Determined to keep abreast of affairs throughout the country, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyon has installed a 'situation room' at the Presidential Palace. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Indonesia court upholds Joko Widodo poll victory

BBC News, 21 August 2014

Supporters of defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto gathered
outside the court ahead of the verdict

Indonesia's top court has rejected an appeal from defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto over the results of July's presidential poll.

The constitutional court's decision upholds the results from the elections, which Joko Widodo won by a 6% margin.

Mr Subianto had claimed widespread electoral fraud, and taken his case to the court.

Hundreds of Mr Subianto's supporters gathered outside the court ahead of the verdict, clashing briefly with police.

The court decision means that Mr Widodo, who was declared president last month, has his position firmly sealed, the BBC's Karishma Vaswani in Jakarta reports.

The constitutional court is the highest authority in the country - and the decision from the court is final, our correspondent adds.

Mr Widodo's win was seen as heralding a new era for Indonesia, whose leaders have generally been drawn from the military and political elite.

Mr Prabowo is a former army general closely associated with the traditional elite, while Mr Widodo, a former furniture-maker who grew up in a small village, has promised a decisive break with Indonesia's authoritarian past and better social welfare for the poor.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Australia, Indonesia Agree to Bury Spy Row

Jakarta Globe – AFP, Aug 19, 2014

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, left, shakes hands with her Indonesian
 counterpart Marty Natalegawa at the latter’s office in Jakarta, on Dec. 5, 2013.
(Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

Sydney. Australia and Indonesia have agreed a pact to put a damaging spy row behind them, paving the way for the resumption of full defense cooperation, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Tuesday.

Ties between the neighbors sank to their lowest point in years in November after reports Australian spies tried to tap the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his inner circle.

Jakarta recalled its ambassador from Canberra and suspended cooperation in several areas over the incident, including efforts to stop people-smuggling boats reaching Australia.

Yudhoyono called for a code of conduct to govern behavior during talks with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in June, and the agreement reportedly includes a promise from Canberra never to use its intelligence agencies to harm its neighbor.

“We have reached agreement on the joint understanding and we are currently arranging a time to sign it,” Bishop said Tuesday.

The deal will be signed in Indonesia by Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, with outgoing president Yudhoyono a witness, her office said.

Bishop told Fairfax Media the agreement was a “concise statement of our commitment to respect each other’s sovereignty… and not to harm each others interests”.

“This means we will not be using our intelligence resources to harm Indonesia’s interests,” she said, adding that full defense, border security and intelligence cooperation would be restored.

Allegations that Australian spies tried to tap the phones of Yudhoyono, his wife and several top officials in 2009 sparked one of the worst diplomatic crises between the two strategic allies in years.

Reports at the time said that Australia’s electronic intelligence agency tracked Yudhoyono’s activity on his mobile phone for 15 days in August 2009, when Labor’s Kevin Rudd was prime minister.

The list of tracking targets also included his wife Ani, former vice president Jusuf Kalla, the foreign affairs spokesman, the security minister and the information minister, the reports said.

Jakarta responded furiously to the reports, which were based on documents leaked by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden, by suspending bilateral co-operations in key areas.

Ties were further strained by Australia’s policy of pushing boatloads of asylum-seekers back to Indonesia when it was safe to do so.

Indonesia and Australia are close strategic and trading partners and have traditionally worked together in many areas, including on anti-terrorism initiatives and on the sensitive issue of asylum-seekers.

In June, Abbott said he was confident that ties were back on track.

“One of the great things about this relationship is that on those rare occasions when there are problems, we talk them through. We speak candidly to each other, and that’s exactly what’s happened between myself and [the] president today,” he said.

Agence France-Presse

Related Article:

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Yudhoyono Delivers Swan Song to House Ahead of Independence Day

Jakarta Globe, Aug 15, 2014

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife Ani Yudhoyono at
the legislative complex in Senayan on Friday. (Antara Photo/Ismar Patrizki)

Jakarta. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono delivered the final state speech of his ten-year tenure on Friday, thanking the electorate for its “support” and painting a picture of Indonesia’s transformation during his decade at the State Palace.

“On behalf of of myself and my family I want to convey my gratitude and sincere appreciation for the government and all Indonesians for your support and participation in achieving the development agenda over the past ten years,” Yudhoyono said during his speech to mark the 69th anniversary of Indonesian independence.

Yudhoyono specially mentioned public servants working in the far-flung corners of the archipelago, from dusty frontier towns to remote jungle encampments.

“Thank you for your dedication, which has been above and beyond the call of duty,” Yudhoyono said.

The outgoing president has overseen a near-fourfold increase in the size of the economy, in dollar terms, during his decade in power, with GDP in 2013 recorded at $868 billion, according to World Bank data.

Yudhoyono said that while most Indonesians in the past were unable to read and write, the country’s education system now comprised 200,000 schools, 3 million teachers and 50 million students.

The country, he said, had grown into a middle-income nation ranked as the 16th-largest economy in the world, and inside the top ten of states when looking at Purchasing Power Parity, a hypothetical indicator that adds foreign-exchange relative value.

“After being an independent nation for almost seven decades, in this 21st century Indonesia has become a united country that is peaceful and prosperous,” he said.

Yudhoyono also pointed to the country’s successful record on holding elections. He said his administration had been a thorn in the side of corrupt officials — with some 277 public officials having been forced out by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

The president ended on an optimistic note, reminding the electorate of how far the country had come in its democratization drive, and of the importance of ensuring that the process continued.

“Let’s all work together to guard the 2014 election process so that it stays peaceful and constitutional, just like the previous election,” Yudhoyono said. “The 2014 election is not merely the fight of the elites.”

