Mon, 27 Dec 2010
From:
By Tom Allard
In September, Indonesia's leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was moved to put pen to paper, composing a letter to Barack Obama.

He was agitated about the plans of the Florida pastor Terry Jones to burn a pile of Korans on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. If allowed to proceed, it would ''humiliate'' Muslims around the world and threaten world peace, Dr Yudhoyono wrote.

The sentiments were a reflection of how many people felt, but in the country with the world's largest Muslim population, the reaction was somewhat unexpected. Dr Yudhoyono came under fierce criticism from the mainstream media and from tens of thousands of Indonesians who took to social media to vent their displeasure.

The reason? For much of the previous six months in Indonesia, there had been an alarming escalation in attacks by hardliners on Christians and followers of Ahmadiyah, the minority Islamic sect with some 200,000 members and a history in Indonesia dating to 1925. While the rants of a fringe preacher on the other side of the world upset him, Dr Yudhoyono had been silent about the surge in sectarian violence in his own country.

In many ways, the incident was emblematic of so much of what was disappointing in Indonesia in 2010. It was a year when the economy motored along, but worrying signs emerged that the very Indonesian values that earned the praise of visiting Barack Obama - democracy, tolerance and ''unity in diversity'' - were under pressure. Indonesia remains an overwhelmingly moderate country but religious violence has risen, directly aided and abetted at times by the police force. President Yudhoyono's response, when it came, was to appoint a new police chief with close ties to militant Muslim gangs linked to attacks on Christians.

Concerns about Indonesia's security services were further inflamed when soldiers were captured on film torturing prisoners in West Papua. Despite swift condemnation and assurances of justice by Dr Yudhoyono, the soldiers remain unpunished.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's leading reformer, former finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, was forced to quit due to pressure from Dr Yudhoyono's coalition partners, including the head of Golkar, Aburizal Bakrie, whose companies were under investigation for unpaid taxes by Dr Indrawati's ministry.

Despite Dr Yudhoyono's thumping election win on the back of an anti-graft platform, the fight against Indonesia's pernicious, ingrained corruption faltered. Virtually no legislation of note was passed.

As Dr Yudhoyono's spokesman, Daniel Sparingga remarked about the year in politics to The Jakarta Post 10 days ago: ''We have achieved almost nothing of substance, to be honest.''

For investors though, navigating corrupt officials is an inconvenient part of doing increasingly lucrative business. Much of the economic growth in Indonesia has been driven by resource extraction aided by rising commodity prices. Gas, oil, coal and palm oil production is booming.

But the country's burgeoning middle class and pool of cheap labour are also attracting foreign investors, anxious to tap into a market of more than 240 million people and a workforce where the minimum wage is less than $200 a month.

Foreign direct investment rose by a third to $14 billion in 2010, while the sharemarket picked up 40 per cent.

Investors like Indonesia's relative stability. And it is remarkable given the chaos of 1998 that heralded Indonesia's adventure in democracy.

Still, while every man and woman has the vote in Indonesia and elections are fair, the institutions that underpin that democracy - the parliament, the judiciary, security forces and bureaucracy - are deeply corrupt and inefficient.

Graft, the selective use of the rule of law and crumbling infrastructure remain a curb on Indonesia's growth. If, or when, the terms of trade shift unfavourably and the hot money retreats, the continued failure to address these scourges is likely to be felt more keenly.



