Indonesia. The economic crisis that began in 1997 continued during the year. After an unrealistic state budget for 1998/99, the value of the currency, rupiah, plummeted. Panic-stricken hoarding was followed in February by unrest in large parts of Indonesia, and demands were raised on President Suharto’s departure. In March, however, Suharto was re-elected for five years by the People’s Advisory Assembly (MPR), I’s highest decision-making body.
According to Countryaah, the capital of Indonesia is Jakarta. The government’s unwillingness to obey the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) requirements prompted the IMF and other lenders to withhold promised loans in March. In early May, the government bowed and sharply raised the prices of, among other things. fuel and electricity. This triggered looting and crowds, which manifested itself in the persecution of Chinese, who dominate the economic life of Indonesia. After the deaths of six students May 12, chaos erupted in the capital Jakarta: thousands of shops and department stores were looted and burned down. At least 1,200 people died. Witnesses singled out organized provocateurs to have been behind the worst riots, and the military was later forced to admit that soldiers were involved.
Requirements for Suharto’s departure were now heard higher and higher in the establishment. 10,000 students occupied Parliament in protest of the President. On May 21, Suharto gave up, after ruling Indonesia for 32 years. He handed over the power to the newly elected Vice President Jusuf Habibie. He dismissed the most compromised Suharto supporters from the government and undertook a series of democratic reforms. New parties were formed and the ban on trade unions was lifted. Freedom of the press and opinion increased. Political prisoners were released. More than 140 corrupt politicians were excluded from the MPR and soon the Suharto family was forced out of the MPR and the Golkar government party. During the autumn, an investigation was also made into Suharto’s assets. His family is suspected to have made a fortune of up to $ 40 billion during his time in power.
The political opening also increased the optimism of an end to the conflict in East Timor. The army withdrew some of its force from East Timor, as well as from two other crisis hardeners, the provinces of Aceh in northern Sumatra and Irian Jaya in western New Guinea.
Despite increased international credit, an economic decline of more than 15% was expected during the year. The budget deficit was estimated at 8.5% of GDP, inflation up to 100%. Various sources indicate that between 40 and 100 million. residents live below the official poverty line. According to the World Bank, no modern country has suffered such a dramatic economic collapse. In the autumn, food shortages in half the country and 17 million were reported. families risked starvation. The price of rice had tripled in a year.
The protests against the old power structures continued throughout the year. Severe riots edged that meeting in MPR in November, when it was decided that the military should retain its political influence.
Militant FPIs are banned from operating
The ultra-Orthodox Muslim group Front for Islamic Defense (FPI) is banned from using its name in public and carrying out activities, says Minister of Security Mahfud MD. In practice, this means that the militant group is banned. The FPI has been described for its attacks on “immoral” bars and nightclubs serving alcohol and for its active role in ousting Jakarta’s Christian mayor in 2016. The FPI has also attacked members of Muslim communities they see as “deviant”. During the corona pandemic, the group’s leader, Rizieq Shihab, has been detained for violating the restrictions since gathering large crowds for prayer.
The FPI leader is placed in police custody
13th of December
Rizieq Shihab, leader of the Ultra-Conservative Front for the Defense of Islam (FPI), is being held for 20 days for continuing to violate coronary restrictions by gathering tens of thousands of people for prayer services in Jakarta. Shihab faces up to six years in prison if convicted and convicted of violating restrictions.
Indonesia holds regional elections
More than 100 million eligible voters have the opportunity to participate in the regional elections, when 270 different positions will be filled, including governors and mayors. President Widodo’s eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka, 33, is running in the mayoral election in Solo, Java, where Widodo himself began his political career. Widodo’s son-in-law, the Vice President’s daughter and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s nephews are also running for various positions. Criticism is leveled at the electoral authority for the fact that the elections are being held despite the fact that they risk exacerbating the spread of the coronavirus, which has hit Indonesia hard. The elections were originally scheduled for September but were postponed due to the pandemic. Covids in hospitals will now also be able to vote. During the election campaign, at least five candidates died in covid-19 and over 1,000 election workers were tested positive for the coronavirus. In total, just over 580,000 Indonesians have been tested positive for the virus and 18,000 have died with established covid-19. The official election result is expected on December 15.
Violent in Jakarta when the FPI leader returns
At least six supporters of ultra-conservative Muslim leader Rizieq Shihab have been shot dead by police in eastern Jakarta. According to the capital’s chief of police, the police are acting in self-defense after being attacked by Shihab’s supporters. The supporters have previously been prevented from entering a police station where Shihab is being questioned. Shihab leads the ultra-Orthodox Islamist group Front for the Defense of Islam (FPI), best known for attacking bars, nightclubs and other places that serve alcohol in Jakarta. The interrogations concern violations of the coronary restrictions that the FPI leader committed when tens of thousands of his followers gathered at his home in connection with the daughter’s wedding. Shihab arrived just a few days earlier in Indonesia from Saudi Arabia, where he fled in 2017 after police notified him of suspicion of involvement in a pornography scandal. Tens of thousands of supporters also gathered at the airport on his return. Shihab led a series of mass protests in Jakarta in 2016 against then-Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, whom he accused of insulting the Koran. Basuki, who is a Christian and of Chinese descent, was sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy.
China supplies corona vaccine
Indonesia receives 1.2 million doses of a corona vaccine from China. Manufacturer is the Chinese company Sinovac. In January 2021, Indonesia will receive an additional 1.8 million vaccine doses from China. The Chinese vaccine has not passed the final checks, but the pharmaceutical authorities in Indonesia will carry out more checks and assure that the vaccine will be safe when used. The vaccine should be used on healthcare professionals and people at risk. Indonesia is also in talks with other vaccine manufacturers such as Astra Zeneca.