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.)
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Will Influential Asia Shape the World?

Jakarta Globe, Shoeb K. Zainuddin, September 29, 2012

Customers talk to a salesperson at a Lenovo shop in Shanghai in this
February 17,  2011 file photo. Experts urged the West not to underestimate
China. (Reuters Photo/Aly Song)
            
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New York. Fueled by rising incomes and a half billion new consumers by 2020, Asia will dominate the global economy over the next few decades, forcing the world’s financial and security architecture to reflect the rise of emerging nations.

This point, made by Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, at the 12th annual Leadership Forum in New York, was countered by billionaire investor George Soros, who said that many emerging powers do not have strong internal systems, such as democratic institutions, to play a leading role on the global stage.

The forum — titled “Defining the Future: How Emerging Powers Will Shape The World Order” and co-sponsored by Strategic Review, an Indonesian journal of leadership, policy and world affairs — brought together Mahbubani, Soros and Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations Special Representative for Syria.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who delivered the keynote address, laid the groundwork for the debate when he said the seismic power shifts now underway would continue to have an impact as the Cold War gives way to “Warm Peace.”

“One of the challenges of the Warm Peace is how to accommodate the rise of emerging powers such as Brazil, Argentina, India, Indonesia, China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia,” he said. “Economic growth is what makes a country strong, and it determines a country’s influence in the community of nations.”

The emerging powers, he added, are even more influential today given the gloomy economic outlook in the developed world. “As a result, emerging powers are not just hard to ignore but they are new partners in reshaping the global landscape,” the president said.

This point was picked up by Mahbubani, who argued that despite uncertainty in the short term, the long-term outlook appeared bright as growing numbers of people from emerging powers join the ranks of the middle class.

“Indonesia is part of the larger story and the key word is confidence, which is incredibly high within the emerging countries,” he said.

“But how do we restructure the global order to reflect this significant change? The UN Security Council must change as the current permanent members are dictators as they cannot be voted out.”

Soros, however, was not convinced, saying that the collapse of the Soviet Union and other past emerging powers proved that democracy and freedom of expression are vital components of a nation’s power.

“We must consider this when we talk about the emerging powers and the West, especially so for China. Will it become an open society? That is the single most important development for the world to consider,” he said.

Mahbubani countered by urging bystanders to not underestimate China, because that would be dangerous.

“The Chinese Communist Party of today is very different from the past. More than 70 million Chinese travel every year and they can see how the rest of the world is developing,” he said, adding that the Western mindset is a black-and-white one and cannot comprehend the complexity of China.

Another region of the world that is poorly understood is the Middle East, Brahimi said. The region, he noted, has had many false starts but the Arab Spring has given people a new voice and they are not going to be silenced.

The West, he added, is too preoccupied with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who will soon leave office.

“But Iran is an ancient civilization that has been around for a long time and will continue to be around in the future.”

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Friday, September 28, 2012

New Zealand Fund Pulls Freeport Investment, Cites Papua Rights Offenses

Jakarta Globe, Jonathan Vit, September 27, 2012

An aerial view of a giant mine run by US firm Freeport-McMoran Cooper & Gold,
 at the Grassberg mining operation, in Indonesia's Papua province in this July 2005
file photo. (Reuters Photo/Stringer)
 
        
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New Zealand’s public pension fund pulled more than $1 million in investment from Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold over allegations of human rights offenses committed by security forces around the company’s controversial Grasberg mine in Papua.

The $15.7 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund announced on Wednesday that it would cease investment in four companies that violate international ethics standards.

The fund raised concerns over “breaches of human rights standards by security forces around the Grasberg mine, and concerns over requirements for direct payments to government security forces by the company in at least two countries in which it operates.”

Indonesian security forces have a heavy presence in the restive province, where police and the Indonesian Military (TNI) are ostensibly suppressing a decades-long insurgency waged by members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM).

But Human Rights Watch, citing leaked military documents, has alleged that security forces have targeted everyone from tribal leaders to political activists in Papua. Security forces routinely suppress pro-independence groups in the province, jailing those caught flying the “Morning Star” flag for treason and killing local leaders suspected of being separatists, like Reverend Kinderman Gire and Mako Tabuni, of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB).

Security forces hired by Freeport’s local subsidiary also engage in regular firefights with unknown gunmen along a road leading to the mine in Timika, Mimika district. The OPM operates from a base in Puncak Jaya, near the Grasberg mine.