Related Articles:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jokowi Meets N. Korean Foreign Minister and S. Korean Ambassador

Jakarta Globe, SP/Deti Mega Purnamasari, 13 Aug 2014

President-elect Joko Widodo. (Antara photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Jakarta. President-elect Joko Widodo held two separate meetings on Monday with senior officials from both North and South Korea to discuss Indonesia’s bilateral ties with the two countries ahead of him assuming the office of president in October.

“North Korean foreign minister, Ri Su-yong, congratulated me for winning the presidential election, it was a direct message from Kim Jong-un,” Joko said on Monday at City Hall.

Ri praised the Jakarta governor, calling him a humble man with an impressive track record as an administrator. Pyongyang had praise for Joko’s efforts to raise living standards, the foreign minster said.

“I hope he can work even harder for his people,” Ri added.

The North Korean minister on Wednesday also met with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his Indonesian counterpart, Marty Natalegawa.

After meeting Joko, Ri said he hoped for a deepening of bilateral ties between Pyongyang and Jakarta.

“I expect major successes in public services and the country’s development,” he added.

Earlier in the day Joko also met with the South Korean ambassador to Indonesia, Cho Tae-young.

“The discussion was mostly about the economy and culture,” Joko said, adding that Cho had invited him to Korea for a state visit after his October inauguration.

Related Article:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

SBY, US Senators Touch Base on ISIS, Defense Cooperation

Jakarta Globe, Ezra Sihite & Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Aug 12, 2014

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono shares a light moment with US
 Senator John McCain at the State Palace on Aug. 12, 2014. (Rumgapres
Photo/Abror Rizki)

Jakarta. US Senator John McCain described the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria movement as the “strongest terrorist organization in history,” with strong financial backing and military equipment.

In a meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, McCain said the United States was forced to take military action in an effort to crush the hard-line group known as ISIS.

“ISIS has shown a significant amount of power since it took control of the border of Iraq,” said McCain, who was accompanied by junior senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, in his visit to the State Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday.

McCain said ISIS has successfully spread its ideology of hate and violence to other countries, including to Indonesia and the US, with the return of Indonesian and American youths from Syria to their respective countries.

McCain called on all nations to immediately squash the dangerous, hard-line methods of ISIS, “so that people would not be attracted to its ideology.”

McCain believed that air strikes would be effective in crushing ISIS, which has recently changed its moniker yet again to Islamic State, or IS.

Meanwhile, Iraq and Syria, the two countries that served as the basis for the group, should be proactive in handling the problem, he said.

“Air strikes and military forces are needed to weaken ISIS,” said McCain, adding that he is confident Indonesia has what it takes to stop the movement in its tracks.

“I believe that all countries, including Indonesia, are doing what they have to do to prevent people from becoming interested in the radical Islamic ideology like that,” he said.

Gaza conflict

During the meeting, McCain and Yudhoyono refrained from discussing the Gaza conflict in length, despite Indonesia’s strong rejection toward Israel’s aggressive military strikes, which have killed more than a thousand civilians.

However, McCain said that he hoped that the cease-fire between the Israeli military and Hamas would continue so that both Israel and Palestine could reach an agreement that would finally put an end to the month-old conflict.

McCain then called on the Sunni Islamic outfit to “stop the terror.”

McCain said negotiations between both parties can resume following the cease-fire, adding that the United States is encouraging both parties to find a peaceful solution that would prevent further bloodshed.

Indonesian presidential adviser on international relations Teuku Faizasyah confirmed that the president and the visiting US senators did speak in detail regarding the Gaza issue.

“The discussion was more on ISIS,” said Faizasyah.

Faizasyah added that the politicians also reviewed the South China Sea dispute as well as bilateral relations between Indonesia and the US.

Defense, economic cooperation

Yudhoyono told the US senators that with Indonesia’s economy recovering, the government is taking the momentum to start making improvements on its defense system.

“Our economy has improved, therefore we are able to modernize our military [equipment],” said Yudhoyono.

Indonesia has not upgraded its defense system in 20 years but instead has been taking measured steps toward its 2024 goal of reaching the Minimum Essential Force (MEF) with the recent purchase of Leopard tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles from Germany.

Yudhoyono hoped that Indonesia and the US will be able to build stronger, defensive ties in order to create peace within the Asia-Pacific region, according to Faizasyah. The US has one of the strongest military forces in the world, and it deploys drones to conduct surveillance and perform air strikes.

“They discussed various issues pertaining to regional developments, including the South China Sea issue and the president’s views on the reformation [process] in Myanmar,” he said.

Touching on matters such as religion, McCain expressed his hopes of Indonesia showing the world that Islam and democracy can work together to create a fair and free country.

“We believe Indonesia is an open and democratic country under [Yudhoyono’s] leadership, with the most populous Muslim population,” said McCain. He added that the US is committed to supporting Indonesia’s multi-faceted developments and will work to enhance cooperation between both countries.

“We will continue to strengthen our cooperation with Indonesia, among them in the economic, education, environment and military sectors,” McCain said.

PDI-P’s foreign ties

Andreas Hugo Pareira, head of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s (PDI-P) defense and foreign affairs unit, reminded both the public and Indonesian politicians not to speculate about the meeting that took place between the US senators and the officials of the party.

“I don’t understand these comments people have made about foreign intervention. What intervention? This is just normal,” he said, referring to rumors that questioned PDI-P’s connections and loyalties to the US.

PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri, who is on vacation in the US, was invited to a discussion on global issues. In Indonesia, US senators met with Sidarto Danusubroto, who is the speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), and Pramono Anung, the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives. Both men are PDI-P politicians.

Andreas insisted that it was customary for the former leader of a country to be invited to a discussion on global issues while in the US.

“Don’t be too paranoid when you hear of a politician communicating or having a discussion with foreign politicians. This is to maintain good relations. It’s good to express our stance,” he said.

Andreas added that it was normal for Sidarto, who is often approached by foreign dignitaries, to meet with visiting US senators.

Saying ‘No’ to Party Positioning in Jokowi’s Cabinet

New Form of Government: President-Elect Joko Widodo wants any appointed minister in his cabinet to give up roles within political parties

Jakarta Globe, Deti Purnamasari & Hotman Siregar,  Aug 12, 2014

President-Elect Joko Widodo appears with members of his transition team
in Jakarta on Aug. 4, 2014. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Jakarta. President-Elect Joko Widodo has reiterated that the coalition that he is building with political parties is unconditional, meaning that there will be no proportional power sharing with political parties.

Joko maintained that his cabinet will be filled with professionals, either from political parties or independent ones. He also indicated that he wanted to reduce ministerial positions within the cabinet.

“I have mentioned previously about the conditions when establishing the coalition. They already know the answer: it is unconditional,” Joko, who is still Jakarta’s governor and also goes by Jokowi, said at City Hall on Tuesday.

Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) senior politician Pramono Anung defended Joko’s decision to not fill his entire cabinet with politicians, saying that the move was not meant to disrespect political parties but instead reflected a mature democratic process.

Pramono cited the United States as an example in which public officials, would relinquish their positions in political parties once elected.

“In the US, [people] in the government are not political party officials. Take, for instance, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and others,” Pramono said, referring to the US president and the former state secretary.

Pramono called on coalition parties to accept Joko’s decision, adding that it was the prerogative of the president-elect to make such choices.

Pramono, who is also the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, says that the functions between political parties and government are separate in a modern democracy.

He said Joko’s move was a first in Indonesia’s presidential history.

“This is a genuinely new idea. Based on what I see in the presidential history, Jokowi does not have direct control on political parties. But I appreciate [Joko’s move] if he builds a new tradition like this,” he said.

Most importantly for Joko, Pramono added, is that the president-elect should elect ministers with no political baggage, such as involvement in corruption cases.

Pramono said that in order to pick ministers with clean track records, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has data on public officials who have been involved in graft cases and he can dismiss such individuals.

Muhammad Yamin, chairman of the Jokowi National Secretariat, a supporters group, hoped that Joko would choose non-politicians to fill his cabinet.

“We will monitor and support the house of transition. With regards to the pros and cons, we hope that the cabinet [members] who are elected have no political background,” said Yamin on Tuesday.

Sihol Manullang, chairman of Joko’s volunteer group Projo, also expressed the same view, saying that choosing ministers with no political background will help Joko avoid the trap of accommodating various political parties’ interests.

“I’m sure Jokowi will not be trapped [to accommodate the interests] of political parties. We’re here to protect him from such traps set by political parties,” Sihol said.

Budi Arie Setiadi, coordinator of Joko’s volunteers, envisions no problem if Joko’s cabinet is filled with politicians who are professionals and care about the public.

“If they don’t care about the people, we will drag them in and hold them accountable for their performance,” said Budi.

Slim cabinet

Joko also said that he will form a smaller cabinet and that he would remove the position of deputy ministers in most ministries as part of his budget efficiency measure. There are 34 ministers in President Yudhoyono Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s cabinet, and some have deputy officials. A president has the exclusive privilege of appointing ministers to fill positions that he feels are necessary.

“It depends on the [condition] of every ministry, and it’s related to the budget burden, and the burden is not exactly light. It [the deputy minister’s position] can be removed, or maybe only one or two ministers will get deputy ministers,” said Joko.

Despite already disclosing his plan to remove the deputy minister’s role, Joko was still reluctant to talk about candidates who would fill his cabinet.

Joko said that his team would start considering names in mid-September or following the resolution of the presidential election dispute at the Constitutional Court. The court will issue its ruling, which becomes final, on Aug. 22.

Prabowo Subianto, Joko’s contender in the presidential election, challenged the ruling General Election Commission (KPU), which declared Joko as the winner. Prabawo alleged fraud in the election that benefited Joko.

Joko said that his transition team is still identifying problems in the government’s bureaucracy as well as formulating programs that will be prioritized.

Identifying problems and formulating priority programs would ensure a smooth transition of power from Yudhoyono’s administration to Joko’s.

“We haven’t advancted to [selecting] names [of cabinet ministers] yet. The team is preparing a transition from the SBY administration,” Joko said, referring to Yudhoyono by his initials.

The transition team is headed by Rini M.S. Soewandi, the former industry and trade minister during Megawati Soekarnoputri’s presidency. Rini is being assisted by four deputies, namely PDI-P deputy secretary-general Hasto Kristianto; secretaries of Joko’s campaign team Andi Widjajanto and Akbar Faisal; and Joko’s campaign team spokesman Anies Baswedan.

The tasks of the transition team include drafting programs and policies for Joko’s administration and to help find cabinet ministers based on Joko’s needs.

Akbar said that the first criterion to become a cabinet minister was not competence but courage.

“Pak Jokowi has set three criteria, the courage to take action, being clean and being competent. The first is not competence but the courage to take action,” Akbar stressed. “It’s not a matter of who but whether [that appointed minister] can or is able to take a stand.”

Akbar also said that the transition team was working according to Joko’s style and that their duties would finish at the end of September.

