Backgrounder

Tenggara Backgrounder December 7

Questions linger on the 212 movement’s power

Following the 212 Movement reunion on Dec. 2, it appears that the movement has lost its relevance considerably in the political realm, unlike its predecessor which successfully toppled down former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama last year. Although previously the movement had been regarded as one of the most serious threats against President Joko “Jokowi” WIdodo’s reelection bid, this year’s reunion rally’s depleted popularity indicates that its effects will be little to none on the upcoming 2019 general elections.

 

May Army’s dual function return?

The President’s plan to appoint the armed forces to oversee foreign workers in Indonesia has sparked speculations on the military’s expanding role in noncombat operations. It is feared, however, that adding its role outside the realm of defense might potentially bring the military closer to domestic politics, echoing former President Sohearto’s Dual Function doctrine.

 

Merpati’s long road to fly again

On Nov. 14, a judicial panel of Surabaya Commercial Court in East Java approved a plan to revitalize PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines, saving the state-owned enterprise from liquidation and paving the way for private investor to take over Merpati. Concerns remain, however, as Merpati privatization plan needs the approval of Finance Minister despite the support from the SOEs Ministry and other creditors.

 

Issue update: Nationalization of Freeport

Freeport McMoran (FCX) – as the parent company of PT Freeport Indonesia – and Inalum signed in September a sales and purchase agreement (SPA) for the divestment of Freeport’s 51 percent shares for US$4,2 billion. The payment was to be completed in mid-December. Despite the signing, some pending issues remain. The back-to-back meetings between FCX CEO and a number of Indonesian ministers this week unveiled some of the lingering problems.