The fund concluded that while Freeport’s human rights policies have improved in recent years, the activities of the government forces it employs are beyond the company’s control.

“This limits the effectiveness of further engagement with the company,” the fund said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch applauded the move, calling it “a sound decision indeed.”

“Businesses are getting more and more conscious about human rights abuses,” said Andreas Harsono, a researcher with HRW. “Sound businesses do care about human rights.”

The Ministry of Defense declined to comment on the move. Papua Police, local representatives of the TNI and Freeport Indonesia were unavailable for comment by deadline.

The fund had $1,062,061 in holdings in Freeport as of June 30.

Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company, China’s Zijin Mining Group and construction and defense firm KBR were also dropped from the fund’s portfolio.

All four were dropped after the fund decided that they were unlikely to affect any change in their policies.

“In making a decision to exclude a company from our portfolio, one of the tests we apply is whether engagement with the company might realistically lead to sufficient improvements,” the fund said. “We have come to the conclusion that further engagement by the Fund with these companies is not likely to be effective.

“We would rather focus our efforts on companies where we believe we can make a difference.”

The fund’s equity portfolio includes shares in more than 6,500 companies. It manages the government pension fund available for all New Zealand residents 65 and older.

Freeport, which runs the largest copper mine in the world at Grasberg, has a market capitalization of $37.29 billion and pulled in $3.17 billion in net income last year.

Seventy-three percent of its shares are held by institutions and mutual funds.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Indonesia Occupies Wall Street With Its Heft of Resources, Democracy

Jakarta Globe, Shoeb K. Zainuddin, September 25, 2012

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited Wall Street, in
 downtown Manhattan, to drum up investor interest in Indonesia, during his
visit to New York on Monday. (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)

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New York. For about three hours on Monday morning Indonesia occupied Wall Street as President Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono addressed several American captains of industry and financial titans.

For the first time in its history, the New York Stock Exchange hosted an Indonesian Investment Day, a reflection of growing global interest in the country and Indonesia’s rise as a major global economy.

As pointed out by the chief executive of NYSE Euronext, Duncan Niederauer, in the past seven years, Indonesia’s gross domestic product has grown by 200 percent, its blue-chip stocks have risen by 200 percent and its overall stock market has shot up by 300 percent.

In his speech, Yudhoyono sought to differentiate Indonesia from the rest of the emerging economic pack.

“Here on Wall Street and around the world, there is a lot of talk about emerging markets,” he said. “Indonesia is included in almost every acronym to describe these markets, but among emerging powers, Indonesia is unique.”

Yudhoyono added that Indonesia is constantly adapting itself to global economic and social trends and the government is very conscious of not falling into the resource trap.

The government, he added will not be irresponsible with the nation’s wealth in natural resources.

“We are mindful that natural resources can also be a curse. In fact, we will add value. By 2014, all raw materials will be processed domestically before being exported, as this will not just boost growth but social equity,” he noted.

“Indonesia is doing well, but for how long is the common question. I believe it can be sustained because we have built the foundations and our political stability anchors our economic strength,” he added.

Indeed, few economies in the world offer opportunities for growth and profits that Indonesia does, said Nouriel Roubini, chairman of Roubini Global Economics. He said that the rise of emerging markets would totally transform the global economy over the next few decades, as consumption rises and demand for natural resources increases.

“Who will produce these natural resources? There are a lot of opportunities in Indonesia, which has an abundance of these resources,” he said.

Roubini added that there has been too much hype given to the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) over the past few years, but in many aspects Indonesia fairs much better than they do. “Indonesia has a more robust democracy and a much more diversified economy than Russia or China.”

“One of the strong points of the Indonesian economy is that while its exports are strong, domestic demand makes up two thirds of the economy,” he added. “This is what makes it very resilient.”

The country will, however, need to continue to invest in infrastructure and manage its widening current-account deficit.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Shares Slump as Coal Miner Bumi Probes Irregularities

Jakarta Globe, Clara Ferreira-Marques, Sarah Young, Janeman Latul & Neil Chatterjee, September 24, 2012

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London. Bumi Plc, the coal mining group controlled by Indonesian investors including the politically influential Bakrie family, has begun an urgent investigation into allegations of “financial and other irregularities” at its Indonesian operations, sending its shares down more than 30 percent.

Bumi, co-founded by financier Nat Rothschild, said in a brief statement on Monday that it had commissioned an independent investigation into the allegations concerning its Indonesian subsidiaries, including 29-percent owned Bumi Resources, Asia’s biggest exporter of thermal coal, which is used in power stations.

