Backgrounder

Tenggara Backgrounder November 16

Visiting traditional markets: A new campaign venue?

Traditional markets have been frequently visited by presidential and vice-presidential candidates since the start of campaign period late in September. According to candidates’ most used justification, their visits are to check price stability. Regardless the composition and demographic background of candidates’ voters imply that there is a bigger picture to see.

 

Underemployment is the real deal

Indonesia’s unemployment rate fell to 5.34 percent in August from 5.50 percent a year earlier. The figure, however, conceals the bigger problem in Indonesia’s unemployment rate. As the current survey method defines someone as employed if he/she does at least one hour of paid work in a week, the actual unemployment figure might be greater than what the news have said. Despite the good news, furthermore, there are 7 still million people out of a job.  

 

Foreign lobbying behind controversial policy revision

The draft revision to electronic transaction regulation, that would abolish the requirement for electronic system providers to build local data centers and keep electronic transaction data within Indonesian territory, have incited growing protests from local players. Contradicting rationales behind the plan and the protests may be an indication that extensive foreign lobbying are involved.

 

Problematic agriculture policies cause polemic, again

Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman’s policies and data have created another fiasco, yet again. His anti-import policy in the maize sector since mid-2015 has created a chain effect that culminated in the latest corn import decision and poultry feed shortage. Now, the growing uproar between poultry farmers and their associations against Amran has put them at odds with the interests of maize farmers. If left unchecked, Amran’s policy could hurt President Jokowi politically.