“Right now we are preparing the mechanism of the programs, and we will leave it up to the president [elect] and the vice president [elect] to choose the ministers,” said Akbar.

Joko has also asked Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama to offer suggestions on people who would make a good fit in his cabinet. Joko, though, declined to disclose Basuki’s suggestions.

Political analyst Arbi Sanit hoped that Joko and vice president-elect Jusuf Kalla would eliminate three ministries to prevent overlapping in coordinating policies, and that ultimately there should be only 20 ministries in his cabinet.

He cited the position of the coordinating ministry of the economy, for instance, which failed to coordinate the distribution of cooking gas to households following increases in subsidized fuel prices and problems related to food imports.

“SBY’s cabinet has been very ineffective. There has been an overlapping of [policies] between the agriculture minister and the trade minister on those cases,” Arbi said.

He said that Joko should liquidate the Religious Affairs Ministry, the Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry, the Research and Technology Ministry, the Maritime Ministry, the Manpower Ministry, the Industry Ministry and the three coordinating ministries for economy, security and the people’s welfare.

Arbi said that those ministries are only wasting the state’s budget and have made the government ineffective.

“In the future, Jokowi should have only 20 ministers. The Public Works Ministry can be merged with the Transportation Ministry and the National Land Agency. The Social Affairs Ministry can be merged with the Health Ministry,” he said.

Papua People’s Council (MRP) chairman Vitalis Yumte said that the new government should consider setting up a new ministry to handle provinces with special privileges such as Aceh, Papua, Yogyakarta, and Jakarta.

“As for Papua, we really need a ministry to handle Papua issues so that all the problems can be solved quickly and effectively,” said Vitalis.

Further Coverage

Monday, August 04, 2014

Indonesian Government Officially Bans ISIS

Jakarta Globe, Ezra Sihite, Aug 04, 2014

The coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Djoko Suyanto,
 center, said on Monday that there is no place for ISIS in Indonesia. (JG Photo/
Ezra Sihite)

Jakarta. The Indonesian government on Monday officially banned the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, saying the militant outfit should not be allowed to spread its teachings in the archipelago.

“The government bans ISIS from developing in Indonesia, because it goes against the ideology of Pancasila, the unitary Indonesian nation-state and pluralism,” Djoko Suyanto, coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, said during a press conference at the president’s office on Monday. “Every attempt to promote ISIS should be prevented, Indonesia should not be the place to spread [this ideology].”

The announcement came after a limited cabinet meeting about ISIS led by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Djoko was accompanied by high-ranking officials when declaring the ban, including Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa, National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Marciano Norman, Justice and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin, military chief Gen. Moeldoko and Gen. Sutarman, the chief of National Police.

“The activities of ISIS and now IS [Islamic State, as the movement officially calls itself] have since the beginning been monitored by some ministries, [including] the Religious Affairs Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and the National Police,” Djoko said.

He said that ISIS should not be understood as a religious movement, but as an ideology that runs counter to Indonesia’s state ideology of Pancasila. The National Police and the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), Djoko added, would lead the law enforcement effort against ISIS activities in Indonesia.

The minister also said that regardless of the situation in the Middle East, support from Indonesia should be in the form of humanitarian aid and diplomacy, not by sending people to fight, which would only make matters worse. “Let’s not get influenced, and not be easily provoked to join ISIS,” Djoko said.

The government also said it would be monitoring Indonesians who plan to travel to countries in the Middle East and South Asia where there is armed conflict, to ensure they will not be joining or working for ISIS. “The Foreign Affairs Ministry will take the lead, the National Police and the BNPT will be the clearing house to monitor Indonesian citizens who travel to the Middle East, South Asia and other conflict regions,” Djoko said.

Related Articles:

Friday, August 01, 2014

KPK Says Ready to Help Australia Uncover Wikileaks Corruption Allegations

Jakarta Globe, Rizky Amelia, Aug 01, 2014

Jakarta. Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) pledged on Friday to help Australian authorities investigate an alleged international corruption scandal implicating two subsidiaries of the Australian central bank and authorities in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The commitment from the KPK comes after Wikileaks on Tuesday revealed the Supreme Court of Victoria had issued an injunction on June 19 that prevented Australian media from reporting on corruption allegations related to Note Printing Australia (NPA) and Securency International, two subsidiaries of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The gag order followed the secret June 19 indictment of seven senior executives from NPA and Securency concerning allegations of multi-million dollar bribes made in order to secure contracts for the supply of Australian-style polymer bank notes in several countries, including Indonesia.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, former president Megawati Soekarnoputri and Laksamana Sukardi, the State Enterprise Minister in Megawati’s administration, were listed in the court order, which also mentioned the current and former heads of states of Malaysia and Vietnam.

“The KPK must be ready and is now preparing itself if the Australian government supplies data and preliminary information regarding the corruption allegations,” KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto told the Jakarta Globe in a text message on Friday.

Yudhoyono on Thursday held a press conference demanding Canberra be transparent in order to clear things up. “The Wikileaks information … has tainted my good image and that of Ibu Mega,” Yudhoyono told reporters.

“I really hope and I want the Australian government and authorities to open and reveal as clearly as possible the legal [case].”

The Australian embassy in Indonesia issued a statement on Thursday saying that even though Yudhoyono and Megawati were named in the court order it did not “imply wrongdoing on their part.”

Yudhoyono said on Thursday that Australian authorities should work with the KPK to investigate the matter, but the corruption watchdog must further study the case before making any official statements or taking action.

KPK spokesman Johan Budi said that the anti-graft czar had never conducted a joint investigation with another country and, if it took place, it would be a first.