News Search/Filter
Transaction Rates
19 Oct 18
Buy
Sell
AED1
4,156.09
4,156.09
AFN1
200.85
200.85
ALL1
139.46
139.46
AMD1
31.59
31.59
ANG1
8,599.38
8,599.38
AOA1
50.47
50.47
ARS1
415.58
415.58
AUD1
10,832.05
10,832.05
AWG1
8,480.52
8,480.52
AZN1
8,966.17
8,966.17
BAM1
8,989.90
8,989.90
BBD1
7,632.45
7,632.45
BDT1
180.00
180.00
BGN1
8,940.39
8,940.39
BHD1
40,496.18
40,496.18
BIF1
8.52
8.52
BMD1
15,264.91
15,264.91
BND1
10,822.65
10,822.65
BOB1
2,208.63
2,208.63
BRL1
4,102.46
4,102.46
BSD1
15,264.91
15,264.91
BTC1
97,727,453
97,727,453
BTN1
207.56
207.56
BWP1
1,434.50
1,434.50
BYN1
7,233.41
7,233.41
BZD1
7,593.93
7,593.93
CAD1
11,671.11
11,671.11
CDF1
9.34
9.34
CHF1
15,327.75
15,327.75
CLF1
652,904.83
652,904.83
CLP1
22.57
22.57
CNH1
2,197.53
2,197.53
CNY1
2,200.28
2,200.28
COP1
4.94
4.94
CRC1
25.73
25.73
CUC1
15,264.91
15,264.91
CUP1
592.81
592.81
CVE1
160.01
160.01
CZK1
675.65
675.65
DJF1
85.73
85.73
DKK1
2,343.76
2,343.76
DOP1
305.30
305.30
DZD1
128.61
128.61
EGP1
852.31
852.31
ERN1
1,017.78
1,017.78
ETB1
547.64
547.64
EUR1
17,484.56
17,484.56
FJD1
7,143.83
7,143.83
FKP1
19,873.60
19,873.60
GBP1
19,873.60
19,873.60
GEL1
6,238.24
6,238.24
GGP1
19,873.60
19,873.60
GHS1
3,161.88
3,161.88
GIP1
19,873.60
19,873.60
GMD1
308.46
308.46
GNF1
1.68
1.68
GTQ1
1,973.35
1,973.35
GYD1
72.99
72.99
HKD1
1,947.43
1,947.43
HNL1
633.66
633.66
HRK1
2,356.96
2,356.96
HTG1
214.10
214.10
HUF1
54.10
54.10
IDR1
1.00
1.00
ILS1
4,171.93
4,171.93
IMP1
19,873.60
19,873.60
INR1
207.63
207.63
IQD1
12.80
12.80
IRR1
0.35
0.35
ISK1
129.62
129.62
JEP1
19,873.60
19,873.60
JMD1
115.42
115.42
JOD1
21,505.81
21,505.81
JPY1
136.05
136.05
KES1
151.46
151.46
KGS1
222.74
222.74
KHR1
3.72
3.72
KMF1
35.92
35.92
KPW1
16.96
16.96
KRW1
13.41
13.41
KWD1
50,341.70
50,341.70
KYD1
18,316.82
18,316.82
KZT1
41.88
41.88
LAK1
1.78
1.78
LBP1
10.09
10.09
LKR1
89.11
89.11
LRD1
97.22
97.22
LSL1
1,064.56
1,064.56
LYD1
11,040.70
11,040.70
MAD1
1,605.86
1,605.86
MDL1
896.65
896.65
MGA1
4.32
4.32
MKD1
285.16
285.16
MMK1
9.59
9.59
MNT1
6.12
6.12
MOP1
1,890.37
1,890.37
MRO1
42.75
42.75
MRU1
425.08
425.08
MUR1
443.79
443.79
MVR1
987.38
987.38
MWK1
20.98
20.98
MXN1
796.91
796.91
MYR1
3,663.98
3,663.98
MZN1
251.92
251.92
NAD1
1,047.69
1,047.69
NGN1
41.99
41.99
NIO1
474.27
474.27
NOK1
1,844.40
1,844.40
NPR1
129.73
129.73
NZD1
9,979.51
9,979.51
OMR1
39,655.41
39,655.41
PAB1
15,264.91
15,264.91
PEN1
4,575.12
4,575.12
PGK1
4,545.77
4,545.77
PHP1
281.85
281.85
PKR1
114.84
114.84
PLN1
4,060.93
4,060.93
PYG1
2.56
2.56
QAR1
4,192.41
4,192.41
RON1
3,743.99
3,743.99
RSD1
147.40
147.40
RUB1
231.94
231.94
RWF1
17.34
17.34
SAR1
4,069.07
4,069.07
SBD1
1,917.73
1,917.73
SCR1
1,099.30
1,099.30
SDG1
324.29
324.29
SEK1
1,687.99
1,687.99
SGD1
11,049.92
11,049.92
SHP1
19,873.60
19,873.60
SLL1
1.81
1.81
SOS1
26.33
26.33
SRD1
2,046.78
2,046.78
SSP1
117.18
117.18
STD1
0.72
0.72
STN1
719.36
719.36
SVC1
1,744.45
1,744.45
SYP1
29.63
29.63
SZL1
1,066.20
1,066.20
THB1
467.51
467.51
TJS1
1,621.43
1,621.43
TMT1
4,349.00
4,349.00
TND1
5,363.83
5,363.83
TOP1
6,619.96
6,619.96
TRY1
2,708.22
2,708.22
TTD1
2,264.58
2,264.58
TWD1
493.03
493.03
TZS1
6.67
6.67
UAH1
544.34
544.34
UGX1
4.02
4.02
USD1
15,264.91
15,264.91
UYU1
465.54
465.54
UZS1
1.85
1.85
VEF1
0.06
0.06
VND1
0.65
0.65
VUV1
137.28
137.28
WST1
5,826.50
5,826.50
XAF1
26.65
26.65
XAG1
222,577.30
222,577.30
XAU1
18,713,654.36
18,713,654.36
XCD1
5,648.33
5,648.33
XDR1
21,303.58
21,303.58
XOF1
26.65
26.65
XPD1
16,393,967.54
16,393,967.54
XPF1
146.52
146.52
XPT1
12,639,239.40
12,639,239.40
YER1
60.98
60.98
ZAR1
1,056.91
1,056.91
ZMW1
1,280.00
1,280.00
ZWL1
47.35
47.35
Taxation Exchange Rates
31 Aug 16 - 06 Sep 16
USD 1
13,232.00
AUD 1
10,043.30
CAD 1
10,213.70
DKK 1
1,999.40
HKD 1
1,706.22
MYR 1
3,283.28
NZD 1
9,623.63
NOK 1
1,605.23
GBP 1
17,433.70
SGD 1
9,757.68
SEK 1
1,569.45
CHF 1
13,631.10
JPY 100
13,101.00
MMK 1
11.01
INR 1
197.29
KWD 1
43,920.70
PKR 1
126.23
PHP 1
285.00
SAR 1
3,528.53
LKR 1
91.12
THB 1
382.08
BND 1
9,756.53
EUR 1
14,885.50
CNY 1
1,987.61

Okusi Associates: Indonesian Business & Management Services