to Sydney and pump the water out of here and into NSW. You guys can sort out the filtering job..
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#43642 - 07 Feb 07 06:04 Re: Coup in Indonesia 2007 [Re: riccardo]
doremi Offline
Member+++

Registered: 17 Jan 07
Posts: 488
Loc: slouch couch
Sorry Ric,

Halliburton is busy in Iraq, can't help the Aussies LOL

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