Bumi is one of several foreign-owned, London-listed miners that have raised corporate governance concerns among investors over the past year. It has heavily underperformed the mining sector since its re-listing in June last year, weighed down by worries over its subsidiaries’ debts amid weak thermal coal prices, battles between shareholders and a complex corporate structure.

The group’s Indonesian partners tried to oust Rothschild from the board last year after he called for a “radical cleaning up” of governance at Bumi Resources, in what was seen as a sign of his frustration with the Bakries. In a reshuffle at Bumi Plc that followed, Rothschild stepped down as co-chairman, and key investor and coal entrepreneur Samin Tan took the chairman’s role.  

The investigation, to be led by an as-yet unnamed law firm, is expected to include a close look at some $300 million of funds used by subsidiaries and affiliated companies to develop new projects, and also at certain loans extended by Bumi Resources, long a concern for investors.

 Bumi said that “an area of focus” would be the “extensive” development funds of Bumi Resources, most of which were written down to zero at the end of last year, along with one potential mining project held by another subsidiary, Berau Coal Energy.

“We have no knowledge and will await further information before we can comment further,” said Dileep Srivastava, Bumi Resources’ investor relations spokesman.

Bumi, the most traded British mid-cap stock on Monday at 8 times its 90-day daily average, was down 32 percent at 0930 GMT, at 133 pence, off an earlier all-time low of 119.5 pence.

Shares in other Bakrie Group firms also fell on Monday on investor concerns that Bumi’s financial problems would affect related companies. Property developer Bakrieland Development and energy firm Energi Mega Persada both slid 12 percent, while plantation firm Bakrie Sumatera fell 9 percent.

“It’s a major development for Bumi Plc, which now has Samin Tan in control. People have been wondering whether these national coal assets have been mismanaged,” said Jemmy Paul, an equity fund manager at Sucorinvest Asset Management in Jakarta, who manages over $200 million.

But some saw the move as potentially positive.  

“We see this investigation as a positive development, although we feel it does have the potential to bring to light some gross [and potentially criminal] mismanagement of funds which may turn off shareholders in the short-term,” analysts at Liberum said.

“Clearly, given PT Bumi’s high debt levels, the repatriation of funds and focus on core coal mining business is critical.”


Bakries Want Rothschild to Leave the Board of Bumi Plc

British financier Nathaniel Rothschild, left, has criticized the
 management and corporate governance at Bumi Resources,
 the Indonesian coal company he is trying to transform into a
 top-tier global miner, the Financial Times reported on
Thursday. (Antara Photo/File)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Nation’s Competitiveness Slipped: WEF

Jakarta Globe, Tito Summa Siahaan & Muhamad Al Azhari, September 06, 2012

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Fears over corruption, the costs of crime and poor ethics has led to the World Economic Forum demoting Indonesia in its Global Competitiveness Index.

The Geneva-based organization ranked Indonesia 50th of 144 nations in its 2012-13 report, down four places from the previous year’s position. In formulating the annual index and accompanying report, the WEF reviews business, political and social indicators in countries across the world.

The report, released on Wednesday, said Indonesia was plagued by “concerns about corruption and bribery, unethical behavior within the private sector, and the cost to business of crime and violence.”

However, it also praised some the government’s effort to slash red tape. “Bureaucracy is less burdensome and public spending less wasteful than in most countries in the region, and the situation keeps improving,” the WEF said.

On infrastructure, the report said Indonesia remains largely “underdeveloped,” and ranked it 78th.

The WEF praised Indonesia’s macroeconomic performance, ranking the country 25th. “Macroeconomic stability is buoyed by its solid performance on fundamental indicators: the budget deficit is kept well below 2 percent of GDP, the public debt-to-GDP ratio amounts to only 25 percent, and the savings rate remains high,” the report said.

“Inflation was reduced to around 5 percent in recent years after frequent episodes of double-digit inflation in the past decade.”

Business leader Sofyan Wanandi said the report carried significant messages. “We should be ashamed because our competitiveness rating has been dropping for two consecutive years,” said Sofyan, the chairman of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo).

He supported the WEF findings on infrastructure, adding that complicated bureaucracy and poor productivity was plaguing the country’s competitiveness.

The report said Indonesia was “one of the best performers within the developing Asia region, behind Malaysia, China and Thailand yet ahead of the Philippines, Vietnam, and all South Asian nations.”