“So far there has not been a [joint] investigation like that,” Johan said on Friday.

Related Article:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Yudhoyono Not Amused by Australia Graft Scandal

Come Clean: The president, who has been linked to a case involving the bribery of senior officials to print banknotes in Australia, wants a transparent investigation, despite a gag order by an Australian court

Jakarta Globe, Ezra Sihite & Erwida Maulia, Jul 31, 2014

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has demanded full transparency into
 an Australian corruption scandal in which his name has come up. An Australian
 court has barred that country’s media from reporting on the case. (Antara Photo/
Andika Wahyu)

Jakarta. Canberra has cleared Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of any involvement in an international corruption scandal implicating two subsidiaries of the Australian central bank, in a case that only came to light following a revelation by Wikileaks about a nationwide gagging order on the Australian media against reporting on the matter.

The so-called super injunction from the Supreme Court of Victoria, dated June 19 and made public by Wikileaks on Tuesday, prevents local media from reporting on corruption allegations related to Note Printing Australia (NPA) and Securency International, two subsidiaries of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The gag order follows the secret June 19 indictment of seven senior executives from NPA and Securency concerning allegations of multi-million dollar inducements made in order to secure contracts for the supply of Australian-style polymer bank notes to the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and other countries, Wikileaks reported.

Yudhoyono, along with his predecessor, Megawati Soekarnoputri, and the state enterprise minister during Megawati’s 2001-04 presidency, Laksamana Sukardi, are among 17 individuals listed in the court order, which also mentions the current and former heads of states of Malaysia and Vietnam.

The super injunction says there should be “no disclosure, by publication or otherwise, of any information (whether in electronic or paper form) [...] that reveals, implies, suggests or alleges” the 17 individuals received, witnessed or were intended to receive “a bribe or improper payment.”

It also specifically bans the publication of the order itself as well as an affidavit affirmed last month by Australia’s representative to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Gillian Bird, who has just been appointed as Australia’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

The document invokes “national security” grounds to prevent reporting about the case, in order to “prevent damage to Australia’s international relations.”

The Australian government on Tuesday acknowledged and defended the existence of the gag order.

“The Australian government obtained suppression orders to prevent publication of information that could suggest the involvement in corruption of specific senior political figures in the region — whether in fact they were or not,” the Australian Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement. “The government considers that the suppression orders remain the best means for protecting the senior political figures from the risk of unwarranted innuendo.”

The embassy also cleared Yudhoyono and Megawati of allegations of improper conduct.

“The naming of such figures in the orders does not imply wrongdoing on their part. The [Australian] government stresses that the Indonesian president and the former president are not the subject of the Securency proceedings,” it said. “We [the Australian government] take the breach of the suppression orders extremely seriously and we are referring it to the police.”

The statement was issued to the Indonesian media shortly after Yudhoyono held a press conference at his home in Cikeas, Bogor, to protest the citing of his name in the super injunction, following a report earlier this week by the Indonesian daily Seputar Indonesia, or Sindo, which cited the Wikileaks report.

“The Wikileaks information which was put out by Sindo has tainted my good image and that of Ibu Mega [Megawati],” Yudhoyono said. “It can also trigger speculation, which might lead to libel. The news issued by Wikileaks and Sindo is something which has caused hurt.”

The president has demanded that Canberra make public any allegations of involvement of Indonesian officials in the case to clear things up. He also said Australia should work with Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in any investigation into the matter.

“I really hope and I want the Australian government and authorities to open and reveal as clearly as is possible the legal [case]. Don’t cover it up. I want this to be crystal clear throughout the country,” Yudhoyono said. “Please reveal, identify and investigate the people [involved]. If someone has been accused of breaking the law, what is the case and what is the violation? And I hope that if someone [in Indonesia] is involved, then they cooperate with the KPK.”

The KPK did not respond to the Jakarta Globe’s inquiries on the matter, but previous media reports dating back to 2010 found the antigraft body had considered launching investigations into the case back then.

A report by Bloomberg News in August last year said Radius Christanto, a Singapore-based Indonesian businessman who played an alleged middleman role in the case, agreed to his extradition to Australia to testify in Australian court proceedings concerning the case.

Radius allegedly helped NPA and Securency channel $1.3 million in bribes to two Bank Indonesia officials to win a project to print 500 million 100,000-rupiah bills from 1999 to 2004. The project was reportedly worth $55.5 million. The polymer notes are no longer in use now.

Yudhoyono said Bank Indonesia did hire the RBA subsidiaries around that period and, allegations aside, was authorized to do so.

“But my point is, that is the authority of BI. So whoever the president was in 1999, or when the banknotes were printed in Australia, they couldn’t be involved in the decision-making process,” he said.

Wikileaks has slammed the “unprecedented” censorship order, calling it “the worst in living memory.” It says the last known blanket suppression order of this nature by the Australian government was granted in 1995 and concerned the joint US-Australian intelligence spying operation against the Chinese Embassy in Canberra.

“With this order, the Australian government is not just gagging the Australian press, it is blindfolding the Australian public,” Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said in a statement posted on the group’s website on Tuesday. “Foreign Minister Julie Bishop must explain why she is threatening every Australian with imprisonment in an attempt to cover up an embarrassing corruption scandal involving the Australian government.

“The concept of ‘national security’ is not meant to serve as a blanket phrase to cover up serious corruption allegations involving government officials, in Australia or elsewhere. It is in the public interest for the press to be able to report on this case. Who is brokering our deals, and how are we brokering them as a nation? Corruption investigations and secret gag orders for ‘national security’ reasons are strange bedfellows. It is ironic that it took Tony Abbott to bring the worst of ‘Asian Values’ to Australia.”

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

US Gunmaker Fined for Bribing Indonesia, Pakistan Officials

Jakarta Globe – AFP, Jul 29, 2014

A club member fires a pistol. (Reuters Photo/Andy Clark)

Washington. US gunmaker Smith & Wesson was hit with $2 million in fines Monday for bribing officials in Indonesia, Pakistan and other countries to gain sales deals.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission accused the company, whose handguns are popular in law enforcement and military services, of facilitating bribes of $11,000 worth of cash and free guns to Pakistan police officials in 2008 to obtain a supply contract.

One year later, the SEC said, Smith & Wesson employees made or authorized bribes in Indonesia to win a contract with a local police department, though the deal ultimately fell through.

Other attempts to pay off officials via third-party agents were made in Turkey, Nepal and Bangladesh, the SEC said.

The SEC found that the company’s actions, successful or not in gaining business, violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which aims to eliminate bribery and graft as a crucial factor in business competition internationally.

Smith & Wesson did not admit or deny the findings by the SEC, but agreed to pay $2.0 million in penalties and illicit gains to settle the charges.

The SEC said the company had taken action to halt pending sales transactions when it learned of the bribery by its staff, and fired its entire international sales staff to begin addressing the problem.

“This is a wake-up call for small and medium-size businesses that want to enter into high-risk markets and expand their international sales,” said Kara Brockmeyer of the SEC Enforcement Division.

“When a company makes the strategic decision to sell its products overseas, it must ensure that the right internal controls are in place and operating,” she said in a statement.

Agence France-Presse

Jokowi to Get Pay Raise as President, but Salary Lags World Leaders

Jakarta Globe, Josua Gantan, Jul 25, 2014

Joko Widodo’s pay as president of Indonesia would be a fraction of the pay
as other world leaders. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Jakarta. As the president-elect of Indonesia, Joko Widodo is bound to receive a pay rise that will amount to an eightfold increase of what he currently earns as the governor of Jakarta.

Official sources revealed that Joko is raking in $8,700 each year as chief of the nation’s capital, while his second in command, Basuki Tjajahaja Purnama — widely known as Ahok — earns $7,260.

Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, on the other hand, reportedly makes $64,300 per year.

At face value, one may judge the figure to be on the low side for what the leader of an entire nation should earn. Bank of Indonesia governor Agus Martowardojo, for example, is paid three times more than the president at $207,450 per year.

Similarly, the president directors of several state-owned enterprises, such as Pertamina, Bank Mandiri and Bank Rakyat Indonesia, take home a significant amount more money than the president, earning up to Rp 190 million ($16,500) per month on average.

The leader of one of Indonesia’s closest neighbors, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, rakes in a staggering amount of $1,740,000 per annum, which means he earns 27 times more than President Yudhoyono.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama, makes six times more than Yudhoyono with an annual salary of $400,000.

‘Other benefits’

One may wonder why Indonesia’s president — the state leader of some 250 million people — earns what some may label a “dismal” amount of money compared to the nine-digit figures coined in by senior members of the country’s enterprises.

What then, is so special about being a high-ranking government official in Indonesia?

The answer to this question lies in additional “benefits” beyond what can be seen on paper.

“Don’t just look at the salary, look at the allowances too,” Ade Irawan, coordinator of Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), told the Jakarta Globe on Thursday.

“Their salaries are usually quite small, but [government officials] are entitled to various allowances, ranging from small to massive, all of which are paid for by the state,” Ade said. “They are also given an allowance for clothes, electricity, water, and many other [services].”

Siti Zuhro, a political researcher from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) told the Jakarta Globe that there are various “unwritten” benefits that high-ranking officials regularly receive.

“What is written [on paper] is indeed meager, but [politicians] do get a lot of money; don’t be naive,” she said.

On top of the many “facilities” they enjoy, many high-ranking public officials make huge sums of money by providing their services — and essentially their names — to some of the countries larger private-owned companies.

“Special envoys [to the president] for example, earn a lot [of money] by being commissioners [of a business]. This may get them more than Rp 75 million rupiah per month,” she said.

These government employees, she added, are allowed to have their hand in more than one company.

Major businesses are often incentivized to hire politicians as members of the board as their presence and political clout would boost the company’s legal standing.

Simply put, having a high-ranking public official on the firm’s payroll may be costly, but it makes doing business in Indonesia’s multi-tiered, bureaucratic industries a whole lot easier.

As a result, however, many of these so-called “business boosters” become prone to conflicts of interest and often find themselves being accused of favoritism.

The right question

Perhaps asking whether Indonesia’s politicians make enough money would be the wrong question, Siti pointed out. The right question would be whether the current remuneration policy for public officials is one that can minimize corruption and conflicts of interest, she added.

Clearly, the long-standing practice of handing out “unwritten benefits” to politicians and providing them with the freedom to boost their finances through business means have made little impact on the fight to eradicate corruption within the Indonesian government. In fact, these political habits could very well be seen as adding fuel to the fire.

With such financially driven customs buried deep within the country’s political system, Joko and Vice President-elect Jusuf Kalla face a grueling task of implementing a “mental revolution” that discourages monetary gain.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

President-Elect Jokowi Calls on Public to Pick Cabinet

People's Power — In an unprecedented move, Joko Widodo has asked Indonesians to help him put together a new government

Joko Widodo, center, and Jusuf Kalla, second from left, with PDI-P head Megawati
 Sukarnoputri, second from right, and Puan Maharani on July 22, 2014.
(Reuters Photo/Darren Whiteside)

Jakarta. President-elect Joko Widodo has again come up with an innovative idea; one that is unheard of in the history of Indonesian politics. Indonesia’s future leader is asking the public to add its two cents in filling out his cabinet, and in the process, revealing the potential nominees.

Jokowi Center, a team of volunteers helping Joko gather suggestions and examine candidates for his cabinet lineup, launched a poll on its website on Thursday, allowing Indonesians nationwide to cast their votes for names provided by the site, or nominate their own favorites.

More than 18,000 online participants raced to the site as of Thursday evening, causing it to crash less than 24 hours after its official launch.

The Center’s Facebook page and Twitter account — @Jokowi_Ina — also provided a link to a Google document inviting citizens to fill out a similar questionnaire.

A total of 102 names have been nominated for 34 ministerial posts, with each position receiving three candidates. If respondents remain unsatisfied with the suggestions, they may nominate their own choice with the “other” option.

“I’m only asking for input [to create] the cabinet,” Joko commented about the online poll on Thursday. “[The suggestions] will be processed by a team, using a set of criteria. Then, [the results] will be sent to coalition members, before being sent back to the [Jokowi Center] team.

“The final decision will be on me.”

The Jakarta governor has repeatedly stated he was against the practice of transactional politics and will not trade political support for a seat in his government.

The unprecedented move could account for the relatively small size of his coalition — compared to opponent Prabowo Subianto’s massive campaign machine — which will control a mere 37 percent of legislative seats when the new set of lawmakers go into session on Oct. 1.

Compare that with the rival bloc of former Army general Prabowo, which will control 73 percent of the House seats if the coalition does not fall apart — as many observers have predicted.

Joko has also vehemently rejected allegations claiming he will merely act as a “puppet president” to Megawati Soekarnoputri, the chairwoman of his political vehicle, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

“I truly respect Megawati as my senior. But surely good governance should come from making the right decisions and what is best for our nation,” Joko said in an interview a day before the General Elections Commission (KPU) declared him and running mate Jusuf Kalla the winners of the July 9 presidential race on Tuesday.

Still, it’s impossible not to notice that at least 30 names on Jokowi Center’s list of cabinet nominees are party members — and most of those are from the PDI-P.

Take for example Puan Maharani, Megawati’s daughter, who is tipped as an heir apparent to the PDI-P throne. The 40-year-old is a candidate for the position of women’s empowerment minister.

Meanwhile, senior PDI-P politicians Maruarar Sirait and Pramono Anung are both nominated for state secretary. Similarly, Hendrawan Supratikno has been suggested for the post of finance minister and Arif Budimanta for energy minister.

Politicians from other parties within the PDI-P-led coalition, including National Awakening Party (PKB) chairman Muhaimin Iskandar, National Democrat Party (Nasdem) deputy chairman Ferry Mursyidan Baldan and Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI) chairman Sutiyoso, are also on the list. They are — in respective order — nominated for the chief welfare minister, the communication minister and the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs.

Interestingly, a number of figures from parties in the rival camp have also been nominated, including popular Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil of Prabowo’s Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party and Lukman Hakim Saifudin of the United Development Party (PPP). They are candidates for the public housing minister and religious affairs minister, respectively.

More notable additions to the list include movie directors Garin Nugroho and Mira Lesmana as the tourism and creative industry minister.

The nomination of noted composer Addie M. S. and Paramadina University rector Anies Baswedan as the youth and sports minister, meanwhile, have managed to raised eyebrows — with neither known to have any experience in the area. Anies has in fact been widely expected as Indonesia’s next education minister, but he’s strangely not among the Jokowi Center nominees for the job.

Is the right man in the right place?

Bantarto Bandoro, a political, defense and international relations expert from the Indonesia Defense University (Unhan), expressed his opinion on several candidates on Friday.

According to Bantarto, Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Gen. Moeldoko and former Army chief of staff Gen. Budiman were both capable of holding the chief political and security minister position, but noted that Budiman’s recent dismissal — the reason of which remains unclear —  would not set a positive precedence for Joko’s future cabinet.

“Would Joko promote Budiman though he was ‘dismissed’ from the Army?” Bantarto questioned.

“The coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs is a managerial position; it doesn’t require technical skills. Moeldoko will be the best man for the job. He’s familiar with latest security issues, including those that will remain [Indonesia’s concerns] over the next five years,” Bantarto said.

Former chief of the Jakarta military command Sutiyoso, meanwhile, has been absent from Indonesia’s political arena since the end of his term as Jakarta’s governor in 2007, which means he may face difficulties readjusting to another government post, Bantaro added.

For defense minister, he pointed to one of his former students at the University of Indonesia (UI), Andi Widjajanto — who is now a lecturer at the university— as the best man for the job. Andi, along with senior PDI-P lawmaker T. B. Hasanuddin and former Army chief of staff Ryamizard Ryacudu, are three nominees for the job.

It helps that Andi is a core member of Joko’s campaign team and has been directly involved in outlining the ticket’s defense and foreign policy platform.

“Andi has an advantage over the other two [candidates]. His academic, scientific-based approaches will introduce logics in Indonesia’s defense policies and help them develop,” Bantarto said. “He’s young, but has good expertise.”

Meanwhile, Hasanuddin, a member the House’s defense commission, has admittedly been following every development of Indonesia’s defense sector and has provided the government with ample criticism on the matter.

“But his arguments often lack theoretical, scientific and practical grounds and therefore offer no real solutions to the matter at hand,” Bantarto commented.

Finally, he pointed out that the appointment of Ryamizard — a known close aide to Megawati — would contradict Indonesia’s stance on appointing a civilian for the defense minister position. The policy was introduced at the start of the post-Suharto reformation era and was meant to curb military involvement and dominance in the government.

As for the role of foreign minister, Bantarto champions Indonesia’s current international public relations man Marty Natalegawa, as he is expected to continue the country’s ongoing diplomatic missions — which most of Indonesia’s foreign observers say are cruising in the right direction.

“Additionally, there would be almost zero resistance against him within the diplomatic ranks. The same may not be said for public figures who have currently no connections to the foreign ministry, such as UI lecturer Makmur Keliat or Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS] executive director Rizal Sukma,” Bantarto said. “Rizal has some great, sharp foreign policy concepts, but he would meet resistance in the diplomatic ranks as he’s never been part of them.”

The economic team

Eric Alexander Sugandi, an economist at Standard Chartered, gave his comments on the appointment of Indonesia’s future economic ministers.

However, Eric refused to take sides and name his favorite choice for chief of Indonesia’s economy, the nominees for which include incumbent minister Chairul Tanjung, who has only held the title for several months, gaining the position after stepping in for current Prabowo running mate Hatta Rajasa; State Enterprise Minister Dahlan Iskan; and former trade minister Gita Wirjawan.

“Ideally, the coordinating minister for the economy position should go to a senior minister, experienced enough to be able to smoothly coordinate with other economic ministers. And ideally, the person must also be able to work with regional administrations,” Eric said.

For the post of finance minister, Eric favors former minister Agus Martowardojo — who held the role from 2010 to 2013 — but highly doubts that Agus would want to leave his current position as Bank Indonesia governor.

“Raden Pardede gained ample experience with the KSSK, the [now-defunct] Financial System Stability Committee,” Eric said. “But other names from the finance ministry’s inner circle should be considered as well.”

These would include deputy finance minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, former deputy finance minister Mahendra Siregar — who is now chief of the Investment Coordinating Board, or BKPM — and tax director general Fuad Rahmany.

Eric added that Mari Elka Pangestu, trade minister from 2004 to 2011 and current nominee, would still be fit for the job, citing her vast experience in the sector.

“Basically, aside from having specific skills in their specific areas, ministers for the economy should also possess macroeconomic knowledge, experience in policy making and the ability to build relations with other state institutions, including the House of Representatives, Bank Indonesia and the OJK [Financial Services Authority].

“Candidates should also be in favor of administrative reform,” Eric added.

Corruption free?

Meanwhile, the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) offered its input by highlighting the track records of names added to Jokowi Center’s online list, some of which have already raised a red flag within the antigraft organization.

ICW coordinator Ade Irawan refused to go into detail, but conceded that Rokhmin Dahuri, the maritime and fisheries minister under Megawati’s 2001-04 presidency, had once been convicted of corruption and abusing his power.

Rokhmin was sentenced to a seven-year prison term in 2007 for illegally collecting up to Rp 11.5 billion ($1 million) from various government programs. His sentence was cut short due to good behavior.

Raden may also prove to be a problematic candidate due to KSSK’s involvement in the Bank Century bailout scandal, which is currently being tried at the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court. However, the former KSSK secretary has only testified as a witness in the case.

“The candidates’ list should be free from people implicated or suspected in corruption cases and potential conflicts of interest,” Ade said. “Jokowi-JK should clearly outline the criteria required for each candidate… so the public would not make their choice simply based on popularity.”

Ade conceded Joko’s attempts to draw public participation in selecting cabinet members “deserves appreciation.”

“It is important that people are involved in choosing the officials who will ultimately serve them,” Ade said. “This strategy would also hopefully prevent any transactional, horse-trading politics from happening.”

The ICW is currently drawing up its own list of pros and cons on Jokowi Center’s existing list of candidates.

That report, added Ade, will be released in August.

The ICW coordinator added that the organization supported the idea of cutting down on bureaucracy by closing several ministries that are deemed ineffective, though he declined to name them.

Additional reporting by SP/Deti Mega P.

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“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems  (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it),  Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse),  Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) (Text version)

“…  Government

Let us speak of government. We're not speaking of your government, but of any government - the way it works, how it survives, how it has survived, the way it campaigns, and how it elects leaders. It's going to change.

Years ago, I told you, "When everybody can talk to everybody, there can be no secrets." Up to this point on this planet, government has counted on one thing - that the people can't easily talk to each other on a global scale. They have to get their information through government or official channels. Even mass media isn't always free enough, for it reports that which the government reports. Even a free society tends to bias itself according to the bias of the times. However, when you can have Human Beings talking to each other all at once, all over the planet without government control, it all changes, for there is open revelation of truth.

Democracy itself will change and you're going to see it soon. The hold-outs, the few countries I have mentioned in the past, are doomed unless they recalibrate. They're doomed to be the same as they have been and won't be able to exist as they are now with everyone changing around them.

I mentioned North Korea in the past. Give it time. Right now, the young man is under the control of his father's advisors. But when they're gone, you will see something different, should he survive. Don't judge him yet, for he is being controlled.

In government, if you're entire voting base has the ability to talk to itself without restriction and comes up with opinions by itself without restriction, it behooves a politician to be aware and listen to them. This will change what politicians will do. It will change the way things work in government. Don't be surprised when some day a whole nation can vote all at once in a very unusual way. Gone will be the old systems where you used to count on horseback riders to report in from faraway places. Some of you know what I am talking about. Government will change. The systems around you, both dark and light, will change. You're going to start seeing something else, too, so let's change the subject and turn the page. …